The road to Banyo

Accepting help…..

Tony Borrill and I have had another epic day on “the road to Banyo” this road is currently the only north to south route open from Nigeria to Cameroon and hence the only road available outside conflict areas to get down west Africa, I say that because if this was not the case you would need to be mad to take it.

After a peaceful night at the border we crossed into Cameroon and quickly found ourselves in a world of muddy hellish roads, at times we were at crazy angles on massive rutted dry tracks, at times sliding down muddy slopes (don’t brake, don’t brake I am muttering) powering through mud holes or up steep slippy slopes, all the time we are in low ratio, diffs locked.

Tony has walked about 10 percent of the route guiding me knee deep in mud on occasions and doing a great job, a couple of times I got very sideways and/or tilted to alarming angles, the Landy grounded on its diffs at least five times, twice I got properly stuck but could quickly reverse out of the hole before digging in.

At the border we had befriended a local pair driving a 6WD Pinzgauer, this is an Austrian military vehicle with great ground clearance used on this route to smuggle fuel.

One of these times I had reversed out of a really big hole as all four locked wheels were spinning and the front diff grounded. We were contemplating a dodgy alternative when the pinzgauer came along and offered to pull us through, I hesitated for a moment and then though “take the help” just as well we did there was no way Nelson would make that hole I was dragging on my bottom all four locked wheels spinning uselessly for a few meters of the hole.

So we did not get stuck, but we did swallow our pride and take an assist. The guys asked for nothing but we gave them our residual Nigerian change, as we were following them later a rear wheel fell off their truck, it’s a tough tough route but we got through

Rest day in Banyo now

Tony with the chief of the Nigerian border post, he was curious about our ration packs so we donated one
Tony is brilliant at befriending kids and locals, he befriended the Pinzgauer drivers at the border who eventually pulled us through the mud hole
Nigerian border post our “campsite” for the night
The view from the top of the bank before committing to the bridge that Tony videoed
Over there Gerry, no kidding !
Our tow team, that tow strap on the front of Nelso is not just for show, first time Nelson was towed with it, usually we tow other people
Tony guiding me to the best line, the biggest danger is rolling the truck onto its side in the ruts, then getting stuck

 

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