Cameroon Part 2

 

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My first day in Yaounde was a Sunday and a day of rest. We sat around on the grass at our accommodation and talked to a couple of locals, played Bocce and occasionally wandered down to the local well stocked patisserie for croissants and gateau. We finished the night at The Bunker, a local restraraunt/bar where I had a nice fish dinner cooked in banana leaves on a sidewalk stove.

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Lazy Sunday with the locals

On Monday I went to the Burkina Faso embassy and they were able to issue my visa quickly and with that done I walked next door to the Chad embassy and they were able to do the same. Incredibly, I had two new visas in three days.

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The high light of my time in Yaounde was the National Heritage Dance and Music Festival held in the grounds of the National Museum.

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Drums, drums and more drums was the sound from the festival as various tribes from Cameroon’s Sudano-sahelian north to the rainforest south and east performed various traditional songs and rhythmic dances. I stayed until late watching all the displays and the concert. One of the best days I’ve had in Africa so far.

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Waiting for the next performance

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Waiting for the next performance

We departed Yaounde and drove to the coastal town of Limbe, a full days drive west. In wet season drizzle we booked into some beachside accommodation with accompanying twin oil rigs just offshore.

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Limbe coastline

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Pool, deckchairs, umbrellas and oil rigs…welcome to West Africa!

As picturesque as it was, I departed the following morning for a visit to Mount Cameroon, West Africa’s highest peak.

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Mt Cameroon

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The trail to the top

After Mt Cameroon  we drove four hours inland to the remote mountain village of Nyasoso. My first night in the village I was invited to meet the Village Chief.

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Nyaososo village

We walked to his house and talked for a while and then he performed a welcoming ceremony, welcoming me to his village and the local area. We fired questions back and forth and had a beer together. What was supposed to be ten minutes soon became two hours. It was a very special occasion.

I headed back to my humble village abode and prepared for two days of trekking in the nearby Hills.

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Mt Kupe forest

I spent a couple of days exploring the mountains and local area, seeing some nice wildlife, lots of birds and a groovy immature Gabon Viper.

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Immature Gabon Viper

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Cocoa tree

The area surrounding the village is mainly subsistence farmland growing Theobroma cacao, the cocoa tree and various tropical fruits.

Chocolate is extracted from the cocoa bean mainly grown by thousands of small producers, who have a few trees each. It takes 1200 of these pods to make a litre of chocolate.

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The local butterflies like chocolate

We drove back to Limbe and after another early morning on Mt Cameroon it was time to head north towards the Nigerian Border.

Travel update:  I’m beginning to finalise some future travel plans through to October. After Nigeria it looks like, at this stage I’ll disapointingly not make it to Niger. Instead I’ll head west and travel through Northern Benin.  My route through Benin is through a rarely visited part of the county which should be interesting. From there I’ll travel across Burkina Faso and north into Mali. I’m planning to spent ten days or so in Mali prior to a remote border crossing into Eastern Mauritania.  If that crossing’s too dangerous  I’ll quickly travel through Senegal and then onto Western Sahara and north to Morocco. After a while in Morocco I plan to spend a week in Tunisia and then to Chad for 10 days and then another ten days in Djibouti and Somalia. I’m still deciding what comes after Somalia but at this stage I’m thinking of a week or so in nearby Eritrea.

Bye for now.

 

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