Friday morning we met up with 4 other families and hit the road for a weekend away. The drive out of town was long. Traffic was heavy and people where all along the street asking for money and selling random stuff. People here must not be too poor if they are able to sell steering wheel covers and road sign glossaries on the side of the road. Once outside the city we turned on our hand radios and the real driving began. The road through the jungle was windy and a bit steep. This made passing the logging trucks and busses hard. Our lead driver did a great job of getting around them and then radioing to us when it was safe to pass. There were a few times that were scary but it was a good system.
People sell all sorts of wild things along the side of the road. Palm oil is a common find while driving. The people make the oil under a tin, wall-less, shed that you can see from the road. There is a palm tree orchard, if you would call it that, closer to Kribi. It’s neat to see the rows of palms. It reminded me of driving from my home in Walla Walla to my grandparents in the Yakima Valley, seeing nice neat rows of hops and vegetables. Another standard site on the side of the road was all sorts of random bush meat hanging from a stick in the ground or someone just holding it out… “Look, a wonderful cane rat for dinner, honey!” Mostly, there were people walking up and down the side of the highway, not safe if you ask me. The best part of the drive was not that Aydan slept almost the whole way, but looking out over the hills and jungle to see the tall, flat branched trees that are so typical of sub-saharan Africa. They were just beautiful and really made me feel like we now live in Africa.
We stayed at Hotel Ilomba. It was the perfect hotel, setteled outside of town, away from traffic, people and stinky cars. The beach was just outside our door. We arrived hungry and happy to be on the beach. After settling in and ordering cheeseburgers we hit the waves. Patrick was particularly inclined to play in the water the whole weekend. I don’t blame him though, the water was warm and the waves were perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding. Aydan, however, did not like the sand one bit. She screamed when ever we put her down to play. She spent a lot of time in our laps on the chairs, on a blanket or walking around on Dad’s shoulders. She did enjoy the waves, with a “oohh” and “wow!” with every wave that washed over her. The hotel also had a little kiddie pool where Aydan enjoyed playing with the other kids too.
After not receiving our dinners until after 8:00 that first night we quickly learned that we needed to order our food very early and expect dinner to take up our whole night.