Twelve days into the trip, we finally got internet! So let us recap from the beginning-
Wow what a long day and night and another day of traveling, almost 30 hours of travel from Pittsburgh to Cameroon. I guess after doing this a few times now I should know, to get the most wild of places on Earth you need to be willing to take a long journey. While our Journey has been long thus far we are now at a place that is clearly wild. Our night in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, was mostly uneventful, as we arrived around 11pm and we successfully made contact with our driver, Alain, and guide, Emmanuel. Today we continued to travel away from the city by 4wd. The road was bumpy and long but as we progressed I could clearly see a forest the likes I have never seen.
Rolling hills and forested buttes have surrounded us as we left Yaoundé. After about an hour of paved road we found ourselves on dirt and clay. The incredibly deep ruts and runoff from a time when the road was a river tried to impede our progress but our skilled driver and trusted vehicle made it through to the other side. I found myself wondering what would happen if the rains should come. Surely we would be at the mercy of the weather. One clear observation was the countless logging trucks coming like a parade out of the wilds. Their full sized trailers only able to carry three logs at a time speaks to the shear mass of the trees fell in the surrounding forest. We were not able to observe trees of that size from the road as anything that close to the road had been harvested long ago. We must have seen over 100 logging trucks passing in the opposite direction, basically as the only other traffic on the road, and sometimes almost running us off of what seemed to be the width of a one way road.
As we drove many people put out things for sale. Next to a large field of pineapple we acquired some fruit for our days ahead.
Tomorrow we will be heading to Lobeke National Park. Talking to Emmanuel, I asked if our forest guides could show us such large trees still standing in the protected forests of Lobeke. He assured me they could.
In the evening, we walked to the central market of Lomié. We noted bananas, plantains, and freshly caught fish were abundant. Ground nuts, or peanuts, were also available everywhere we went, even our guide had a jar of ground nuts he roasted himself. The market and main street were busy with people, and the sound of African pop music could be heard from every direction. We ended the night with a simple but delicious dinner of green beans, tomatoes, and onions over rice, with a dessert of pineapple.