I camped 1 Km from the city centre in Yaounde and it was surprisingly peaceful given its proximity to the city centre. The first evening, a storm moved in and battered my tent. I've got into the habit of not pegging the tent into the ground, which meant great flexibility in the structure permitted lots of movement in the strong winds. It rained each day afterwards. Before I left it poured, and I had to wait for the rain to cease.
Seeking refuge from the rain, I rode to Kribi on the coast. The main route into Kribi was very pictoresque as it ran alongside the sea. Most hotels were outside of my price range but multiple suggestions for cheaper hotels revealed the same name. Basic and cheap, just what I wanted! Kribi was a nice place to explore and relax for a few days.
Wandering passed the beach, I saw multiple groups of fisherman pulling in nets from small boats. People waited nearby to put the fish in large buckets and bowls. There was a stark difference in catches with some groups having more fortune with more fish and bigger fish.
My GPS uses freely available maps from the internet, and I'd noticed that some maps wouldn't display. After a day of tinkering, I got to the bottom of the issue. Also, my GPS now had new firmware and was configured with multiple maps.
A friend, Ron, said something that stuck with me. He wouldn't ride the same road twice. This was in my mind when I had two options. Either, ride back the way I came, or take a shorter route on a track through a rain forest in wet season. I went back the way I came, unfortunately, because I'm anticipating that multiple border crossings ahead of me are going to be very challenging!
So, leaving Kribi to head to the Gabon border, I was South of Yaounde when heavy rain ensued. I pulled over at the nearest place with shelter, which just so happened to be a bar and restaurant! I bought a coke and asked for large, which was a 1 litre mammoth of a bottle.
The owner sat with me and we chatted in French. Marie was super chatty and I managed to get the gist of the conversation but she spoke quick. The rain eased a bit but continued. It was now 4 o'clock, so I asked if she knew anywhere I could stay. It just so happened that the new bar had four new apartments next door, one of which was unoccupied. I said yes!
Marie pushed a bucket next to my feet and said viper, viper! There was a headless snake of about 1 metre in length that had been caught in the surrounding forest. They promptly descaled the snake by heating the scales over a fire and scraping the scales off with a knife.
After descaling, the snake was cut open from top to bottom. Noticing its bulbous stomach, it appeared to have eaten a large meal. However, the guy preparing the snake suddenly jerked back from it and a baby snake of about 8 inches fell into the bucket. No movement, it was dead. There were about 20 to 25 dead babies. I don't know why the snake was chosen but it was unfortunate.
That evening, the restaurant served the snake for supper. I ate snake with rice whilst the loud music in the bar made any conversation near impossible. The snake was like a tough fish. The flavour of the stew dominated the subtle flavour of the snake. Very tasty and enjoyable! After eating various animals, you start to remember the structure (bones, meat, flesh etc) and it's easy to eat. Eating snake was a learning experience for me, because it was a challenge to discover the best way eat it with the many bones!
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