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Published: December 20th 2010
Flight leaves 9:35 pm
After two stops and three flights in a stuffy coach cabin, I could not wait to step out into the humidity and heat of Libreville, Gabon's capital, situated on the northwest coast. I had suffered through the long flight at high dollar for one reason: to see the gorgeous place that is Gabon. From the wildlife forests, exotic animals and the Komo River to the escarpments that cause gorgeous waterfalls, this country has everything you wouldn't expect to see in a relitively untraveled country.
Today i checked into the Le Méridien Mandji hotel in Port Gentil. The hotel was gorgeous. Perched at the edge of the Atlantic coast in Port Gentil, Le Méridien Mandji offers spectacular views of rippling waters and the fronds of tall trees silhouetted against a cloudless sky in the hotel’s spacious garden. The hotel features a vibrant restaurant that serves local cuisine and an outdoor pool. The city’s shopping and business districts are within walking distance from the hotel. i could have gone out and explore, but after all the flights I had to sleep.
When i woke up in my hotel
it was 3 pm!!! I had forgotten about the 6 hour time change. But i still managed to ride a bus to the elephant trails a trail system that runs through the jungles of gabon and is known for, you guested it, sighting of the brush elephant. after highering a forien guide named Lionel, a tour guide who mostly spoke the native french, we set off. soon we had seen a herd of the magnificent creatures, this day was definetly not a waist.
today i went to bed early and remembered to set my alarm clock for 7 on the dot. Today would be a special day, I was going to climb mount Iboundji, the tallest mountain in all of Gabon. Although there was not a specific path, my new french friend charlotte and I managed to climb the 2822 feet to the top. it took us 10 hours but we finally made it back down. we had never been so glad for air conditioning in our lives.
Today i am going to gabons world heritage site. A collection of 1800 peices of rock art find their homes here. we entered the
caves and suddenly we saw them. the walls were completely covered in art. Suddenly those who lived before me gave me their life story. they were stories of the hunt and of the forests and the beautiful elephants that live here. it was an experience i will never forget for as long as i live. as i exited i desided to go the peoples way. i walked to a nearby village were people like me were rarely seen. i entered the village and imedietly was greated by two young children in french. charolette acted as a translator and i used the universal language of a smile. the people gave us the most wonderfull flowers, and gave us a traditional meal of Fufu, made from cassava. Cassava is eaten with peanut paste, and used in sauces and stews. We also were served meat and fish stews.
Today we are going to libreville the capital city of gabon. I am most exited for the Marche du Mont-Bouet, the cities top market. we arrived in the center of libreville and suddenly it opened up before us. it was huge. it was kind of strange that it was across from
a prison but eh... I can deal. It was crazy and chaotic. and who would've known that saterday, the day i went would be its most chaotic day of the week.
Once we entered the market we were imedietly swamped by vendors and drowned by noise. It was like, no literally, every person in the market was throwing clothes over our heads in atempt to have us buy it. It had hundreds of stalls selling fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry (live and dead wich was kind of creepy), fabric, clothing, jewelry, household goods, traditional medicine and a variety of other goods. I got a hat, and some chachkies to remember my trip( I love chachkies). After all that rumaging I knew i had to get myself clean so I traveled to my new hotel.
The intercontinental was nice( although not as nice as the mandji. The Okeme Palace( the hotels name) was five star, had a pool and tennis courts and was right on the coast of the Republic of Gabon. from here you can see some of the churches and mosques that the majority of people went to. Today was my day to relax. After
climbing a mountain, scouring a market and meating amazing new people, I needed a break. Charolette and I desided to go play tennis in the morning. We sat at the pool pool for a while too.
Today our vacation is beginning to end. but i refused to leave gabon without seing all of their 13 national parks. but how could i do them all in one day. there was only one way... by helicopter. charolette and I climbed into the helicopter and we were of. we were to travel all of gabon in one day. this was the most amazind day of my life. we saw the beautiful waterfalls and ecarpment and all of the national parks. we passed Mount Ibundji and i could not beleive i had climbed it. we passed herds of elephants and i could not beleive I was so close to these giants. we passed port gentil and i could not beleive i had met so many great people there. we saw all the beautiful national parks made possible by humanitarians. i saw all of this country. i had lived like a native(even though i left the village to go to my hotel), i had climbed a mountain (literally), and i had beecome a part pf peoples lives(even though some didn't realize it). this has been the journey of a lifetime and i will never forget it.
Flight leaves 7:24 am
destination :The Democratic Republic of the Congo
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