|Kids fishing (hopefully catch-and-release) in Parc Sainte Anastasie.|
The next day we traveled to Bertoua, the capital of East region. Our guidebook suggested that the road was paved only half of the way, so it was pleasant surprise when it was fully paved. I was a bit dubious when one of our neighbours on our large bus took a call shortly after we departed and said, “A bientot. J'arrive!” (See you soon. I'm arriving ~ I'll be right there.), but sure enough we reached Bertoua after just seven hours (excluding waiting time at the agence voyage/bus company). The main sight on our way was a German colonial outpost, along a tree-lined drive off the main road in Doume.
|St. Tropez, a pleasant bar in Bertoua.|
|Compound across the way from St. Tropez, Bertoua.|
|Yokadouma at dusk.|
|The van says "Soyons patience" - Let's be patient. Yokadouma, East Region.|
|For 100 CFA you can attempt to stem the flow of dust into your lungs.|
- - the driver would sometimes roll up his window when opposing traffic/dustclouds approached
- - an unobstructed view of towns, villages and scenery (and advance warning of the dustclouds)
- - relatively more space and comfort than behind the cage
- - a “front of the roller coaster” feeling when cresting and about to drop into a particularly deep ditch
|There was a surprisingly large number of Fulani herdsmen in the southeast of Cameroon.|
|Church in Salapoumbe.|
|Lodging at Camp Kombo outside Mambele.|
- - Desailly, our guide/pisteur: a freelance guide and part-time field researcher for the WWF, he also works at one of the parks across the border in CAR.
- - Jean-Baptiste (Ji-Bay), the ecoguard: J-B has been working for the forestry ministry since 2006, and spent time extolling the virtues of working as a funcionnaire (government functionary) during fireside chats with the porters on unemployment in Cameroon.
- - Platini, one of the porters: the second member of our party to share a name with a French footballer, he's the younger brother of Simplice. He impressed me by picking up one of the cooking pots with his bare hands just after the fire had burned a hole into it.
- - Simplice, porter: Simplice works as a teacher, and was using the Christmas break to earn a little extra money.
- - Adrien, porter: Adrien is a member of the Baka ethnic group. It seemed that this at times made him a target of teasing by the others.
- - Cyrille, porter/cook: on Christmas night, Cyril quizzed me at length about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and was impressed to learn that state governors are selected by direct election in the U.S. In Cameroon they are appointed by the president.
|Tree cover at Camp Kombo.|
|Our solitary male sighting!|
|A view of the Djangui clearing in Lobeke National Park.|
|Desailly and Adrien fishing for their (and our) festive meals.|
|Kingfisher at Djangui clearing.|
|Monkey at Djangui.|
|Lobeke camp site.|
|Riding back to Yokadouma.|
|These roadside plants are green. They're just coated in dust.|
Our ride from Yoka to Bertoua was another hot dusty affair. Our bus had some mechanical difficulties (perhaps the rear axle) so we got an extra hour to explore Batouri. It really is a nice town, with a couple of paved, tree-lined paved roads. We had some snacks, picked up a Show [sic] Yun Fat DVD compilation, then returned to the dust clouds. With the added stop, the 300 kilometer journey took 10 ½ hours.
|Wedding convoy/cavalcade, complete with bridesmaids atop the car hood.|
|Christmas lights at Rond-point Nlongkak, Yaounde.|
|Statue next to the Reunification monument. I believe he is lifting up the youth of Cameroon.|
|The two portions of Cameroon merge!|
|Former presidential palace, now home of the Musee National / National Museum.|