Friday, March 15, 2019

Libreville, Gabon, March 15, 2019

I had a really good sleep in spite of the weirdness of the place.  We were on the road by 7:30 to make the 9:30 ferry that doesn't run on Fridays anyway.  We got to the marina without incident and after numerous discussions with conservationists, boat drivers and security guards, I chose not to go to Pongara National Park.  According to the conservationist, we wouldn't see any large turtles, just nests and eggs.  We might see a baby turtle if we were lucky.  We would get there on high tide but would have to walk 10-12 km along mangroves to get to the boat because of low tide.  WTF I thought.  I'm not doing that so April and I went exploring Libreville.  We stopped at a local supermarket and met the owner, a man from Montreal who has been living in Libreville for 30 years but is heading back to Canada next month for good.  We took a taxi to Casino, a gigantic "normal' grocery store and I wandered around in heaven for an hour!  I found some coffee that I think should be awesome so I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning to try it.  From the mall, we went to the National Museum of Art and Traditions and had a great tour in English.  Pictures aren't allowed but April talked the guide into letting us take a few.

Masks are work during celebrations.  Men belong to secret societies and wear masks and costumes anonymously.  That's why the eyes are just slits - so one can't be recognized.  Most masks appear to be modelled after white people, especially the noses which are more pointed-

I want to make this for Halloween some year-

Relics are in the bottom part of recipients.  People used to keep them in their homes and pray through the dead person's bones to the spirits.  They are very interesting:  lots of feathers and monkey skulls-

This mask is made from a gorilla's skull-

This hygiene notice was in the bathroom:  " In this disgusting place, as useful as your table, keep it equally clean like your plate!"-

We met back at the truck at 4 pm and headed towards Lambréné.  We're camping behind a motel and I've set my tent up underneath an awning so I hope to stay dry if the rain comes!  Looking forward to moving on tomorrow.  

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