Day 109: Yaounde

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Tue 22 Feb 2011 06:30
Day 109: Monday 21 February 2011.  Presbyterian Mission, Yaounde, Cameroon.  N03 34.788 E011 31.354 Distance driven 387 km
We packed up and left the Miramare and drove westwards along the shore to check out the black lava beaches and the 1990 lava flow which came down from Mount Cameroon to the coast.
We then headed inland towards Yaonde and wound our way through Douala, Cameroon's only port and a thoroughly miserable city with a maze of streets without a single traffic direction sign.  The road from there to Yaounde was on a good, fast tar road winding through magnificent forest and palm plantations.  It was the smoothest, fastest and pleasantest road we had been on since leaving Spain!
As we approached Yaounde, the heavens opened and we had torrential rain, thunder and lightening.  Of course, we hit Yaounde at rush hour and the traffic was absolutely chaotic.  Jenny took on the mass of unruly taxis and fought her way across town, terrorising many of them without hitting any!
We eventually found our way to the Presbyterian Mission just before dark, which was a pity as we wouldn't have stayed if there had been enough daylight to find anywhere else.  The place is run by a Cameroonian woman and a cranky old Frenchman who are obsessed by "rules", facilities are primitive and there are already two overland trucks here with 50 plus people sharing one broken toilet! We looked at one of the "rooms" but decided we would be more comfortable camping and less at risk from bed bugs! The guardians will not allow campers to use water for washing etc unless they pay extra for it at 200 CFA a bucket. Frenchie asked me for a 15,000 CFA "deposit" but backed off when I told him what he could do with it!
Unfortunately, Neil Harrower's (Great Trek South) warning about this place came too late - we didn't download his email until after we had arrived! He sent us a link to the HUBB website with a horrific account of an incident with this Frenchman.
Note to future travellers - this place is best avoided!
We came here primarily to re-stock so we'll hit the supermarkets tomorrow and then head out of town.