Entry 9: Douala to N’Djamena
BANG, BANG, BANG goes the knock on the door at 07:00, it’s our guide Gaetano. We finally have the Cameroon permits and need to leave immediately. Great news after being here for 6 days waiting to get an exit route north; either on the original plan via Cameroon, Chad and Niger or further west through Nigeria.
We all pack up and scamper to the airport which is a large shack, and await the immigration official to stamp us out of the country. We take off at 10:00 for one last farewell flight around the beautiful Island of Principe on our way north. It is only then we find out that our pre planned fuel in Douala, Cameroon may not be available until Monday morning. It is now Saturday.
We were all stood on the airside tarmac at Douala airport, awaiting some form of decision. We waited 6 hours on the runway next to our planes, in 38 degrees until eventually being allowed into the airport. At 19:00, darkness had fallen which means no more flying for the day, just as the man with the key for the fuel arrives! Refuelling and finding a hotel prove to be a further challenge however we finally arrive at the ‘local’ hotel. Douala is a reasonable town in Cameroon, so we travel out to find somewhere for dinner along with our local MrFixit, Jude.
We now have plenty of fuel and are ready for the next logs from Douala to N'Djamena (capital of Chad) and the centre of military operation against Boko Haram. Despite reservations, the city proves to be like any other, packed with 3 million people all appearing to be going about their day to day business. Again we refuel late at night and stay in town.
Today (Monday) we continue north to Agadez, Niger. This should hopefully be just for a refuelling stop then onto Tamanrasset, Algeria.
The last part of this adventure is proving very problematic, with many unplanned hitches springing up, stretching our skills to overcome the issues. However we press on with smiles and memories.
During their travels, Bill and Des are aiming to raise a staggering £100,000 in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign.