Well after my 1 week stop over at Mouila, I am back on the road. After today I am feeling 100% again. I am sipping on my first beer in a long while and savouring the splendid taste of the bubbles… Its so good once it touches your lips (Frank the tank).
A quick rundown of what went on in the last week. After my last blog I was man down in bed listening to the annoying sound of an air conditioner trying to cool my shanty little room down. My mattress… I mean small and very thin piece of sponge used to wash a car with was flattened to the bed, my back was killing me, my fever was sky high and I sipped on what tasted like water from an old taxi’s aircon pump. I had Malaria.
After the 3rd day of Coartem I decided that I am going to the Hospital as I am getting worse slowly. The reception guy jumped on the back of the bike and directed me to the hospital. He knew that I had malaria and offered to explain what was going on at the hospital. After about 2 hours of walking up and down getting paperwork filled in (till today nobody even looked at it!) and almost passing out various times they told me to go and take blood test. I hung around for an hour and got my tests back. I took it to the doctor, he looked at it and said: “no big problem, you stay for 3 days”. I just said “sweet, take me away and fix me”…
I was down for 3 days watching movies and playing games on my laptop. After the 3rd day I told them to book me out as I had enough of this for one Africa trip.
I left the hospital and looked for a hotel to stay at as my old hotel was full. Every hotel I stopped at told me that they were full. Then at the one hotel a guys came up to me and said hello and told me that he had a plan. He has a room at my old hotel that he doesn’t use as he stays with his girlfriend. I can use that room. He recognised me from the hotel and he knew I was a good bet.
He was a good guy, he handed me the key and of I went to go and sleep.
The next morning I was up and about getting the bike ready for the 200km to Lambarene. I thought a short trip will just do the thing! I wasn’t in the mood to ride, I was in the mood to crate the bike and go home. I was so hungry as I only ate twice in 3 days and the thought of food made me sick.
I mounted up and left hoping the road will cure my illness. I headed out and looked forward to only 200km of tarmac. I didn’t have energy for anything more.
I read up the night before for a place to stay in Lambarene and was instructed to pop in at the Mission Soeurs de Immaculee Conception. It’s a catholic guesthouse run by I quote “adorable nuns”. I thought why not!
The Lonely planet was correct, they are adorable and very friendly. They run a VERY well setup guesthouse. Clean, spacious and everything was working. They offered there kitchen to me and I jumped at the opportunity to get some of my own cooked food inside me.
I rushed off to the supermarket and got spaghetti and sauce and some ham. Also yoghurt, milk and lots of cold drinks. I stepped in the kitchen and cooked up a storm. I ate 3 times from 2pm to 8pm.
The food in Gabon isn’t great. I can’t stomach the stuff they eat here. Omelette and green peas, “meat” and chips and when I went to the most expensive hotel just to have a Hamburger they brought me a patty and chips.
Anyways moving on. I had a good sleep at the mission.
This morning I had some coffee and oats and yoghurt and 1 litre of milk! I packed and just as I was about to leave the sister came over and wished me well. I asked her if she could say a prayer for me at Sunday service? She said I should wait and came back with the key to the church, she opened it and waved me in. She obviously didn’t understand me but this was even better. I sat alone in the church and it felt great!
I was off into the hills towards Oyem. I realised that I was driving through the Gabon Jungle. The trees were so high and the road was smooth as silk.
The road was twisting and turning for 300km. There was no straight anywhere to be seen. The road is a dream to ride on. I pushed the bike into every corner and just realised again how well the R1200GS handles on road. It’s a great bike.
The road joined a river for approximately 100km. The road and the river snakes next to each other. I stopped for lunch and admired the view from were I was. The rivers in central Africa are HUGE! They are dark brown and flows at a rate you cant quite comprehend.
The road went on like this for most of the day. I reached Oyem late after noon and looked for a hotel. All was either full or too expensive. I then found this little gem.
I am having a beer by myself as the owner told me to watch his place as he is going out quickly! His name is Willy. Cool Guy!
I am off to Cameroon tomorrow. I have 130km to the border and then I am off to Younde and then Douala.
My depression has passed after today’s ride and I am so glad. I am looking forward to the trip again. That’s not to say the I am not starting to miss home quite a bit. I am listing to Trace Urban on the TV and how are you supposed to feel when “Bands to make her dance” plays on the TV. You miss home and the boys and Deidre.
I am off to get something to eat now.
See you guys in Cameroon!