Monday, March 17, 2008

Limbe, Cameroon

After hiking Mt. Cameroon we relaxed on the beaches of Limbe, formerly known as Victoria, which was pleasant. Cameroon in general is cleaner than Nigeria and they definitely have a better grasp on near constant power. Anyway... we stayed at a hotel on the beach of Ambas Bay called the Miramare Hotel, located within the Botanic Garden built in the early nineteenth century by the Germans. Nearby is also the Limbe Wildlife Center that we did not visit but really wish we would have as there are a number of different species of monkeys and some Western Lowland gorillas in the rehabilitation center. I have read that they also have the only Cross River gorilla in captivity.

View of the Limbe harbor from the hotel with some of the many small islands within view.
Here I am relaxing on the beach before dinner under a pink sunset.
The largest island in Ambas Bay used to be inhabitated by people from Equatorial Guinea (if I recall correctly) but living there became too difficult as all food and water had to be brought to the island for the growing population of over 300 people. Jonathan, Sharon and I drove in a taxi to nearby Bota Town to hire a boat to take us around the islands. Once underway we went back to the hotel to find Bob so he could join us but he was not in his room (he was supposed to be resting from his Mt. Cameroon illness but he can not sit still long). Bob was lucky that day because he was walking back in from town and saw us just as we were about to give up on him. He had to hike down and run into the water to get on the boat, protecting his Cipro from getting wet by rolling it up in his sleeve.
The boat ride was nice but as expected the trip was not all that we had asked for. We wanted to go around all of the islands but as we got closer to the island farthest offshore we started running out of gas... so then we went stright to see the de populated island. A closer view of some of the islands. Notice the arch on the right and the mainland in the background on the right.
To see where the the people used to live we hiked up a steep staircase from the water.
Sharon and Jonathan at the top of the stairs.The only remnants of the island city are the foundations of the one room buildings. The island is still used today for traditional rites and ceremonies, which take place in the straw huts.
Back to the mainland...

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