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Lake Nyos and Around

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Lake Nyos, in the extreme North of The Ring Road, is probably the most deadly lake in the world. In 1986 a mysterious gas eruption from the lake killed up to 3000 people. A cloud of mostly Carbon Dioxide billowed off the surface and rolled down through towns, killing everyone in it’s path. Scientists think (but are not certain) a reaction occurred between the warm surface waters and the cooler deep water causing the massive eruption. Now they have setup pumps on the surface of the lake to pull water and gas from the bottom to the surface, in the hopes that a small continual release of gas will prevent another massive one.

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The infamous Lake Nyos

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Camping at Lake Nyos in the haze

As you can imagine, the lake is now surrounded in mystery and legends, with many locals believing spirits live in the lake. The whole area is now abandoned, making a perfect campsite for a couple of days.

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Another shot of camping at Lake Nyos

The roads are even worse, the dust even thicker, and the mountains even bigger here in the far North of the Ring Road. Locals are also just as friendly as ever.

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This man carves amazing things out of single blocks of wood

At one amusing military checkpoint the young officer is fishing for a reason to bribe me when he asks to see my vaccination card. Being a smart-ass I ask what vaccination he is referring too and say “Malaria?”, to which he replies, “Yes, I want to see your vaccination for Malaria”.

Of course, there is no such thing, though recent news says there might be soon

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The mountain roads are impressive, and seriously dusty

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The roads in the far North of the Ring Road

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Traffic is a killer

A little further South I camp right in the middle of a little village and am immediately surrounded by friendly and curious locals who want to welcome me. They give a small tour of the region, talking at length about the problems this English-speaking region of Cameroon is currently having with their government. Everyone here is in strike, because they are sick of being treated like second-class citizens to the much larger French-speaking regions of Cameroon. In response the government has cut off all internet so the world can not learn of the problems, and is sending more troops to the region daily. Violence has occurred in the past, I can only hope it does not come to that again.

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Camping in the village

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Drinking plam wine in the morning with the chief

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The chief, happy to have me drinking palm wine

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The view from inside my Jeep in the morning. Quite the crowd gathered to meet me

I am more than a little shocked to park under a Bottle Brush tree for a lunch stop before finding camping among huge gum trees at a local wood carving place.
Very familiar trees, red dirt, hot sun.
Exactly which massive continent starting and ending with the letter “A” am I on?

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Under a bottle brush – a famous Australian tree

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Camping in the huge gum trees

I have massively enjoyed my time in the mountains of Cameroon. Zero humidity, cool nights, hot days and beautiful scenery.
Reluctantly, I know it’s time to head back down to sea level, and the intense heat and humidity I am sure to find there.

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Another sweet motorbike

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Fuel being floated down the river from Nigeria into Cameroon. Quite the lucrative business

-Dan

8 Responses

  1. JC Crafford says:

    Love your stories and travelling with you. Come and say hello when you are in SA (Pretoria)

  2. Jack Crewse says:

    Dan,

    Your journey has been so inspiring to watch! Maybe this question has come up in past posts (but there are quite a few to wade through now!) but your comment on the Malaria “vaccine” had me wondering how you deal with the possibility of getting sick? Of course Africa is a place still somewhat known for it’s treacherous illnesses and you seem to have just about every other “what if” thought through.

    Thanks for all that you share!

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Jack,
      Well, to start, I did get Malaria once already – read about it here.

      I have a very well stocked first aid kit, and a lot of wilderness first aid training.
      Every single town has a pharmacy, so buying supplies is not hard either. Something minor I can treat myself, obviously for something major I will be relying on the assistance of locals and would get to a doctor for real treatment.

      -Dan

  3. Joe says:

    I just found this blog. I love it. I am completely hooked on following your trip!

  4. Alejandro says:

    Wow Dan you are definitely very brave, I got chills just by reading the story about Lake Nyos and you camped there alone!? Seriously.. no spoky noises?

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