Last night would have been the most difficult of our whole journey. Neither of us two were feeling great and the humid temperature was oppressive. Both our portable airocn unit and fan worked overtime to enable some sleep.
The morning bought cooler temperatures and some respite.
The ferry skipper came across to see us and enquire as to how his “parents” were faring. I asked him about his own parents. Both dead, he said. Mum at 60 and his Dad a year later. This highlights the very few people on the street who would be older than their 50’s.
Vehicles started arriving for the ferry from 7.30am and by 9.30am there was quite a lineup of different types.
The ferry, thankfully of reasonably modern construction. We learned two days ago that a ferry in Gabon sank mid river. Eleven people drowned and 25 missing, not to mention loss of vehicles and freight. Overlanders?
I’d like to share a beautiful interaction yesterday. In the last village before The Landing. It was getting late in the afternoon and the driving had been horrific, all day. A muslim lady was passing my window and I beckoned her over. Who me, she pointed to herself? Yes you and I again gestured with a finger wave, for her to come closer. Very unsure of herself, she complied. I asked her if there were any hotels in the town. She gestured, around the block, with her hand. With that she turned to leave, not having uttered a single sound. I said “thank you”. Well, from half walking away, she turned back and gave me the most beautiful smile. Straight from the soul. She then stood facing me and with a tiny hand wave, held the smile.
Why? My theory, in the first place, she did not consider her self worthy enough to interact with us. Secondly, once that fear was dealt with, she felt valued. An interaction I will treasure.
During the ferry crossing I had to sit in Poki. The seats were too hard and uncomfortable. A weight loss and muscle condition, contributing.
The arrival port was much more industrious and it took about 20min to exit the facility.
Jen had decided that we needed to find a camp high in the hills to avoid the oppressive heat and air-conditioned rooms.
iOverland guided us higher into the hills and after negotiating some truly horrendous short cuts, arrived at Mountain Paradise Lodge.
By the time of arrival, I was totally spent. Adam performed some tests to determine that my lung capacity was virtually zero. Combined with poor sleep and nutrition I was failing. Pneumonia. The camp owner, needing to get involved, wanted me to go to hospital. Something I completely refused. Adam’s tests had indicated the problem and he had started me on a new powerful course of antibiotics to repair lungs. All that was needed, time and relaxation. The owner then demanded a waiver from me exonerating him of any blame, should I not make it. This I duly provided, which he then took to the local police station for advise! “Kick them out”, was the police response.
So the Mountain Paradise Lodge, is that in name only. We chose to ignore him and make our own decisions.