Day 94 - Cameroon, Bush Camp 2 - Spider v Cricket

Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
Trip End Jul 02, 2009

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Flag of Cameroon  ,
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The rain didn't persist during the night so we're hoping for another semi dry day.  Jay and Kelvin were tinkering around with the truck due to a few things coming loose, as was expected on such terrible roads. 

To fill in time we discovered a rather beautiful spider in a perfect web.  Even I could appreciate this... mainly because the way it was positioned in its web made it look like it only had 4 legs.  4 legs is fine... it's the 8 legs that freaks me out.  Oliver has tried to make sense of my logic but quickly gave up. 

Anyway having caught our attention it now became the entertainment for the next half hour or so.  Sam deciding to play god by discovering that if you threw an ant into the web the spider would wonder on over then quick as lightening cocoon it up.  Fascinating.  As time went on the poor creatures sent to an early death became bigger and bigger the finale being crickets.  The first putting up an amazing fight and getting in few good kicks before being defeated by the spider.  The second, much bigger cricket, was free from the web bar one leg which kept him pinned down on top of the earlier cocooned cricket.  Not a nice way to start the day.  I couldn't help but think of children's books about crickets who go off and never come back falling prey to spiderwebs.  We watched it struggle for a good 10 or so minutes... the spider probably sensing its size and leaving it alone.  Before we left Rach and I made the boys spare its life by pulling it out of the web with a stick. 

Left camp at 9.30 and commenced another long long day of driving on crappy dirt roads.  Occasionally we'd get onto tarmac but that only lasted a km or two before returning to dirt, lulling us into a false sense of security.  At least it wasn't as bad as the previous day and we managed to cover some 160km (I think).

Terrain was the same - thick thick jungle with spiders popping onto the truck as branches swept by.  Rain hadn't caused too much mud so managed to get by without getting bogged.  We had heard nightmare stories about previous trips being stuck for days on end digging out the truck.... a few mad people wanted this to happen... I didn't.   

Towards the end of the day we crossed over a via duct built in 1992 which offered amazing views across jungle to a waterfall cascading in the distance.  Hearing this was the place a previous truck had camped we pulled off road and braved a narrow very muddy dirt track, the trees being so close branches came all the way into the truck knocking off anything or anyone in its path. 

Unfortunately the track didn't go all the way to the waterfall so we had to just pull up in a semi clearing, next to strange piles of dirt shaped kinda like sand castles. 

Oliver, Martin, Sarah and I went in search of an earlier track we had seen in the hope that would take us to the waterfall.  After splashing through puddles we found it further away than expected and as it was nearing dark we decided to turn back.

That evening we all sat around eating dinner and enjoying a few glasses of red.  Thinking of Eliza lots as it's her birthday.  Oliver's family no doubt all together in Melbourne.  Will be nice to one day be with them for that.   

At some stage during the night a group of 20 or so locals approached, putting down their machetes a few metres back.  They were checking to make sure we weren't stealing their gravel... which would explain the sandcastle like piles we had seen earlier.  When they realised we were mere mad tourists they laughed, introduced themselves "You are welcome, welcome", wished us a happy stay then wondered off.  We couldn't help but imagine what would have kicked off had we been stealing.     
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