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Our intention was to climb up to an abandoned village on the ridge. What we hadn't reckoned on was that the ridge would be on fire. According to the guide, kids had lit fires in the brush on the hillside to chase out the mice. It didn't seem so plausible, but we couldn't get any further explanation. Anyway, a little brush fire would not deter us.

It was a rocky climb up a fairly rough trail.

A baobab tree on the hillside

When we got to the ruins, we actually had to walk through the fire, and our guide and our driver were beating down the flames.

A villager harvests baobab fruits

There was a kind of magical calm as we walked through the old village. It was just our guide, our driver, Pat and me.

The old village sits under a huge rock overhang that helps to protect from the rain and the elements.

We were told that the village was abandoned in the early eighties, during a border skirmish between Burkina Faso and Mali. But I'm not at all certain that is quite what happened.

Villagers do return for various traditional rites, including initiations.

Granaries protected by the rock overhang

Detailed decoration on a granary. Richard, our guide, explained that the ornamentation tells a story.

More granaries

Looking out over the plain from the trail.

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