Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........


Cameroon and lots of rain

Week 12, monday 17 March - sunday 23 March  2014

After riding many off-road tracks in Nigeria I want to take it easy in Cameroon. Unfortunately the road between the border place Ekok in Nigeria and Memfe in Cameroon is known as one of the worst roads in Western Africa. Luckily for me the road is being upgraded by a sponsorship of two major banks and this turns out pretty well.

Leaving Nigeria isn’t bad at all beside that I have to fill in some forms twice. The stamps are set and I cross into Cameroon by an old one lane bridge. The first thing I have to do when I enter Cameroon is to register myself and the motorbike at the police, this takes a while because they copy all the details from my passport twice. When that is done I can go and drive the first kilometers an really really bad road towards a little place called Eyumojock. The guy from the customs is so tired that he falls asleep during the conversation we have so I have to wake him up again. He ask for my carnet de passage and I tell him my five years limit. he says “ok I only stamp a carnet de passage and so you can go and enjoy your journey. There is no need for a Laissez-Passer, he don’t check any other papers and so I go. I hit the road again and it is still bad, but than I hit a part where they are preparing for a new road strait through the bush. The gross of the first 30 kilometers is reasonable road, but the parts I can’t ride the prepared part is bad. I can easily imagine that this has been once one of the worst roads of Western Africa. After 30 kilometer I reach the road-constructions and from here on the road becomes better and better till I drive one of the best roads so far in Western Africa. Perfectly flat, strait and cut strait through the Cameroon Jungle. I take some pictures and hope it will give you an idea of the differences between old and new. After about 100 kilometer I reach a nice lookout point what is perfect for bush-camping, but since the sky becomes really dark of the clouds I have to cancel this. I get back on the bike a continue and after 20 minutes all hell breaks loss and I have to find a shelter for the rain. I chat with some locals and they tell me that it rains almost every day. It usually doesn’t take long but it’s very heavy it is does. Here I decide that the bush-camping probably will be over for me till I’m out of the raining season. Doing a bush-camp and have to pack all your stuff when it’s wet is no fun at all. So I continue my ride when the sky clears and after about a 40 kilometer I see a hotel and ask if there is space. Lucky me there is and so I stay another night in an hotel. Today it is the 15th of March that means that tomorrow it will be my birthday and I’m not sure if I want to ride on my birthday. At night it start to rain again and when I wake up the next morning the sky is still full with clouds and it looks like it will start raining again. I debate with myself and decide that I will stay one more night in this place to give myself some time to write my blog. From 11.00 on the sky clears and the weather becomes all sunshine again and it would have not a bad day to drive after all. I have a nice dinner, fish with rice and vegetables and a beer of course. I head to bed early because I like to wake up early in the morning and leave when it is still a nice cool temperature. The thing with the raining season is that at daytime it becomes really hot and only after the rain the temperature drops. I plan to reach Douala today to see mount Cameroon which is about 4000 meter high. Double the altitude I’ve been riding so far when I came into Cameroon. When I arrive,Mount Cameroon doesn’t look that spectacular since there are many clouds and it looks like it is going to rain again. I look for a hotel where I can stay the night but the prices are higher than expected and therefor I head back out of town and find a hotel a bit of the road where I can stay for 12.000CFA. It’s not cheap but the cheapest I can find and there is a pub right in front of the hotel where I can drink a beer. I got in contact with some locals and we have some nice conversations. They all speak english and therefor fun to chat with, they buy me beers and without dinner I feel soon that I get tired. I’m heading for my bed around 21.00 and fall asleep as soon as I touch the mattress. The next morning I eat a big cookie as breakfast and some oranges and then it’s time to head forwards to Yaounda the capital of Cameroon. It’s only an 240 kilometer and I arrive in the early afternoon, after a little search I find a cheap motel for 7.000CFA. I take a shower and head into town for some food and a drink. I find a nice place and drink there an soda but can’t find any food. And there is the rain again, once more an enormous rain shower with thunder and lights. It pours like hell and everything changes into mud. It’s bizarre because it rains for about 30 minutes and after that it dries up and it’s like nothing has happened. I really can’t find a place to have dinner and so I buy a bread and chocolate paste and eat that for dinner in my motel room. The next morning I’m leaving early again and with a temperature of only 25 degrees I head in the direction of Ebolowa and it is another short day, partly because I can’t enter gabon earlier than the next day. The second hotel I see rent me a room and again I head into town. Since I stay in hotels I get more into the towns and have therefor more contact with the locals. I eat and drink something and head back to the hotel to take a little nap what is really rear for me to do. After another shower which wakes me up again I take a look on the map and find out that I have about 11 days to cross Gabon. The visa for the republic of Congo starts only on the first of april and now it’s the 19th of April. Here and then I decide to stay at least two night in the hotel because it seems to be a nice place. It turns out that I stay al together three nights in Ebolowa and have to say that it is a nice place to hang out for a while. There is also some internet from time to time and I get myself up to date with my blog all the way up till Cameroon.

During my stay in Cameroon I’ve  seen quit a lot of white people and some of them are interesting because they have all the features of the West Africa people but with a white skin. The biggest part of Cameroon speaks English and the hospitality is better than in most West Africa countries. I experiences Cameroon as the most developed country in the West of Africa so far with a lot of European influences. A big difference with other West-African countries I’ve been is that I’ve seen people drinking beer from the morning till the evening. Now I don’t mind when people drinking beer, but doing that the entire day is not a good sign at all.

The next country I’m going to is Gabon and look forward to see the country. I hope they have been working hard at there infrastructure, because the biggest part of the main-road south is not developed on my roadmap yet.

The bad road while entering Cameroon.
And the new road after 30 km.
Some statue at the perfect bush-camp spot.
And some more.
My birthday dinner in Cameroon.
One of the rest-places along the road.
Mount Cameroon covert in clouds.
Heavy rain in Yaounda.

Countries I have visited: