Crossed the Cameroon border at Ikom, We decided to head for Buea and Mt Cameroon,but approx100kms further down the road the Blue beast developed a hole in the radiator and was leaking badly, so after yet more emergency repairs and water fillings,and being attacked by midges,we drove on to a small town called Nguti were we found a mechanic and a room for the night in the aptly named “Bemmas Hotel”but not before the heavens opened and we got absolutely drenched ,so obviously we had to take shelter in the nearest bar,with all the local guys,drinking warm beer and eating hard boiled eggs dipped in a strange spicy sauce,this seemed the safer option, as Mary reported seeing little monkey’s hands coming out of the “bush meat stew!” The mechanics managed to fix the leak (we think!)
Set off next morning quite promptly,hoping to get to Mt Cameroon for a quick hike (only joking)when after about 50kms on seriously muddy, potholed roads we heard a slight banging,before entering a large puddle and the wheel fell off ! All 5 bolts holding the spacer on to the hub had worked their way loose hidden by the wheel so although we had checked everything seemed ok,this was going to be fun!!
Bloody hell what was that
Mike – “The wheels fallen off”
Emma – “It can’t have dont be stupid”
Mike – Its lying in the road i can see it in the mirror.
Poor Brett and Mary, must be wishing they had gone on ahead !! cutting a long story short Michael the mechanic/mudman managed to get it back on again,with us all trying to pass things getting stuck in the mud and consequently Bretts flip-flops breaking….fun and games.
The scenery has been spectacular in Cameroon with green and lush rainforest, palm and banana plantations it’s easy to see why though, as it’s rained everyday,so far. As you pass through the villages the children all shout “White-man, White-man” I’m not too sure if this is a complement or not! In Nigeria you felt as if they were saying “welcome” and smiling through gritted teeth,it’s a far more natural welcome here and I feel a lot more comfortable as a result.We’ve had a few roadblocks,but with little hassle.
Passed through Buea which is built into the side of Mt Cameroon,but have decided not to climb it,as originally planned,due to poor visibility ,rainy season and well actually just lack of fitness due to sitting in a Land rover for so long !!
So for now we have set up camp just outside Limbe ,whilst we try to catch up on admin,washing and car repairs and whoopee I get to speak to my girls again,whom I miss hugely,as I do everyone. strange beach very nice but black volcanic sand and road to hotel simply diverts as a track around the last lava flow from mount cameroon a few years ago.
Stayed near Limbe for a few day’s, a nice little town,went to a primate sanctuary,a sister outfit to the Drill Ranch in Nigeria,here we saw many more Mandrills, Chimps,Baboons which are being used to help education in an effort to reduce the killing of these animals for bush meat. We also had a particularly good Cheeseburger ,pizza and beers,after not having had the like for some time,this was heaven… in fact it was so good we even took a photo !
The Blue Beast had a new head gasket fitted,having spent several hours with Oscar and Walter the mechanics,and seemed much happier with life. On reflection we think it was this failure which had possibly led to earlier radiator problems as it pressurised the cooling system. They also cured a long standing oil leak as the discovered a fracture in the oil filter housing which they eventually got welded in Limbe, being aluminium this was tricky and several people refused to try for fear of damaging the whole unit.
On our last night we got plagued by hundreds of large biting ants in our tent, discovered they were coming onto the roof via a tree branch . Problem was when you killed one there was a strong smell of almonds/ marzipan which clearly triggered the soldier ants into attack mode -probably one of our worst nights so far and due to lack of sleep tempers sure were frayed next day when we set of for Yaounde !
Managed to get visa’s for Gabon (very easily) no forms photos or anything just hand over fee and passports and collect next day – a taste of Gabon we were to discover. The Congo visa was not so easy, firstly Michael was turned away by the doorman for wearing flip-flops although we only wanted application forms and secondly when we were told to collect them at 3:00 pm the next day,upon arrival the same doorman told us they were shutting and with lots of shouting etc and Michael playing dumb and refusing to leave it was established if we wanted them we would have to pay more, 500 CFA for watchman 5000CFA for doorman we had no intention of waiting until after the weekend,so we had to oblige and they miraculously appeared from a drawer in his desk….yet another scam.
We enjoyed Yaounde, it had a nice feel to it ,compared with many other African cities we’ve been to ,hilly,green and spacious easy to get round, with some good restaurants, in particular a Turkish one ( a bit strange in Africa) and excellent Boulangerie’s……good to have nice bread again !
Have had plenty of thunderstorms and rain here, including a mini tornado which turned Brett&Mary’s tent inside out whilst also taking the school roof off, a soggy night was had by all.
We celebrated Brett’s birthday with Champagne, chocolate cake and a Chinese meal later in the day,all rather delicious after the basic grub of late.