Cameroon / Cameroun: Country of Contrast
Bicycle Africa / Ibike Tours

 
 
     
  Dispatch 13 - Limbe  
  Buea‑Limbe (36km, 22 mi)  Limbe is a coastal city that date back to the time of German colonial rule.
Points of interest: tropical ornamental plants, oil palm, Bight of Benin (Atlantic Ocean), oil refinery.
Cycling conditions: paved, 16km downhill, then relatively flat broken by a couple of climbs over hills
 
     
  Buea-Limbe road: car wash in the river -- don't drink the water It is a frightening, but cars are washed by driving them in to the stream.  As they are washed the oils, toxins and detergents flow into the water and are carried to the next village down the mountain.  Hopefully the water is not being used to make baby formula or for any other human or aquatic life consumptions.  But wait, it is flowing into the ocean so it has to be affecting the lives there.

Buea-Limbe road: garden plant nursery Buea-Limbe road: garden plant nurseryOn a brighter and more colorful note, the roadside and front yard for a stretch of road are lined with plant nurseries.  One lesson here is what are considered house plants in the temperate zones are yard plants in the tropics.

Limbe-Douala road: statue in front on furniture factory

Near the base of the mountain is a furniture factory with a unique and cheerful sculpture in front.  Not being in the market for a sofa at the moment we didn't stop in, but it probably would have been more interesting than one would expect on first glance.

Douala-Limbe road: oil palm plantation Douala-Limbe road: oil palm plantationBack in the lowlands we were back in the land of mono-culture, in this case oil palm to the horizon in all directions.  The characterized the land use most of the way from Limbe to Douala.  To go along with this there is an old soap factory in Tiko.  Tiko: closed soap factoryIt is now closed, but Douala-Limbe road: oil palm plantationclearly it was not for a lack of inputs.  A lot of the trees were young so someone is optimistic about the future of the product.  Either the area has been recently replanted or production is being expanded.  Oil palm is considered a good material for manufacturing into bio-diesel.  It is grown on huge mono-culture plantation, and if mixed Douala-Limbe road: oil palm plantationforest are being Cyclists pacing runner or runner pacing cyclistcleared to plan oil palm they might be creating more harm than good.

 

Limbe, Cameroon at the edge of the oceanLimbe waterfront - Atlantic oceanLimbe is beautifully set on the Atlantic Ocean.  Its volcanic black sand beaches are not considered the best in the country but the attract some local tourism, especially on weekends from Douala.  Our Cameroonian cohorts, who hadn't seen the ocean before Limbe waterfront - Atlantic oceanwere Limbe waterfront - Atlantic oceanparticularlyLimbe waterfront - Atlantic ocean excited about being here.  Limbe waterfront - Atlantic ocean; Julius and YauBesides walking on the beach there is a road out of the center of town which runs above the ocean for a kilometers and provides some beautiful views.  Eventually you will get to the Limbe botanical gardenBotanical Garden.  To enter there is an entrance fee, a guide fee and a photography fee.  We passed on the last two.  The garden is not particularly photogenic, but would be a nice back drop for something like wedding photos. (The photo here is of a non-manicured section as seen from outside the fence.)  The garden is not very well labeled so a guide might have been interesting, depending upon his or her presentation and your level of interest in botany.

Limbe: sports activities

Limbe roundpointOn a ride around town we passed this field (left) full of kids playing sports.  We can't say whether it was a regular event or a special event.  The photo to the right is of the intersection where the student cheered on the Ibike group twenty years earlier (see sidebar).

Limbe: sunset over the Atlantic Ocean Signing off with a sunset from Limbe, Cameroon.

Addendum:

Limbe is a sister city of  Seattle, the home of Ibike.  On one visit to Limbe we invoked that relationship and were welcomed like royalty.  We were met at the edge of town by an official delegation and then escorted into town by an entourage which include a sound truck playing Limber: commercial section
music (Michael Jackson, among other artists).  I don't believe that these students we waiting for us but the sound truck announced out presence and Limbe: students cheering us on
they didn't hesitate after that.  Their exuberant cheers and enthusiasm added to the festivities.  Part of the welcome was a reception with the Deputy Mayor and other Officials of Limbe Municipality
officials.  We felt under dress (which we were) and want to go to the hotel and change, but the said not to worry and welcomed us we warm and graciousness just the same.  Later, after dropping our packs, we went for a ride with  Limbe: Ibike group cycling with local cyclists
some local cyclist. The chase car carried the media.Limbe:

 

Next dispatch.

 
 

 
     
 

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