Published: February 27th 2008February 15th 2008
Crossed the border at Bitam to enter Gabon and we bush camped in a quarry, we are also celebrating Daves birthday tonight, it started on the truck people started drinking and with loud music, wasnt really in the mood so just watched the group get wasted. Set the tent as far away as possible to avoid being up the whole night, Mark and I were doing our work out when a couple of local lads came to the camp, saw us and asked me in broken English if I can teach them Karate, I think he thinks all Asians can do karate. Had a bit of drink since we have to stay till midnight for Dave pay back time as he stayed late on our Bday back in Casablanca, anyway quite happy to do it.
Next day we crossed the equator on a major tarmac road but quite dangerous coz it is a logging road, had a quick photo then we moved on. Our camp for the night is on top of a hill in Koussou, a tiny man we called yoda since he looked it was very accomodating, telling we can stay there for the night and had some
of the plantain and spicy sauce dish that our cook group prepared, Zoe said he did not like it!
Stopped at a small town the next day and had a delicious street food, smoked grilled chicken with mustard sauce,awesome!!! We continued on to the logging road on our way to Libreville, was raining a bit. Made our way to Sunset beach on the nice end of the city, heaps of foreigners, nice diplomat houses this is where the rich people in this city lives, we were told we are not welcome to camp so went on to another place cant remember the name, next to the beach, the important bit here. Swam in the not so clean ocean then went for a run. Most of the night it rained, some in the group, Chrissy, Jo, Mark, Cam and Ingrid are thinking of going to Sao Tome and Principe if we dont get the Angola visa here.
They explained their plan but had to beg off coz I cant afford it. A French lad Dave and I met while sitting near the beach on a bench that night told us he has contact at the Angola embassy but we doubt
BOYS DOING THEIR BUSINESS, PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN
it will do us any good, we hung out with his friends then off to bed.
Next morning went for a run with Brian as Dave went to town with Kirsten and Di to go to the Angola consulate, we found out they were not accomodating no visa issued for any who tried that day including a couple of Americans, one couple apparently had been coming back for 5 days with additional requirements being asked only to be told they cant get visa after all, very irritating and frustrating and with no clear explanation as to why. Anyway the people going to Sao Tome packed their things tonight. We had free fried barracudas for lunch courtesy of the owner of the place. Huge prawns the size of a small lobster was being sold in the beach.
Ran with Dave the next morning, and we moved on just after lunch and said sad goodbyes to the Sao Tome group, sad to see Mark leave as he is my workout bud but at least he left me his stash of food. We drove to a big supermarket to shop for food, Thomas was complaining how expensive it was which is
ENTRY TO GABON
PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN
We drove on past the town of Kango and camped, tropical downpour that night and the roof was leaking on Brians side.
Drove 40km to Lambarene where we visited the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, on our way there Zoe was standing on the beach and got hit by an electrical wire/cable and have elecrical burns on both arms to prove it, and on her birthday too!Kirsten and Dave and I qsked around if we could see the Tropical Disease Research faciltiy that we read on LP, we found it and the kind lady Judith from Switzerland or Germany showed us around and explained about the malaria research they are doing there, quite helpful, might come back in the future to volunteer, you never know. Had lunch in town at a patesserie, viciously hot and muggy, we struggled to shop for cook group food, Dave and I were sweating like pigs. On we go again on rough bumpy roads, rain came back so have to pull down the tarp again. Camped for the night on the logging road, a few decided to stay up til midnight to wait for Tashas bday the next day. I went to bed trying desperately
to sleep amid the noise and heat. Kirsten calld me and asked me to come with here down the road where she thinks she saw an elephant cross her path while going to the loo, but i begged off. At midnight Tash came to the tent and dog piled Brian I protested and said some harsh words and she left dissapointed, but I was just falling asleep and really got irritated to be woken up again and i stayed up the rest of the night cant sleep.
Next day I am in a bad mood having not slept, felt bad about what happened last night with Tash but really nothing I can do. This is really difficult about groups trying to balance everything and try to get along, this day I could not care less i was in a strop the rest of the day.The roads turned into savannahs, grassy plains really nice contrast with the short green trees. Stopped in a town called Ndende where we got our exit stamp from Gabon but have to travel some more to the frontier with Congo, ended up camping in no mans land for the night, rains continuing on and we
FIRST BUSH CAMP IN GABON
ZOE COOKING, PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE
had a shower in ther rain after dinner, me, Dave, Zoe and Wolfgang.
Only about 48km to the border with Congo, Got bitten by midges to smithereens, large spots all over my body like chicken pox. Ticked off as my ipod wont charge.
Our tent was leaking everywhere good that the rains finally stopped later in the night.Brian and I had to squash all the bugs that took shelter in our tent during the deluge, dead bugs on the walls and roof of the tent. Brian had been coughing all night but I was oblivious as I was dead tired.
Frantic panic the next morning as I cant find the bar keys to the safe I ended up unfolding our tent again to find it safe in the pocket of the tent. Power walkers and me went ahead of the truck for our morning jog. Wolfie found wild peonies on the side of the road. Reached the border with Congo at Ngongo, waited a while then got stamped in, Kirsten was chatting with one of the border police in Portuguese, he apparently had been assigned previously at the frontier with Angola.
There are more photos below