Fire!

togo fire

I stopped for food in the morning, and rested under some large trees that led to a statue of Independence in a village. Got chatting to several people, one of which was Castro.

Myself (left) and new friend, Castro (right), whilst resting and eating in Togo.

Early afternoon, I arrived at a spot to camp East of Atakpamé. As I removed my helmet, I saw a guy in the distance, so I walked over to say hello. I then noticed houses close by, so I asked if it was OK to camp. He said yes, showed me a secluded spot, and requested for money to which I haggled to a reasonable amount.

Proposed camp spot that was well secluded. East of Atakpame, Togo. Proposed camp spot that was well secluded. East of Atakpame, Togo.

It was mid afternoon and too early to pitch my tent. I started patching holes in my tent ground sheet with a bicycle puncture repair kit. The tent has lots of small holes from being in direct contact with the ground. I now have an external ground sheet to place under the tent.

After a small snooze in the shade, I could hear the distinct sound of cracking and popping that a fire makes. Smoke was also in the air. A few hundred metres away, there was a bush fire.

Bush fire that forced me to me on from initial proposed camp spot. East of Atakpame, Togo.

I've seen lots of fires in West Africa, but this one was too close to my proposed camp spot. Watching it for a bit, I noticed the wind change and the fire started edging directly towards my proposed camp spot. I only pitch my tent when there's about 1-1.5 hours of sunlight remaining in case I need to move on for whatever reason. I've never had to move on, but today I'm pleased my tent was not pitched when I arrived early afternoon. Whilst getting my gear on, I could hear the crackles and pops get louder and I could now see flames through the bush. This was way too close for comfort. I kept my cool and cautiously escaped through the bush. Adrenalin was pumping! Further down the bush, I found a new spot that was on previously burnt bush. My thinking was there is nothing left to burn, so I should be safe!

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