Saturday, February 23, 2019

Serti, Nigeria, February 23, 2019

Today is Election Day-



so one isn't supposed to drive and 99% of all shops ae closed until 4 pm.  We went to the Gashaka-Gumti Interpretative Centre at the entrance to the National Park.  It was boring but they did have some skulls of Hartebeests-


A giant eland-

and an elephant and two hippos-



Sunday Philemon is Kambu, 55 and was arrested for poaching three times in three years.  He got 18 months in 1999, a $19 fine in 2000 and a 6 month prison term and $40 fine in 2001 for poaching this gigantic Python and a warthog.  He's also a dealer in Indian hemp.  Those fines don't sound near severe enough to stop poachers-



Mr. Joe retired from the Nigerian Army in 1988.  He was caught in 2002 with a station wagon filled with over 100 pieces of various wild animals-


We went for a short walk in the forest and saw a bright blue bird but that was the only sign of wildlife during the heat of the day.  Figs growing in the forest-



natural bee hive-



Back in town, I went for a walk but because of the election, the only lunch available was rice with a spicy tomatoe sauce and 'cow meat' which meant one small chunk the size of a walnut in its shell.  There was a wind and the sky was filled with flying plastic bags-



For supper, Brad, Will and I went out which means to walk along a street without streetlights - they have no electricity unless it's created by a generator, to find a restaurant.  They enjoyed beef roasted and spiced at a couple of stalls but it's far too chewy for me.  Believe it or not, we found a sit down restaurant and they had jollof rice with sauce that tasted pretty good.  Shortly after we arrived, it started to rain and it poured for a little over an hour.  There was a lot of lightning too.  This storm was strange because it is the dry season and it's really dry so I'm sure they were loving it.  Unfortunately they dot have eave troughs or any way of collecting the water so it all just runs away!  When it finally quit, we walked back to find the camp in a mess.  Some tents had blown away - Norm's just about right out the gate!  Mine was flattened and there was four inches of water in my 'suitcase'  so all my clothes were soaked as was my pillow, towel, sleep sheet and air mattress.  Luckily, I had had my sleeping bag washed during the day and it was hanging on the line.  Carole had put it in the truck so it was dry.  Also, I'd left my kindle in the ceiling pocket of my tent but it was dry too!  Will wasn't so lucky.  The roof top vent on the cab was open and  he found his phone sitting in water on the console.  Not good.  We got our tents moved into a building where we hope they'll dry by morning and I rented a room for the night.  We only had power for 3 hours so I quickly had a real shower and made coffee.  Precisely at 10, the generator stopped and that was that!  

We are making our way through back roads to Cameroon tomorrow and will likely have to bushcamp once before we cross.  I'm hoping the rain will mean a clearer and cooler day!  Cameroon here we come - again!    

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