Saturday, February 16, 2019

Calabar to Ikom, Nigeria, February 16, 2019

It was supposed to be Election Day but around 2:30 am the powers that be decided some areas of the country weren't ready so it has been postponed for a week.  That was perfect for us because it meant we could head towards the first border we are going to try and cross.  The only problem was that by sending the message via WhatsApp, not everyone got it so rather than leave at 1, we couldn't leave until 3 and that meant we ended up driving the last half hour in the dark which is something you do not want to do in Africa.  Vehicles travel without lights and often there are no painted lines on the road.  Vehicles that break down do not move to the shoulder, they just sit in the lane so it is very dangerous.  Luckily we made it without any accidents.  I was riding shotgun and had to help secure the hotel for the night.  April is our chief negotiator.  She is the very best and got us rooms for way less than the normal price.  It takes her awhile but she always comes out on top.  We drove into the hotel compound amongst many cars.  The workers at the gate said no problem but I don't think they realized how big our truck is.  It will be interesting getting out in the morning!

Along the way-

Accidented cars just stay on the side of the road - forever.  Often doors are wide open but the tires are gone, the windows are smashed and the car is completely gutted.  Sometimes they're burned or still bent around the tree they hit in the first place.  

Can you imagine-

Alcohol is available everywhere, including at street stalls-

Brad has been bothered by a red bite like lump on his lower back.  He told me a few days ago that he thought there was something living in it because he could feel it move!  Well, he was right-

That's the grossest thing ever!

We are in a great hotel for the night and will meet with the Oasis truck in the morning and attempt to cross the border into Cameroon together.  We may be refused and have to go further north or we may require a police escort.  Time will tell!  

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