Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Return to Yaounde

Our flight back was scheduled for Wednesday morning. We arrived and waited with about forty plus people for a twenty-four seat plane. I guess the airline couldn’t keep track of all of the hand-written tickets they handed out. After waiting some time, the announcement was made that the plane was not going to arrive that day. My nervousness subsided when Darrell and I went to the airline’s ticket office and discussed with other passengers how to get back home. Some people were going to try to make it to Garoua (3 hours away) to take the next days flight at noon (which wasn’t guaranteed). Others were going to take the train. Darrell and I returned to the hotel to discuss what to do. We then left our luggage there and went to the voyage agencies. Should we hurry and leave to Garoua now? Try to take the plane tomorrow? Or take the train?

We ended up deciding to take the train. So, after a night’s rest at the hotel, we woke up at 4:30am to get to the bus station at 6am. We took the bus 8 hours from Maroua to the train station in Ngoundere (in the North province). We waited for the train for three hours. We then rode the train for thirteen hours to Yaounde. The train was actually fun. At certain train stops people bought food and drinks from vendors outside windows. We even had a nice dinner on the train. Once we arrived from our twenty hour journey from Maroua to Yaounde we took a taxi home and relaxed and reflected on our journey.

Return to Maroua

Next day we set off for our return to Maroua, stopping at the man made lake in Maga where we saw a fisherman village. We had more tire troubles here. Also, the driver took out the battery and repaired it in the village. We had to wait an hour in the sun surrounded by village children asking for cadeaux. It was so not comfortable!

We finally arrived to Maroua and drove by the giant mosque (still being built after 10 years due to money problems). We also took a trip to the tannery to see men prepare leather with their hands. Check out the pictures on this one! They shed the hair off the animal after it has soaked in water.

oudjilla and Waza

After waking up late and waiting two hours while the driver repaired his front tire we took off for Waza National Park. Before arriving to Waza National Park, we took a stop at Oudjilla. There we met the chief and took a tour of his compound and the homes of his 50 wives. This area consisted of mostly animists. So we also saw the area where they sacrificed cows. We saw the places where they cooked and held meetings.

We arrived at Waza in the evening. We ended up staying there for two days of safari. Waza, the National Animal Park was absolutely amazing. We were able to see animals in their natural habitat. We saw giraffes, elephants, mongooses, antelope and various types of birds. Check out all of the pictures to see how much fun we had driving through the park looking for animals.

Oudjilla and Waza

Oudjilla and Waza