Day 113: On the way to Gabon

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Fri 25 Feb 2011 20:29
Day 113: Friday 25 February 2011. Residence Hostellerie Dumonde, Ambam, Cameroon N02 23.150 E011 15.978  Distance driven 291 km
We had heard varying reports of the road from Kribi to Ebolawa (175 km), but the alternative would have been to return to Edea and then via Yaounde, to Ebolawa, a distance of at least 500 km, so there was no real alternative for us as we had the ideal vehicle.  In fact, the "piste" turned out to be a well graded dirt road with very few rough patches and the route was through magnificent rain forest, so was actually a delight to drive, especially as there was no traffic. We only managed about 35 km/hour but it was a really enjoyable drive - hour upon hour of beautiful forest scenery, through countless small villages with beautifully kept houses and gardens.
After about 3 hours it started to rain and the rain became torrential.  The road logged water and we were soon driving in a constant spray of red mud, so much so that we just had to find a car wash in Ebolawa. Firstly we shopped for vegetables in the market, then had a lunch of very tasty chicken and beef brochettes from a street vendor, eaten sitting in the car in pouring rain. When we eventually found a car wash, it was manned by 11 youths all vying for our custom. Five of them set about the filthy Land Rover with hose pipes and sponges and removed a vast quantity of red mud. I gave one of them 3,000 CFA and left them fighting over the division of the reward!
By the time we had cleared Ebolawa it was getting rather late to cross the border and it was looking like more rain for the night so we drove to Ambam, about 10 km from the frontier and checked into the Residence Dumonde with motel-style rooms and the usual sub-standard plumbing. A rather voluptuous black tart has taken the room next door - when I told Jenny, she said "I hope she is not a screamer".  So much for travelling in black Africa!