Imagine a mechanical bull. That's right, the kind they have at those rodeo-themed bars. Ok, now imagine that you're sitting on that mechanical bull. Now, imagine that you're sitting on that mechanical bull in a closet. Now make that closet about half the size that you were just imagining. Maybe a little smaller. It's not just any closet, but more like Mrs. Trunchbull's "chokey" from Roald Dahl's Matilda. You know, with the sharp bits of metal sticking out of the walls so you can't lean against them. Ok, got it? Now, it's not just you on this bull. It's you and your new friend, Sanjay, sitting sidesaddle. In the closet. Well, maybe it's more of a cubicle. You can see over the walls a little bit. Now imagine that you take another 20 cubicles just like the one that you and Sanjay are in and pack them into a room of about 200 sq ft. Now put that room filled with all 43 of you on wheels. Now turn on all of those mechanical bulls. Now try to sleep. Welcome to the last couple of days of my life.
Oh yeah, and add in a puking kid, a couple of plastered old timers and three flat tires.
Since that day back in July, I´ve been bent and squeezed and crammed and prodded and strapped and balanced on all sorts of trains, planes, buses, boats, cars, trucks, motos, bicycles and even my own motorcycle for a bit. The roads have run the gamut from brand-new tarmac to a vague directional bearing across the steppe. I thought I had had some rough rides, but then I came to Gamba, Gabon.
Most sane people fly here. In fact, most of the westerners here either work for Shell (like my host), or are well-off tourists who are happy to pay upwards of $200-400/day to explore the nearby Loango National Park, so an extra couple hundred for the hours´ flight from Libreville isn´t so bad. I opted for the other route, described as a ¨route dur¨ (hard road) by locals. Psshh, no problem. I´m all about the ¨route dur¨
|I fit behind the big blob.|
|Average straight road|
|At least the hood is still above the water, even if the bumper isn´t...|
|Bridges are overrated|