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Old 12-17-2011, 03:09 AM   #95
mrwwwhite OP
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Joined: Jun 2010
Location: Bucharest or RTW
Oddometer: 621
How We Couldn't Fix The Bike

After 4 zen days, we're back in Bamenda and back to our troubled reality. We organize transportation to the capital Yaounde, where we are expecting the clutch. Our only option is to take the night bus, so we bargain hard for the 30 Euro ride. The vehicle was stolen from the EU aids bulk and is barely recognizable under the load of yams and live pigs. A woman stuffs her chicken under my bike, and with only 2 bottles of water, some ground nuts and what we are wearing, we hop on at midnight, only to descend at 6.30 the next morning. It was impossible to close an eye, but somehow someone manages to steal our mobile during the night. On arrival we ignore the rude hasslers in the bus station, push the bike uphill to a Total and hitch a taxi ride to the meeting with the Vidals.

We apply for the Gabon visa (photo, form, 50,000 CFA, 48 hrs) and we set camp on the lawn of the unfriendly presbyterian center, the cheapest accommodation in Yaounde.

The huge water towers are local landmarks. Nearby, flourishing commerce: call booths and candy stalls.

There's plenty of french boulangeries in Yde, so we feast on buttery viennoiserie.

In the afternoon it's barbecue time: fresh mackerel and tilapia brought in from Douala and served with plantain chips and pepper sauce.


The clutch arrives

2 weeks after the bike broke down, we manage to collect our precious parcel.

We are high with joy. Finally we will fix our bike and get going.

Suddenly, my brain freezes over. The clutch discs don't fit! Even though Harry has explained to that we only have one chance to make it, they just sent us the wrong parts. We hit a new dead end.

Later, we would learn that the parts were for the old Tenere.

We pull the cover over our sick bike and we hop again on the Vidal bus. Our fiends suggested we should wait with them in Limbe, which is closer to the entry port for another parcel. This time Harry orders the second clutch from, who will ship by DHL in about 5 days to Douala.

On the road again, we sample some banana leaf wrapped manioc.

And spicy fish stew.

Missing Nigeria.

Coke reigns supreme here.

But beer is still cheaper than water.

The green gold of Cameroon is constantly being lorried out and illegally shipped from Douala to every corner of the planet.

A vision of Mt. Cameroon. The lava giant rises above the ocean at 4090m.

We camp in the parking of Seme Hotel, on Mile 11 beach, where the girls' grandfather is expected to visit with a bag full of french gourmet foods.

Everyday we lunch on bushmeat in Batoke village: gazelle, wild rabbit, with manioc and corn on a cob.



In Limbe we feast on fresh fish in the traditional port. Mt. Cameroon lures us again to climb it, and we decide to go for it during the next 2 days.

After the 1999 eruption, a cloud of volcanic ash changed forever the Limbe beach: now black sand is washed ashore by the warm calm waters of the ocean.

ITW was here!

To be continued.
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