Simply stunningApril 16, 2017 in Cameroon
If first impressions matter, then Cameroon is going to be a corker! After crossing the border I'm greeted with 100 miles of beautiful smooth tarmac sweeping side to side and up and down through the greenest rainforest. I'm in a post malaria euphoria and having a ball.
Even the small niggles are just entertaining at the moment. On leaving Nigeria I got told off for parking too near the flag pole. Oops! Then on the beautiful smooth road I stopped to water the rainforest - as I finish I hear a crash. The wind has blown over the bike....into a ditch! No problem, wave down the next car, get 4 people to help me retrieve it, then back on the way.
I arrive in Bamenda earlier than expected, so go and visit one of the many crater lakes nearby. Wow is this a stunning setting, beautiful clear water surrounded by forest. It's also brilliant because this area is at altitude, and so I have bearable temperatures. That evening I'm back in Bamenda and whilst watching the football in a bar I get speaking to a couple of guys who tell me all about Cameroon. When I said I'd been in Nigeria their comment was "you've passed through hell my friend" - maybe a tad harsh.
The morning comes around and I'm off to travel the famous Bamenda ring road, 250 miles of mud track in the mountains. Well I'll admit to being a tad nervous, the rains should have started already, and I still don't have a new rear tyre - I have no idea what's coming. Well the answer is a bit of everything. I've had smooth tar, sand, dried mud, rocks...but no rain.
On the way I stop at a traditional fondom. These are local chiefdoms that have existed several hundred years and have largely been left to exist by the German, British and Cameroon governments. So I get shown around the Fon's complex by one of the Fon's wives, but I'm a week too early for their grass cutting festival. The political structure is really interesting and developed, but too long to explain here. There is also a museum with amazing wooden life size carvings, but unfortunately photos aren't allowed.
Onwards I move and go to stock up in the last town before the wilderness really begins. This proves quite difficult as today is 'ghost town' day. Every monday the 2 english speaking regions go on strike to protest about the treatment from the francophone government. In these areas there has been no schooling for 6 months and 3 months ago the government cut all internet to the regions. This is one of the reasons my update is late, but it's probably for the best as criticising the government can get you up to 11 years in jail!
1-3) Lake Awing and surrounding mountains
4) The bike having a lay down
5) The Fon's temple
6) Pimp my ride African styleRead more