|Tuesday 12th March 2013
Douala to Dakar (via brief stopovers in Cotonou, Benin and Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire)
We were able to wake up late in our hotel (Foyer du Marin) in Douala this morning as we didn’t have to be ready to leave until 2pm, had a leisurely breakfast and then sat out in the hotel garden reading for about 2 hours after consuming the balance of our rum. We then packed our bags and had to check out of the hotel at 12 noon so we then went down and sat and waited for Evaristus to come. The day was very warm and oppressively humid (as it usually is here in Douala). We ordered a bowl of hot chips each for lunch and at around 1.30pm Evaristus arrived with his cousin ready to drive us to the airport. The airport is quite close to the city (only about 15 minutes drive) so we were there quickly and then suddenly we had to farewell Evaristus. Very sad as we have grown attached to him over the past two weeks of travelling in Cameroon. He left us at the departure gate after which we checked in, paid our departure tax and then passed through immigration and waited for our flight. At some signal unheard by us, all the other passengers jumped up and hurried out of the gate lounge and we went down the steps to board the plane. This flight was in three sectors, the first one being 1hr20min from Douala to Cotonou in Benin, the second one being 1hr15min from Cotonou to Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire and the final leg being about 2hr20min from Abidjan to Dakar in Senegal. Each time we took off we were offered chicken and rice for dinner – we managed to eat the first and nearly all the third but declined the second. Following the route, we must have flown over Lagos – a place Lynn has long wanted to visit. Unfortunately the troubles in Nigeria did not permit us to visit there and sadly the cloud cover did not even offer up a view of it – guess that some things must remain forever a ‘wish’. We finally arrived in Dakar at about 10.30pm and after clearing immigration etc. and getting some local money, we found our shuttle driver waiting outside holding a sign that said Jackson. We soon arrived at our hotel (La Madrague), right on the beach (la plage) – there was a very strong smell of the sea and the evening was very pleasant. Our room is very nice and we are really pleased to be here for the next part of our journey. It was quite late (after 12.30am) before we went to sleep with the sound of the sea in our ears.