Thursday, March 7, 2019

Still, still on the road, March 7, 2019

My neighbor, not mentioning any names but it starts with an L and ends with a Z, was up at 4:30, rustling around even though breakfast wasn't until 6:30.  When we are sleeping so close to each other, we hear any little noise another makes and unfortunately last night we had no choice but for close living so I was up for the day at that ungodly hour.  Our goal today was to cross the river at Aboulou even though we had been told numerous times there was no bridge.  We drove 20 km south to the river through sad looking villages-


On goat trails-


That got narrower-



and narrower-


The truck barely fit.  Unfortunately we found the locals were right, there was no bridge-


We walked down, looked, and Richard and Brad rented a pirogue-



to go across putting the oar into the stream to gauge its depth.  
Men fill boats with sand and pile it on the banks.  It's not to make a nice beach for swimming but is used in the construction of homes-



Unfortunately, the bank was too steep and too muddy so we sadly turned around and headed for Sangmelina-


We breezed through the two police checks that caused us such grief yesterday, in fact we didn't even have to stop.  They waved and wished us "Bonne route!"  Assholes!

We passed some lovely daffodil looking type flowers-



and came across a man selling an I don't know what.  It was some kind of bushmeat that looked like a cross between a kangaroo and a rabbit but it was a blue bellied dyker which is a Pygmy antelope.  Needless to say we didn't need meat that bad-


At the entrance to Sangmelina, we were stopped by the transport police and informed that we did not have insurance for Cameroun.  Oh, oh, I thought, here's another scam!  Eventually I read the form and he was right.  He wanted us to hop on a motorbike, go buy the insurance and come back to get the truck but we persuaded him to let us go to the hotel, (yes we get to sleep in a bed tonight!) and we promised to buy the insurance before we left.  Finally he agreed and we were on our way.

April and I negotiated nice rooms for the group, well actually, April did the work and I translated.  She is relentless and the absolute master at getting what she wants.  

I'm in a private room, with air conditionning and hoping for a great sleep!  Tomorrow, maybe, we will cross into Gabon!  

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