I was feeling some pains on my legs that early morning as I rolled on the bed. There was a level of excitement in me but I could not tell why I felt that way. It was at that point I recalled I was on a trip and I would be heading to Buea that same day to climb the Cameroon Mountain. These thoughts got me excited but I was a bit nervous that it has been a while I exercised and that the lack of it may affect me when climbing. It was also then I recalled I did not do a proper journal of my trip as my custom is when I travel before sleeping the previous day. I picked up myself, emptied my entire bag pack in order to find my laptop so I can start writing my thoughts down.
It was at that point I realized that my laptop was spoilt and cannot boot again. It was also then I realized the mistake I made by leaving it inside my bag pack since I left Lagos two days ago. I was very angry and at the same time thought of terminating my journey and returning back to Lagos so I could resolve the problem and recommence the journey but this time, to a different destination.
I realized it was a very bad idea to have placed the laptop in the same bad that all my luggage had been placed in. I also made the mistake by sitting at the very front of the boat and impact of the waves on the ocean was more on that part of the boat
At this point, I decided to check some local repairers in town. I visited a few people who the locals believed were the best hands around but none could help get the problem resolved. Even an attempt to get this done at the authorized Lenovo Service Center in Douala did not work. The technician at the center complained that the component on my computer which is likely to be the problem is a relatively new item and that I would have to take it back to Lagos so it could be worked on since it is still under warranty. I reflected on the thought of going back home again but thought I would miss the opportunity of climbing the mountain and also I may not be privileged come visiting Cameroon soon and importantly, some of my big mouthed friends would mock me for not climbing the mountain as I boasted I would.
I was soon going to take the decision to carry the dead weight of a non-functional laptop for almost another 17 days remaining for my trip, bearing in mind I will need this same laptop to prepare for my certification exams which I was going to do at some point during the trip.
The streets of Douala were busy and lively. There were not really much to see but I noticed several unique things about the road and the people. The motorbikes for instance had umbrellas on them to prevent the occupants from being drained by rain whenever it rains. I also noticed that unlike the case was in Nigeria, there was constant electricity in town.
I decided to retire to my hotel, pack my things and head to Buea, in preparation to climb the Cameroon mountain the next day as I planned. It is important to note that before all these while, I had not been able to eat anything. I had a lot of trouble getting back to my hotel in town. I missed the route several times and I felt bad for not taking the number of the receptionist who I spoke with in the morning that directed me to where I tried to fix my computer.
On arrival at the hotel, I was greeted by the fact that I was going to pay something new since their check out time was 12 pm and I have stayed more than that time. I however explained to the new receptionist on duty that I was late because I had been missing my route. He made several attempts to get me to give him some money so he could cancel the ‘new reservation’ that I had incurred but I resisted. I insisted I would speak to the manager and it was then he gave up. Something funny happened here also. When we finally became friends, I was served some rice at the reception of the hotel where I was seated. The food was good and appetizing. I casually invited the man to join me for the meal and to my greatest surprise, he came to eat with me. I was very embarrassed but I had to at that point, share the food into two equal halves and had put his portion on a plate he gave me. Of course, I was very hungry and sharing my meal that afternoon was not something I would have done that time as I also had limited cash on me. Well, it is a good habit to share our food but I was not happy I did it here.
I left to the Buea park that afternoon. I left Douala to Buea on a one and half minute trip to the old city that has the Mountains. People in the vehicle were not comfortable discussing the unrest in the region. They only wondered why I decided to travel there at a moment when violence was escalating there. We got to several military checkpoints where we were ordered to leave the vehicle so a proper search is conducted and our identity is verified. One other that their military and police did is that each time I presented my passport, I was also asked for my vaccination card aka yellow card in Nigeria. This experience was something I had during my travel in Cameroon. The police at each stop in the different regions of the country requested for vaccination card which is not obtainable in other West African states. We saw several of these till we arrived the park at Buea. The transport cost from Douala to Buea was around 2000 CFA.
One other important thing I noticed on the road was the fact that there were several herdsmen on the way. I was however told that they were peaceful and pay taxes to the government of Cameroon. This is contrary to the practice in most West African countries where these herdsmen wreck havoc and the government does little or nothing to curtail their activities.
I reached out to one of the ladies I had met the previous day that I was in and she invited to the house. I tried to reserve an Airbnb apartment but the two apartments I found kindly declined the request citing the instability of the region and the fact that no one could be trusted. A few hotels that was contacted were expensive and that was then she suggested I stay with her family for that evening before I leave for the mountains the next morning which I was grateful for.
One interesting thing about Buea is the landscape and temperature of the town. The mountain and the rich vegetation in the region made everything so natura and cold for a place in West Africa. We also passed the University of Buea and the Buea Stadium.
I also visited the Ecotourism board that evening. I was able to secure a tour guide, Daniel whom we agreed to do the tour for 15000 CFA the next morning. This according to him is the amount that is charged per day for the trip. I gladly accepted the offer as I saw a much expensive price for the tour on the internet.
My host was kind enough to get me to a place I could eat a very nice delicious plate of rice and some bread and other confectioneries for the hiking the next day. It was great to be in Buea, the capital of the secessionist state of Ambazonia.