Silence since Ghana. I apologise.
So here comes a short series of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to in the last 9 months…
Well, the simple answer is, I’ve been cycling. A lot.
11,000km in fact.
So first up is the end to the journey through West Africa
Ghana seems such a long time ago. Indeed, I watched England fall out of the World Cup from a little bar in Cape Coast. But then I hit the road and started pedalling. Through Togo and Benin with their brutal history of slave trading, Dahomey warriors and voodoo religion. Fascinating.
Then for Nigeria with it’s reputation of crime and kidnappings. But what I found was a fantastically friendly people who were as kind and generous as they were funny. A good thing really in such a populous country. Did you know that 1 in 5 Africans is Nigerian? The only danger was from the heavy traffic and reckless driving with a couple of narrow escapes where I was run off the road. I lost count of the number of wrecked lorries by the roadside.
And then into Cameroon where I got my first taste of really rough roads. At the time, I would have hardly called them roads. But since then I’ve travelled through Central Africa and discovered what bad roads really look like! At least I could still pedal in Cameroon. Except up the exceptionally steep hills that is. It took quite some determination to turn down a lift when it was offered! But the scenery of the Cameroon highlands was superb and at least distracted from the tired legs a little. So tired one day I even ended the night sleeping in a hospital bed…
But perhaps the best thing about Cameroon was the beer. Didn’t matter what time of day it was or where in the country you were, you were sure to find an open bar. I left the breakfast drinking to the locals though and stuck to the 600ml bottles of coca-cola which gave plenty of energy and less of a headache!
In the city of Yaounde I took some time out and got stuck into some serious bike maintenance. I wanted a bike ready to take on what Central Africa had to offer (coming up in the next update…)