The River Niger is Mali's lifeblood, linking remote desert villages and providing a livelihood for thousands. Suzanne Porter jumped aboard the last ferry of the season and found the locals in a holiday mood. ‘Surrender yourself to the rhythm of Africa’ whispered my wise Tuareg friend ‘Don’t try to fight it with your European constraints on time or you will only have problems.’ Normally, I would agree that this is great advice for travelling in Africa. However, on this occasion his wisdom let me down ‘What do you mean it’s left already….when??? Yesterday!’ I couldn’t contain my disappointment as I replaced the phone. I’d literally missed the boat!