• East to Bertoua January 26th, 2011

    A hangover and two hours sleep is not the best preparation for cycling out of an African city. I kindly let Hiromu lead the way while I tried not to collide with the bumper-to-bumper traffic. There is a certain technique for coping in this urban madness – the weaving between narrow gaps and the holding of one’s position on the road when large vehicles want to squeeze past. After a while it becomes easy, but the risks are always there.

  • The Grand trunk road January 21st, 2011

    Should you want evidence that central Africa’s jungles are being destroyed I highly recommend driving between Douala and Yaounde in Cameroon. Actually I don’t recommend driving, even less so cycling. Just stand on the roadside, but not too close, and observe. This is a highway dominated by trucks. Trucks transporting enormous tree trunks – their 20-metre long trailers loaded as they hurtle towards you and the coast and empty as they journey back towards what remains of the continent’s equatorial rain forests. It’s a sad and scary sight, these speeding monsters helping to bleed Africa of its lungs, but it’s been going on for years and seems unlikely to stop or be reduced any time soon.

  • Hard roads ahead: Crossing Central Africa January 6th, 2011

    Up until quite recently I’ve not given much thought to how I will cross Central Africa. By bicycle obviously, but on what roads and through which borders and countries.? There aren’t many roads, which kind of simplifies things, and those shown on maps are probably no more than muddy tracks through the jungle. Not so simple.