Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Douala, Rome, Sofia..

Hi guys, Sorry for the delay in posting..
Cameroon was quite the experience from my first trip a few years ago. Although they are celebrating 50 years of independence its still very easy to say I am on a farm... I visited with Sebastein and his family as well as my friend  Elvis from Tanzania,  during  his global tour to bring awareness to education and our environment ( chiletokili.com)
SEbastein has a small stand at the local school selling omelets to students. He is the subway of Bafoussam... add mayonnaise $ add spaghetti $$ add meat $$$ add seasoning $, and so on.. he fries the eggs and the students cut there own bread, and add the options they want ... he sells up to 60 full size subs a day .. also working Saturdays,  he makes about $18.00 per week..
My return was to give him an opportunity to do more, and help provide some future for his family.. we both soon found ourselves trying to help a friend instead . Sebasteins friend was sent to prison accused of stealing a speaker ( value about $20.00)
I was surprised by the corruption  just getting into a federal prison ( NOT A JAIL). I had to pay to get inside, prisoners have to pay for there own food, and should expect to be covered everywhere  in BITES from ??    Guilty in Cameroon if someone says you are, and innocent if you have the financial resources to do anything about it. He may spend the next 5 years there, and by looking at how slow Cameroon is to get on its feet and progress,  It may be longer... ( more to come )

Douala has an active nightlife, great sea food,  beer seems to replace drinking water, starting from the time many people get up. It was a nice change for Elvis who was arrested twice the previous week in Nigeria suspected of being Boko Haram . ( google it please )
The 250 kilometer bus ride to Douala included a minimum of 20 road side stops by the military all expecting some kind of payment for nothing from the driver... When I traveled Cameroon I never stopped , or considered paying a bribe. They do not want trouble from a white man, but they think nothing of cheating each other any way they can.

We split ways
 at the airport as I departed for Rome... The plan was Bulgaria, but Rome was on the way... kind of...
I spent a week with all the other tourists walking the streets looking at the map for the next tourist site. lots of good coffee , pizza, and  pasta to keep you going. My birthday that week was celebrated by the hotel manager and  friends from Iran  in there New Years eve celebration year 2578 ?? Traditional Iranian food and spirits.. Vodka mixed with wine ... !!

I get conflicting information about travel thru Iran. The motorcycle is registered in the USA , and  I do have both a Canadian and American passport , but with American tourists still in there prisons it seems a bit dodgy... despite USA Today and other articles that Iran is doing what they can to get American tourists to come visit... If given a choice I would rather ride Iran and Pakistan into India rather than ship it from Turkey... hmmm

Yesterday I arrived in  Bulgaria and took the BMW for a spin !!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Cameroon 2014

I made it !! missed a flight in Turkey, baggage delay in Yaoundé , and 6 days later I am in Bafoussam , Cameroon. The 5 hour bus ride completing the final leg of the trip quickly brought me up to speed with local culture. Loud gospel music is played in the bus while women sing along as they would any Sunday... Music was interrupted as a young man spent about three hours trying to sell passengers everything from toothpaste to green tea ..  I asked the young man how much he paid the driver to turn off the music ?? he lost  his courage to continue as passengers laughed at the question  and the music was turned back on and the singing continued.
Locals try hard to separate me from my money, ( Egypt is worse ) and an expected " duty " from the white man is part of travelling here. My friend here, negotiated my hotel room price before I arrived. When the hotel manager saw I was white he was not happy, thinking whites must pay more. Waitress's do not bring my change unless I go ask them for it, same goes for just about anything I need to buy.
Hundreds of 100cc Chinese motorcycles create the local mass transportation system as young businessman try and make a buck racing up and down the streets for the next passenger. Women as seen in the photo usually can be seen at the farmers market selling there produce or fresh cooked ... Young men are usually the ones walking the streets with bags of used cloths for sale .. my goal is to find a Super Bowl jersey from the Denver Broncos.. Seattle made sure they were all donated to Africa !! Thanks again Seahawks .
The malaria pills, mosquito nets and crazy dreams as a result,  will be short lived, as I leave for Bulgaria in 2 weeks and jump on the BMW .