The Sultans mud

Cameroon, relaxing a bit…..

After the difficult border crossing we reached the little town of Banyo and breathed a sigh of relief, a little too soon.

Our first surprise was the fact that there were no functioning fuel stations in the town or nearby. However we have learned to ask around and another diner at breakfast “phoned a friend” and 15min later two guys on a motor bike turned up in the hotel car park where we had camped with 30L of diesel.

The next surprise was the condition of the road from Banyo to Foumbam, a distance of only 213km, we averaged 14km per hour on the rough muddy road with many stuck or tipped over trucks, so it took us two days of hard driving to do a route that we planned for one.

Allegedly there was an interesting Sultans palace, Museum and a really nice cafe/patisserie with great reviews in Foumbam so we took the risk on the road which did have lovely views of the Cameroon highlands. Sadly the Patisserie was long closed, the Museum had no content (literally nothing) but was an interesting building combining two headed serpent and spider, and the palace was pretty rubbish.

The upside was that we finally escaped the mud after Foumbam and headed to a luxury lodge on the beach at Limbe on smooth roads for some TLC, once again we should have prefixed it with “allegedly” the lodge was shut, restaurant closed but caretaker let us in and we camped there and did our washing, the only guests!

It seems the rainy season, and hence the tourists, are late this year

 

Dial some diesel service in Banyo, ask around and most problems can be solved, the diesel is going in the reserve tank so I can feed it across bit by bit into the known good fuel to ensure dilution
On balance we quite like Cameroon, it just seems more relaxed than Nigeria
Tootling into the capital Yaounde, usual African traffic …
The beach at Limbe was the location for our cleanup and maintenance stop after the Jungle, surprising apart som big scrapes on the bottom and a damaged drivers step Nelson seems in reasonable shape, oil change due at the next stop
Tony went shopping for Tomato’s and grabbed this nice shot as I was passing to park
The Museum of the Sultan is an interesting building, and they charged an entry fee, but it was actually empty apart from a few trinket stalls
Tony is up there trying to work out if we can get past the stuck truck, I hang back with a bunch of local cars waiting for the mess to clear, eventually a 4wd Toyota and I make a path around the side and the locals follow
Who needs shoes or toys when you have a spoon….
On the good roads after Foumbam we made good progress through the misty and wet Jungle highlands, did not make for great photographs but was a good drive
A normal village, overloaded Toyota Corolla’s, taxis, motorbikes, goats, cows and people makes for careful driving
Or they break down, many cars and trucks broken down along the way, often partly blocking the track
However put a wheel in the wrong rut and multiple trucks ended up on their sides on this one stretch of road

Never the less we got lots cleaned up after the jungle mud and have now made it to the capital Yaounde to get our Congo visas so we can head bank into the Jungle of Congo and DRC on reportedly reasonable roads for the next leg of the trip ending in Luanda where Tony hands over his keys to Duncan for Angola and Namibia, 15,001km done, 5000 left until the Christmas break !

About Gerry Mulligan

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