Date: 3rd May 08
Location: Oyem, Gabon
Weather: Blue skies and scattered clouds, 30°c
Status: All moving along quite happily now.
Up early as we had a huge drive to complete to try and get to the capital, Libreville some 535kms away.
This was the day when I finally realised quite how happy I am on the expedition and quite how much the saving and hard work of the last five years has paid off! I nearly choked and cried at one point as everything was suddenly so awesome. Owen you’ve really lost out here and only have yourself to blame, sorry to be harsh but this is what it was all about.
The drive from Oyem towards the equator was outstanding and like nothing I’ve ever seen before, vast swathes of lush rainforest visible as far as the eye could see with huge, tall trees and the kind of sounds you’d expect from a jungle! The road went from super-fast highway with nothing on it at all, awesome sweeping S-bends and perfect views and then dropped down in the river valley below where we lost the good road but made up for it with a wide African-brown river that we followed for nearly 50kms. All we passed on the way were logging trucks and the occasional taxi….how do they make it down some of these awful roads!?
As we entered the capital the sun had disappeared behind the horizon which made navigation fun and finally we found the highway which would whip us around to the north and towards and our destination the beach! The road went from two lane highway to potted tarmac to graded sand and of course the rain started to hammer down from the thunder clouds we’d been watching light up the sky for the past hour.
We confidently followed the road as we had a waypoint for a campsite and all of a sudden to road changed to muddy, sloppy track. Diff locks engaged we struggled on until we’d followed the track through deep water and roadwork diversions and arrived at the now pitch black beach front to find the power out and the bar/restaurant closed!
So we made camp and Bre and I headed off to the local hotel to try and find some food. We returned an hour later as successful bounty hunters armed with chicken, fish, warthog, rice and chips for 12!
End of day location: Beach N of Libreville
Distance covered: 539kms