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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Cameroon - 7 January, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Rengo camp - Korup National Park N0502.185' E00849.844' 109 m
Mana Suspension Bridge - Korup NP N0500.463' E00852.321' 136 m 8 km (hike)
Mundemba (Korup NP headquarters)
Finish Nake Bakundu (small village on dirt road) N0434.415' E00917.312' 129 m 107 km

Total:

19,927 km

 

Weather: Mostly clear, sunny, very hot and humid.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

Today turns out to be a very important day in our trip so far in West Africa - but we shall come to that soon.  We are up early this morning as we need to hike the 8 km to Mana Bridge to meet up with the rest of the group.  We have breakfast just as the rain forest is starting to light up.  We pack up our stuff and give the sleeping and cook gear to the porters.  And we are on our way before 7 AM.

 

Cameroon00_Korup_Day3_ManaRiver_Jac_1888_Web.gif (247669 bytes)

We walk back along the trail that we had taken the day before - so we saw the same features, but this time from the other angle and in a different light.  It was quite a good walk.  We arrived at the Mana River shortly after 9 AM.  We cross over the river to the other side.

 

Cameroon00_Korup_Day3_ManaRiver_Lars_1889_Web.gif (254790 bytes)

Once we get to the other side, Lars decides that he wants to go for a swim to cool off and wash off the sweat from the walk.  It is a great swim and is very refreshing.  At some points you have to be careful s the current was quite strong.  When out in the middle of the river, Lars would swim at a good pace and just keep in place and not get swept away.

 

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After the swim, we repacked our gear and loaded up the truck.  Before we headed off, however, we did take a group picture.  We left Mana shortly after 10 AM and headed on our way.  We passed through Mundemba and dropped off the guides and porters.  We then drove for most of the day, with a brief stop for lunch on the side of the road.

 

And then, at five minutes after 4 PM, disaster struck - we had a major mechanical failure in the engine.  We were driving along, when all of a sudden there were some very loud and ominous sounds coming from the engine.  We stopped and the drivers got out to see what was wrong - we had blown one of the cylinders.  This is a major problem and there are no spares on the truck for this.  We were truly broken down.

 

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We were fortunate to have broken down in a village.  We asked the people if we could set up our camp in their village and stay for the night.  They were kind enough to let us.  While the drivers inspected the damage, we got to know the village people.  And we were quite a spectacle - almost all the village showed up at one point or another to inspect us.  

 

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All the children certainly showed up!!!  At one point, Jacqui was surrounded by them (can you find her in this photo?!?!).

 

Cameroon00_Nake_Baby_Jac_1894_Web.gif (203060 bytes)

We were also introduced to one of the village's newest members - they seemed quite eager to show her off to Jacqui.  We took a Polaroid of them and gave the picture to the mother.

 

We have a quick dinner, put away all the stuff and then have a quick briefing from the drivers - we are stuck here, but they will try to fix the truck so it will run on five cylinders.  This has not been done before by them, but they would see what they could.  Otherwise we would have to wait for the spare parts to be sent out from the U.K. before they could repair the truck.

 

We walked around the village for a while, and then went to bed at around 9 PM.  It was a bit strange, but now we know what it feels like to be in a zoo.  The children would stand around the tent trying to see what and hear what was going on.  They slowly drifted off and we could get to sleep.

 

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