Cameroon- Part 4 of 5

Big Persol- Bird Watching- Packing- Leaving the Mountain-The Bus Journey from Hell

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07/12/2016- Woke up the earliest out of the group today, shortly followed by Paweł so I went to help him set the mist nets. Last day of ringing today which is quite sad. We saw the three lovely Great Blue Turacos which was a nice surprise. Ringing was a little bit slow, we caught lots of wattle eyes, and nearly caught a Jacobin’s cuckoo but unfortunately it was too big for the net and made a quick escape. We saw a Black-winged oriole which was nice, the song is beautiful, really unusual. After ringing me and Kasia went for our penultimate stream wash. For lunch we used the left over Ndola, it was much nicer having left it for one day. Me and Kasia decided to hike to the top of the Big Persol. We set off in the afternoon and found our way to the top quite easily. It was quite nice to have a girly adventure! The view was absolutely beautiful. We sat and ate some biscuits and enjoyed the cool breeze! Cameroon is beautiful. It’s strange looking at the campsite from such a high viewpoint, it looked so small. And you can see just how isolated it is from the world.

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08/12/2016- Went bird watching with Adrian this morning which was really nice. We went to a new part of the forest. It was so steep and the soil underfoot was so loose! For most of the climb down I just slid down on my bum. It was so fun! This forest fragment was so beautiful, the trees were much taller than the other fragments I’d seen so far. We saw a new species, a lovely Green longtail. The closest thing I can compare it to is the long tailed tit we see in Europe. It was so beautiful and had a lovely song. As soon as the sun came up the forest came to life. About 7 white-bellied crested-flycatcher’s started singing and performing some sort of feeding behaviour. They would sit on a perch and push their wings out and then do a quick swooping flight down and around and then back on the perch. It was so nice to watch. Cicadas started buzzing and the forest had woken up. On the way back, near camp, I saw a red-throated wryneck which was brilliant. What a lovely, bird filled day.

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09/12/2016- Woke up and tried to make a cup of tea, but the firewood wasn’t great and it took ages! Eventually the water boiled and I could enjoy a nice warm drink. Packed everything up this morning. It was strange seeing the square of flattened grass where my tent was. My little living space would just be pasture again, ready for the cows next visit. Went for a last wash in the stream. We just got everything ready for tomorrow and stayed around camp. We all stayed in the hut to sleep. It was really exciting, like a big sleepover! Or maybe I just found it exciting…. We all chose our spot on the floor and set out a roll mat and sleeping bag. Last day in the mountains done and dusted.

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10/12/2016- Up and ready in time for the porters arrival. They were taking our huge bags for us. We set off shortly after them. Me and Kasia stuck together and made our way down behind the boys. We both fell flat on our faces, it was so funny. The paths are so slippy from dew. We were singing Christmas songs which got us quite excited for home. We got to the bottom of the mountain and had a wash in the pool from the stream and carried on to Big Babanki. From Big Babanki we got a taxi to Bamenda and found our hotel. Def Hotel. Words can’t describe how horrible Def hotel is. Me and Kasia turned the light on in our room and about 20 cockroaches ran across the floor. They were all over our luggage. Ugh. Me, Kasia and Tomasz went to the market with Ernest to get some last bits and then met the others at a bar. We sat and drank lots of black smirnoffs and beers. Mainly to block out the night in Def Hotel that lay ahead of us. Me and Kasia decided to sleep with all our possessions on the bed with us to try and keep the cockroaches off them. And we had the main light on all night. We didn’t sleep.

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11/12/2016- Got no sleep. Me and Kasia got ready really early and went outside to wait for the boys, it was better than staying locked in a room with all the creepy crawlies! We all went to the bus station and Paweł and Michał went and sorted our tickets to Limbe. The bus station was so so busy. There were people everywhere and huge coaches weaving in between all the madness. It was crazy! Eventually our bus arrived and we loaded our luggage on top. It was so so squished. They fit one more person on each row than they should, so everyone is wedged in, sweaty, hot and flustered. It was a nightmare. The journey lasted about 8 and a half hours and we stopped once. One thing I really enjoyed about the journey was seeing how the landscape changed. It changed to more tropical forest with lots of banana trees and coconut trees. It was beautiful. In the darkness of night we got near Limbe and then had to swap buses to arrive at our final destination. We arrived at Miramare hotel and it was such a breath of fresh air. It looked a lot cleaner than Def Hotel and had a swimming pool! We could smell the sea too! It was like we had arrived at paradise. We sorted our rooms out and then went in the pool. It was so relaxing.

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