some people when you say 'Timbuktu' it is like the end of the world,
but that is not true. I am from Timbuktu, and I can tell you we
are right at the heart of the world.
Ali Farka Toure
found it neither as big nor as populated as I had expected.
Everything was enveloped in a great sadness. I was amazed by the
lack of energy, by the inertia that hung over the town ... a jumble of
badly built houses..ruled over by a heavy silence.
Rene Caille 1828
Timbuktu is much closer to the 1828 description than to Ali Farka
Toure's. We visited the town, the wonderful libraries that are
engaged in saving important texts that were hidden for long years, and a Tuareg camp about 30 minutes north of town.