Day 63… Saturday 3rd June
Thunder/lightning/ rain storms for most of the night. Our early 6.30am start plan did not happen due to the storms and difficulty in navigating the mud tracks in the mountains. Took the view by 9.30am that the intense heat of the day would dry any mud in no time and we needed to continue on to the Cameroon border crossing. Very scenic drive to the boarder with no passing cars. Challenging road. Border staff very friendly and had a nice chat with them. I don’t think they get many people or travellers coming through. Children from the local village were very excited to see us and followed our car for part of the way. The officers arranged for a photo opportunity. Our drive time to Banyo was meant to be an hour but the road was appalling and progress very slow. Realised that we were not going to make the town before dark and decided to ‘wild camp’ rather then continue in the dark. Pulled off into the bushes and set up our tent for the night. A couple of mopeds went passed around midnight but otherwise a very quiet night listening to Cicada beetles. Not ideal wild camping but no choice given the slow progress on to the worst road of the trip. However, we are now in Cameroon and back to speaking French and CFA currency.
What a dreadful days driving. The road, seemingly supporting several small to medium sized villages for many miles to the border is in a terrible state. Beyond just being a dirt road there are lots of sections with small to large rocks to either slip across or navigate over without damaging the underside of the vehicle. There were also a few small wooden bridges to cross which felt like a game of Russian roulette as to if it could cope with the weight of the car. We passed one helpless looking lorry driver looking unsure as to if even try it.
When we did make it to the border getting out of Nigeria was comical, with the officers confused by our entry stamp being dated past our visa. This wasted much valuable drive time so late in the day, especially with sunset rapidly approaching. Then when we got through to Cameroon they stamped our Carnet thankfully, but we ended up having an argument with a dim witted currency changer. We were then hoping to get stamped into Cameroon but told that they don’t do that there and to continue to immigration at Bafoussam. Seems from ioverlander that no one cares about stamping in or out of Cameroon, as long as you have a visa.
Once through it was a shame to stop early and setup camp, but it was good to be in the tent and thankfully the road was quiet.