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.
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.
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.
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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