Sights along the road

Motorcycles, motorcycles, motorcycles. Having only two narrow wheels one behind the other with an engine to power them, these are the faster of the more reliable forms of transportation during rainy season (the other being your own two feet). By no means do I mean there is steady traffic of them, only that you can depend on them passing you while you're stuck in a mudhole (or behind someone else who is), and on passing them when the road is dry, allowing for some speed. One person on a bike is a rare sight-unless he's loaded down with some freight-otherwise expect to see from 2 to 5 people piled on a motorbike, bumping down the road, zigzagging along the best path.

"My truck is stuck." The big trucks (read: slightly larger than a pickup) are preventing from going on some roads by rain gates-poles dug into the ground in the middle of the road, barring access to vehicles wider than a pickup. So, Export "33" ("official" beer of Cameroon), you'll have to leave your big truck out here and ship your stuff into the village in smaller instalments. But a truck of any size is a problem when it's in front of you and it's stuck, blocking access in either direction, except for the ubiquitous motorbikes. Cars, mostly Toyota Corollas, at whose very existence here I marvel, do have the advantage of being light enough to simply pick up and carry should they get mired in a hole.

Taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves. On our way to Ekondo Titi, in a deep puddle on a low spot in the road, two motorcycles were stopped and the drivers were using the water to wash down their machines. On our return, a driver was rinsing out his floor mats, probably after having washed off the rest of the car.

Make-work project of sorts. That China would ship rice to Cameroon only to truck it over bad roads to Nigeria makes me shake my head in bewilderment. But that's where Joe said the huge rice trucks on the way to Ekondo Titi were headed. The huge rice trucks that were stuck. One was hopelessly mired half in a mud spot, the other half into the ditch. Before he had any hope of getting out, all the rice needed to be unloaded to lighten him up. They were well into the task when we passed, maybe around 3ish in the afternoon. The truck was free but still being reloaded on our way back, around 6:30ish. Further on, another truck was inexplicably on its side, wheels flush against the steep right edge of the roadway (How did he get like that?! Was he trying to climb the side of the road?) He also was still there on our way back, but we guessed from the small pickups trucking uncovered loads of rice into the nearest town he'd been divested of his load.


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