Thursday, February 28, 2019

Bagangte to Yaounde, Cameroon, February 28, 2019

The road was shitty for awhile then straightened out enough to get us to Yaounde by mid afternoon.  We travelled 245 km-

Along the way a lot of the land is tilled and appears ready for planting-

As we got further south, we were back in forest and there was little farming-

Our main goal in Yaounde is to get DRC and Equitorial Guinée visas.  We stopped at the DRC Embassy on our way into town to pick up forms.  It sounds like it's easy and only costs $130 US compared to $250 In Accra!  I'm glad we waited.  EQ is another matter.  We need individual letters of invitation from the EQ Minister of Foreign Affairs which could possibly be arranged through our individual embassies.  Ya right!  The truck though can get in no problem.   We will visit again tomorrow for more information.  

The campsite is on a hill in the middle of the city but you'd never know you were in a busy, noisy place.  It's run by Madame Suzanne, a female, black Hitler.  Even though the yard is huge, there's a crazy who lives nearby so we have to scrunch our tents together.  I dragged my tent around to a few places because I don't want to hear anyone breathing, snoring or rustling at 5 am when we don't have to get up!  MME laughed when I told her that and showed me a place where I'd be by myself except I was near the dogs who bark often and at strangers in the night.  No thanks.  She also has a 5 bed dorm and 2 private rooms which we drew for but I lost.  In her 100 year old house, the upstairs bathroom cannot be used at night and you can only pee in it in the day.  Showers are available from 6 am to 6 pm only.  We can use her water for cooking but not cleaning- that costs 50 cents a pail.  The outside toilet, which is for we campers, has no toilet seat - that's pretty common, no light and definitely no toilet paper.  I'm camping tonight and then hopefully moving into a hotel for a couple of nights.

A few of us went to a Turkish restaurant for supper and they almost had everything listed on the menu! The ATM I used dispensed as much money as I wanted - some we have used give out $46/time.  I also got a receipt!  

A new girl, Ella, originally from Montréal, has joined us for a month and Richard is back from some crazy escapades in the west of the country.  Ryan has missed numerous flights so is with us now into Angola which is great because he and Leanne are really enjoying each other's company. 

I'm hoping for a rain free night and am looking forward to seeing more of Yaounde tomorow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bushcamp to Bagante, Cameroun, February 27, 2019

What a night!  It poured and poured!  The wind blew and i spent the night trying to keep my sleeping bag on my skinny thermarest to keep it dry.  In the morning I wrung water out of my sleeping bag  but I didn't get it the worst.  Will was completely flooded and ended up in the cab and Clarissa's tent collapsed so she slept in the truck.  I was in a foul mood is all l can say and with the prospect of another Bushcamp night, I wasn't looking forward to the day.  It's really hard to describe African rains. They are nothing like we have at home.  Imagine dumping a pail of water from the sky.  That's what it's like and then combine that with wind.  It's ugly and inches and inches of water falls but magically, little is left lying around.  We are apparently entering rainy season so I am not looking forward to wet nights!

At breakfast a very bossy local woman was hanging around demanding food  Will made the mistake of leaving his coffee on the ground by his chair and she grabbed it and drank it.  We eventually gave her some leftover rice.  She and her companion have facial tattoos and scars that distinguish their tribe-

We are making our way to Yaounde, where we were supposed to be February 23.  The roads are bad so it's slow going.  We made 218 km today-

Cameroun is very green and there's a lot of hand-tilled land so many more vegetables are available at markets.  The people are not friendly;  they stare and do not wave or say 'hello' and 'welcome' like everyone did in Nigeria-

We went to Foumban to see the Sultan's Palace which is home to the 19th sultan of the Baman Dynasty.  Sultan Njoya built it in the 20th century. He invented a corn grinding machine, a script for the Bamum language-

a religion that fused Christian and Muslim beliefs and had 681 wives.  There were some interesting masks-


And statues-

I like this bad-

A weird new building - a spider on top of a snake-

is being built and the artefacts will be moved there.  The visit was an expensive waste of time but thanks once again to Lying Planet, it was a 'must see'!

