Published: March 7th 2007March 7th 2007
First glimpse of Douala
These are the mangrove swamps near the airport. We are slowly descending towards the landing spot.
Eventually arrived in Cameroon late that wednesday evening. It took very long to complete the entry procedures. I had a very warm welcome from the family/relatives. It is so nice to be back. The place has not change much. Douala is a as hot as ever, and very humid. Upon arrival, we are heading straight to the hotel because my hometown is not Douala. Tonight I will hopefully have a deep rest after the lenthy trip
We left the luggages at a hotel in akwa neighborhood named "Procure des missions". Well It is not actually a hotel. It is a place primarily intended to host missionaries and other religiously connected people. But they also have rooms to let to general people. The atmosphere there is very good. There is church service conducted by the priests (catholic church)at the main hall every early morning. The rooms are airconditionned and the place guarded. There is even breakfast and meal services available to those who will upon payment of an additional fee.
I am with my younger brother, my brother-in-law and the parents. We leave to eat something. The restaurants in Akwa do not come cheap
by local standards. We finally stopped by this restaurant called "White House" (Maison Blanche) to get something to eat. My stomach is more than longing for cameroon cuisine after so long. I set for a local meal called "ndole
" with local delicacies called "miondo
"(sorry I forgot to take a picture of the food to show you, :) ). To top the meal soft drinks are ordered along with a bottle of mineral water. Local water though advertised here as "bacteriologically wholesome" is strongly advised against. It is usually fairly yellowish and can send feeble organisms to bed. We chatted around the changes that occured since then.
We savoured the local meals and the final tab arrived. It was around 2500CFA per head (some 5 dollars). Perhaps normal price or even cheap where you live, but down here fairly expensive by local standards.
After the meals we strolled slowly around akwa streets. The evening traffic is very dense and the roads tend to be narrow in akwa. The "white house restaurant" is not far from the "procure des missions" hotel and we were soon back.
It is time to go bed. I am so exhausted that
Speeding along the airport road.
I go straight to sleep...
see you tomorrow zzz...
We will be leaving early this morning to Bafoussam in west province of Cameroon. The road is very long and poorly maintained, which further delays the trip. From akwa we have to cross the whole Douala city to the other suburb. It may take somewhere between 4 and 5 hours of ride from Douala to Bafoussam.
We had a temporary stop at Njombe to stretch the legs a little and purchase some fruits. The littoral province of cameroon (where Douala is located) is usually flat as Douala is a city that hugs the shores of the atlantic ocean. In contrast the west province of cameroon usually is very hilly with cities build over mountainous areas. We also had a stop at my request at kekem. Kekem is one of the first cities you encounter when you cross the nikam
river that separate the littoral and west provinces, thereby exiting the littoral province. We could sample the braised soya beef meat avaibe there. It is very tasty especially after you carefully have the seller drop a good pinch of pepper on it. Be also
Early busy bonaberi.
careful to have a (cold) bottle of drink handy because you tongue will certainly get aflame. At kekem the road is very crowded. It is also an agricultural city. But you hear loud music from pubs, a good sign that life is going on. After a 20min meal break, we soon returned to the car to continue our journey towards Bafoussam. The rest of the trip followed without incident.
We arrived in Bafoussam City in early afternoon around 1pm. It was meal time. I allowed myself a jug of wine to celebrate my arrival! See you soon for the ensuing activities...
There are more photos below