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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Cameroon - 24 December, 2000



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Rufta (camp outside village) N1031.056' E01339.562' 989 m
Hike through countryside around Rhumsiki 12 km
Finish Rhumsiki N1030.843' E01335.177' 1,057 m  


17,153 km


Weather: Clear, sunny and very hot.  A few wispy clouds.  Cool in the evening and night.



Daily Journal Entry:

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We are up even earlier this morning as we want to get an early start.  After relaxing in our tent for a while, watching the sunrise over the valley below, we get up and pack up our stuff.


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It is a "Kodak moment", and lots of film is used up by the group.  We breakfast on rolls and jam - nothing to special, but filling.  Just after 7 AM, we start on our hike.


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As we hike along, we enjoy the landscape that we are passing through - it is well worth the hike.  On the way, we see a number of interesting things.  We come upon a market, where they are butchering a couple of cattle that have just been slaughtered.  They are getting ready for the market there.  We also come upon a tree that is just full of fruit bats.  They are making a heck of a lot of news and flying around.  At one point, they are disturbed by us, and most fly out of the tree and around, coming back to settle in the tree.


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We are also shown a grave site for one village.  Each grave is a mound of stones, where members from that family are buried.  The graves are reused, being dug up and the old bones gathered up when someone else from the family needs to be buried.  On top of the graves are pots, one for each child in the family.  The graves are "L" shaped.  The bodies have a calabash placed over the head, with the bodies inserted head first in a vertical manner.  The head then curves into the lower horizontal part of the grave.


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It is a very nice morning walk.  It is nice to see the villages as we go along.  They are very well kept and the people seem, on a relative basis, to be quite well off.  It is nice to see fields, houses and villages that are well kept and clean.  We walk back along a ridge overlooking the plain and many volcanic plugs.  We get back to Rhumsiki shortly after noon.  We have lunch at the restaurant at the campsite where we are staying.


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That afternoon, a group of us move to a hotel down the road, where they over look the valley.  We wanted to have our Christmas Eve (yes, it is already Christmas) dinner on the terrace there overlooking the valley as the sunset.  But Lars first has to get cleaned up, so he gets a haircut at the local barber shop.  The barber has set up shop outside and the locals took a strong interest in Lars getting his haircut.


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We then have a delightful Christmas Eve dinner overlooking the valley and the volcanic plugs.  We first have a few drinks as we watch the sunset.  Here are the two bottles of whiskey that would prove the downfall of one member of our party.  It is a great sunset.


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It is a wonderful dinner.  We have chicken in local sauce with potatoes and millet couscous.  We stuff ourselves.  We also enjoy the candles and Christmas napkins that were sent to Ika.  We finish off both bottles of whiskey over dinner.


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After dinner, we head up to the local bar, where we join in the festivities there. One member of our party (which shall go nameless) has had a wee bit too much whiskey and he enjoys the night sky while laying on a number of mats.  He keeps telling us that all he wants to do is dance (we think he will have trouble standing, let alone dancing).  We have to check on him once in a while. 


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After a short time, we decide that it is better for him to head back, so we lean on each other and stumble our back (we are all not in too good shape either).  We have many amusing incidents along the way - including trying to find our way.  I must say that some people did disapprove of us that night - but hey, we had fun!!!


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Once we get back, we have to get ready for bed.  There is a struggle for the bed away from the A/C - someone was complaining that he was "so cold".  Jacqui and Lars head off to their tent.  After getting some extra pillows from management, we try to watch the Pope's midnight mass on TV, but they cannot get the program.  Instead, believe it or not, we are treated to street scenes from Singapore at Christmas time.  We then head to bed after a wonderful Christmas Eve.


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