Saturday, April 21, 2007

Back to Cameroon

Leaving CAR was as much an adventure as getting there, we had to go back a little the way we had come which meant passing by a favourite check point of a few days prior but as we passed it was empty, thank goodness for that, but still there were plenty more to keep us annoyed, fuel was a problem also and one stage we payed 2 Euro a little, which for all you Aussies is about 4 dollars a litre! But out there there is nothing you can do, you need it. We finally made it to the frontier of Cameroon and what a relief but the fun was far from over, at the final police check point they asked the usual questions and to us his french made no sense, and to my right a voice, in english, it came from behind a cell door, it was a prisoner translating for us, but the door made it hard still so the policeman stood walked over and unlocked the door, the tiny room was quite full, he let the prisoner out who came over to help translate for us, once again he, the policeman wanted money, and we gave our usual reply, our translator explained, the policeman gave up, we asked our new friend why he was locked up, something to do with not paying a fine of some sort, he seemed like a nice man and I wanted to pay his debt for him but what was I to really know why he was there, with proceedings over he was locked away again in the dirty dark wet room and we were aloud to proceed, free as birds!

Down the road 100 metres saw us board a barge to cross a huge river, once across we rode a mere 1 k to another river crossing this time the barge looked very abandoned and unused, a few questions to the ladies washing clothes in the river revealed is not working and will not be anytime soon, shit what now.....I just wanted out of Bloody CAR! But alas never worry along came a man in a pirogue who said it would be no problems to take our bikes across, hmm in a dug out canoe, the whole quarter of a tone of African Twin, and the river was not small, maybe 300 metres wide! But what was our option, the border was on the other side, the heavens were about to open up on us and it was 4 pm, lets do it.....unloaded the luggage and sent the that, Amy and the Baja on the first trip, then the return of the pirouge for me and my mother ship, we wrestled it in and set of, no problems. On the other side the heavens did open on us and we sat in the Customs office for and hour trying to convince the man to stamp our Carnet and that he did not need his superior to stamp and sign it, hard work but eventually we twisted his arm as the sun was almost set, we went out the road and camped in a village that I don't think have seen a white folk for along time and some of the younger kids maybe never so a party was held for us and we danced long into the night drinking some ghastly local brew.

Yeah I was nervous!

The next day saw us back into Cameroon, we welcomed it and there was a vast improvement in treatment and also fuel availability more importantly. We reached a fork in the road and asked one man which way to the town we wanted, the left he said was long but good roads, the right short but bad roads, right then the right for us! The road was reduced to a walking trail at times with the jungle reclaiming it, then we came to a fallen tree across our path, surprisingly it move easily by both of us but then a problem and the beginning of a long chain of problems, as I went to move of the bike wallowed beneath me, I looked down and had a flat tire and the cause a huge huge nail. We pushed it back to a school yard we had just passed and I set about patching it. The problem was the glue I had had kinda gone off and lost its ability to stick, and one failed patch attempt after another saw me with three patches left and still two huge holes, some locals to the rescue, they sent a young boy who returned holding a spoon with some white milky liquid on it, I guess there jungle glue! It worked a gem, we camped in the school ground for the night.

Cameroonian motorcycle!

Just another obsticle.

One of many flat tires I encounted.

The following day saw us hit tarmac for the first time in about 2000 k's, great but 10 k's from a town my tire went down, a failed patch, the jungle glue was not as good as I first thought but at least it got me out of there. So Amy had to ride to the next town and get more patches and some good glue, Amy also took the tube to get fixed I was over it, her return 40 minutes later saw a patched tube, new patches and a bottle of cold coke, bliss. But in my haste I pinched the tube putting it back on...SHIT, SHIT, SHIT......we quickly packed up and shot to town before it went down to much, again I did not want to fix it. So with a tube with more patches on it than granny's quilt we set of for the Coast of Cameroon, Kribi, easier said than done, after about 100 k's another flat tire, this time I had no choice but to fix it myself, talk about over it! We camped not long after and made the beach the following day what a relief.

Kribi beach, Cameroon.