I found the nearby market much more interesting-

Dried fish-

Piles and piles of North American used clothing-





We continued south.  Furniture for sale-

Organized chaos-

It was getting dark and I had my fingers crossed that we'd find a hotel and we did!  So nice.  Next door was a multitasking restaurant-

With a funny menú-

The woman came over to the truck and offered to feed us.  Even though it took a few hours to prepare (we didn't eat until 9:30), it was some of the best chicken I've had.  I drank a litre of Coke Zero since we arrived - (it's hard to find) so I'm pretty sure I'll be awake most of the night.  Oh well, I'll enjoy my room and get everything charged!  Ryan is hoping to catch a 2:30 flight in Yaounde tomorrow but there is no way he/we will make that.  He and Leanne have become very close-

Looking forward to hopefully reaching Yaounde tomorrow!  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bushcamp to Bushcamp, Cameroon, February 26, 2019

I wasn't looking forward to climbing that ugly, wet, clay hill this morning-

We slipped and slid, then had to shovel the wet away-

But we made it!  We had a 120 km day which is huge considering yesterday we only did 25 km, but that also included two very slow border crossings-

It's also an indication of how shit the roads are.  Villages along the way-

Everyone is so friendly and happy to see us-

Scenery is beautiful and we finally have blue sky again-

We came upon a waterfall-

And a river to cross-

Women were washing clothes-

Continuing along, we met a few cars That are wrecks by our standards but they get the job done-

We had a great lunch in a 'real' restaurant in Banyos and made our way to the "Orange" line on the map, the N6, expecting pavement to Yaounde.  Unfortunately, we were on rough red clay again but the scenery was nice-

I like the hat of the policeman we found at a check point.  If I'm not riding shotgun, I have to jump off the truck at every stop to speak to the police, unless of course they speak English.  It's good exercise and keeps me awake-

More homes-

This part of Cameroon appears to be sparsely populated but whenever we stop, it doesn't take long to gather a crowd.  It was the same when we pulled into our Bushcamp.  Nine teenage girls came running towards us but when we started driving towards them, seven took off running and screaming!  Only two stayed to watch us.  We found a very secluded spot and a large crowd gathered around our set up during supper preparations.   They wear such brightly colored clothing and a man was playing music with a middle eastern tune.  Everyone is Muslim.  At dark, we had a fire which was a nice way to end the day, complete with marshmallows.  It looks like rain so I'm hoping I don't get wet tonight.  

Monday, February 25, 2019

Bushcamp Nigeria to Bushcamp Cameroon Border, February 25, 2019

We had an early start but not without numerous visitors-

Complete with a live chicken-

People are everywhere-

 and we are in Muslim country so no booze, not that it particularly bothers me as it has been 31 days since I had a drink!  And an accident!

She was very surprised to see us-

Typical shops are holes in the walls where everything (not much) is behind the counter-

Villages have bumpy rock filled roads and wrecky buildings-

Another village-

Another bridge-

We made it-

But not without spectators-

So did he-

Moving along-

In another village they were celebrating something-

We stopped at customs in Nigeria.  Wow!  There are absolutely millions of kids-

Finally we reached the end of Nigeria - after 17 days she has let us go!

And then it started to rain!  And rain and rain and rain.  The clay roads became very slick and the truck slipped and slid.  We made it through more bad roads-

And then when we thought it couldn't get worse-

No bridge!  We were told in an hour or so it would drop so we had lunch and watched people walk across-

Quite a crowd gathered-

Eventually we crossed-

And so did Oasis-

We crossed into Cameroon - yeah!  But couldn't climb this hill-

so we bushcamped at the border!  I'm hoping for sunshine tomorrow to dry out the roads so we can carry on!  

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