Arriving in Yaounde

Trip Start Oct 12, 2008
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Trip End Dec 21, 2008


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Where I stayed
El Panaden

Flag of Cameroon  ,
Sunday, October 12, 2008

First stop is Yaounde, the official capital of Cameroon.It's a convenient 6 hours flight from
Zuerich in Switzerland.Or in other words from one of the wealthiest cities in the world to a
rather poor African capital city with all its social and health problems.The difference could not be bigger.Just to get an airport taxi at Yaounde is an adventure.Too many boys around who want to get their share of the cake, just for opening the door of the car, or   just to remind me that it was their uncle who is  working at customs, and that it was thanks to him that I was not asked to open my luggage for inspection.Finally seating inside the car, I realize that it is over 20km drive into downtown Yaounde, its midnight now, and my driver
asks  in a firm voice if his brother could  join the trip for security reasons.I politely decline.
We drive in complete darkness, not many streetlamps in action, but still people on the road,
quite a few of them drunk.
I am very delighted to arrive at my hotel, the El Panaden, in the heart of the capital, just besides the City Hall and major ministry buildings.It also seems to be the red light district.
But what really counts more is the good selection of restaurants nearby, and the oldest
bakery in the capital, since 1835, the 'Calafatas' with its fresh croissants every morning!
Yaounde is also a very convenient place to organize visas for neighbouring countries, as
all of them, and many more African countries, have their embassies here, most of them
in the residential quartier of Bastos.Prices for a tourist visa vary from country to country,but go from 40 euros for the Central African Republic and Rep.of Congo to 58
euros for Chad, and as high as 76/120 euros for a single/multiple entry visa for Gabon.
After the succesful collection of the visas (except Equatorial Guinea where visitors have to apply in their home country, the embassy in Yaounde only issues visas to citizens and
residents of Cameroon), it was time to head to the coastal town of Kribi, famous for its
excellent beaches,but also for its delicious Kribi shrimps. A drunken taxi driver brings me to the beach south of Kribi where a lady from my home country Switzerland has been investing into a beach resort, located on a wonderful stretch of fine golden sand.
Unfortunately, the hotel was closed down by the government, they had a financial dispute with the owners over land issues.A real pity!And my drunken driver had to drive me back to town, run out of gazoline, was apprehended by the traffic police, in short: I had all the bad luck in one time..and was happy to finally find a bed in 'Coco Beach Hotel', a few moments
before the sun was going down over the Atlantic Ocean.
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Comments

schwate
schwate on

A god memories of Cameron:-)
I remember that I stayed in a mission in Yaounde. Quite cheap actually, but unfortunately in a very rough district, no walking around after sunset... :-)

Seems like you had a nicer hotel than I;-)

P.S.
You still consider Switzerland your home? And not the Philippines?-)

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