Day 112 113 - Cameroon, Kribi - Ocean Waterfalls

Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
1
73
164
Trip End Jul 02, 2009


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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Oh my god it is so good to be out of Yaounde and back on the beach.  Kribi's been a favourite spot for travellers to take some time off from the road and relax on the beach enjoying freshly caught seafood.  It's also a popular destination for the expat community and well-to-do Cameroonians who venture down on holidays and weekends.

We stayed at a gorgeous place down a dirt road then an even smaller dirt track which had branches whacking us as we scraped by in the truck.  The camp itself was nestled with an estuary on one side and the beach on the other.  Nice shaded grassed area with bungalows for those who wanted to upgrade and a bar restaurant on the beach, complete with comfy couches, sun lounges and a hammock strung between palms. 

All was going good until we discovered the beer price - 1,000CFA (US$2) for a small.  Not good when we're used to paying 500CFA (US$1) for a large!  Problem.  The food was also expensive.... onion soup was like 2,500CFA (US$5)! for a bowl of water with some sliced onion!!  Mum tried to argue the price down but he said he's already come down on the accommodation so couldn't also drop bar prices.  Fair enough we'll just venture elsewhere which was exactly what we did.

On the first night Oliver, Martin, Sam, Barsby, Jamie, Suzy and I went on an expedition in search of cheap cold beer.  Down a dirt track we stopped and asked a local who directed us just 5 minutes further on to a wooden shack type place on the side of the dirt road.  They were grilling fish out the front and had a TV inside.  The beers were ice cold and the right price of 500 for a large.  Not thinking it could get any better the boys were over the moon when rugby, Wales v France, came on the telly.  Needless to say we settled in there for the rest of the evening drinking possibly just one too many beers.  As for the toilet... you were free to pick anywhere on the side of the road. 

Walking home Sam stubbed his toe big time ripping off quite a noticeable hunk of flesh proving that copious amounts of beer, darkness and dirt roads don't mesh.  Ouch.

The days were super hot so Suze and I made the most of sunbathing.  The water was so warm it couldn't be called refreshing but it did allow you to while away the hours partly submerged.

Jay brought out the slip and slide he had purchased in Gabon so Oliver, Barsby and Martin went to work on that.  Turns out it was just some plastic about the thickness of a garbage bag - intended, one would have thought, for 5 year olds rather than grown men but not wanting to interrupt their fun I simply stood back and videoed it all. 

There was a slope in the sand leading down to the water so they set it up there, sprayed it with detergent and whoosh Jay was the first to give it a go coming up with a red chest from all the sand.  Absolutely hilarious.  I did consider having a go but after seeing the marks on his chest I thought better of it.  After he had done it about 5 times Oliver thought he would have a go.  Once again with a dodge knee and ankle I wouldn't have thought it the wisest of decisions but who was I to say.  Down with a thud and an ouch I think he too realised it was a bad move.  Still it didn't deter Jamie who had wondered back from the waterfall in the midst of all the action.  Boys boys boys when will they learn... if one person hurts themselves you all generally will. 

At the end of it all three had grazed chests, Oliver an even sorer knee and Jay a massively grazed and turning purple knee.  Oh and the slide of course was ripped to shreds.  It did however provide endless entertainment for me and the people sitting up at the restaurant.  Cheers lads.

For lunch I ventured back to the battered wooden bar for fish and beer with some of the lads whilst Oliver enjoyed the delights of the restaurant food due to not being a fan of fish.  Others discovered a wonderful pizza place further along the beach, something we contemplated but at about US$12 per pizza we couldn't really justify the cost.

As you can probably tell we ended up frequenting the local bar quite a bit during our stay and each time we were there so was this completely plastered local guy.  He'd either come stumbling in yelling incorherently or already be sitting there talking to himself.  Well he was actually probably trying to talk to someone but everyone just seemed to ignore him.  He'd polish off a bottle of beer then get up and run off down the road.  Very funny.            

One of the days Oliver and I went for a walk along the beach where we passed fishermen hauling in the nets and little naked kids playing in the sand.  Talk about a brilliant place to grow up. 

Another we ventured down to some waterfalls which cascade into a pool in the ocean.  Chutes de la Lobe they're called.  Really quite impressive.  We swam in the pool but couldn't actually get underneath due to the current.  Some people walked over the top of them but after hearing the stories of accidents and seeing Kelvin's hands, which had been sliced by what looked liked Freddie Kruger when he had slipped and nearly fell losing his prescription sunglasses on the way, we decided to play it safe and just sit in the water with Sarah and Martin enjoying the view from below.  Very pleasant way to spend an hour or so.

Back at camp we decided to do a massive locker clean out in preparation for possibly leaving on Wednesday.  Unfortunately for us we timed it just before the afternoon thunderstorms, furthermore we managed to have EVERYTHING out laying on a tarp when the heavens opened and rain pelted down.  As a result it all ended up being thrown into the tent in a jumbled mess.  Happy happy joy joy.

So the deal with us leaving Wednesday.  Basically there is one flight per week leaving from Libreville to Jo'burg.  Well actually there are more, one each day, but they are at least twice, if not three times, the price of the one on Wednesday.  250 quid each as opposed to 600 = big difference.  Originally we would have been fine but with the little VISA situation back in Yaounde it's now very likely we will arrive first thing Thursday which is no good when our flight departs midnight Wednesday.  Slightly irritating as it means spending a whole week in Libreville but unfortunately it's out of our hands. 

BUT there is a chance we may still make it which means we have to be totally ready to just grab our bags and jump off to run to the airport.  Reason for the locker clean out.  We have so much stuff!!!  And what happens if the truck doesn't make it through Angola - do we take all our souveniers or leave them?  Do we need to pack warm?  Will we be doing hiking, should we take our boots?  Ahhhh that ain't no question, the simple answer is NO!!  Hahaaa.  I ended up sitting squished inside the tent sorting through all my stuff whilst the rain beat down causing a somewhat sauna atmosphere inside.  Thankfully I think I managed to make some kind of order of it all. 

So that was the end of Kribi.  Tomorrow we drive the 5 hours back to Yaounde to collect passports and hopefully get the hell out asap.  The race against the clock has begun.
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