Monday 4th March 2013
Up later today as we didn’t have to be ready until 9am. We had breakfast at the guest house – baguette, coffee, avocado, cheese – after breakfast we took a taxi to the town where we visited the palace of the king and the museum attached. The current king (sultan) is the 19th in the dynasty which dates back to 1394 – totally amazing really. There have been many wars in that time and in the museum there are many artefacts – clothes, masks, musical instruments, weapons like spears and old flintlock rifles as well as trophies like heads and teeth of enemies, all pretty gruesome, but nonetheless interesting. Some of the clothes on display are still used on ceremonial occasions. The current sultan was born in 1937 and was a minister in the Cameroonian Government until 1992 when his father (the previous sultan) died and he became sultan. He is highly respected for his wisdom and was meeting with many people this afternoon discussing issues of state and other important matters. Apparently he is available every afternoon to speak to people who have issues that need resolution. After we had visited the museum, we went to see the large talking drum (about 5-6 metres long) that was used in the past to summon the people from miles around. Lynn asked if she could have a go and after some discussion they agreed but said she could only do it quietly as they weren’t supposed to use it and so she had a little go on the drum and made a teensy noise. We then walked through the market and went to a local restaurant for lunch. We had fried plantain and rice together with sauce (for David) and chopped huckleberry (for Lynn) – this is a vegetable – and a beer. We then returned to the guest house for the afternoon. David walked down to an internet café about 15 minutes away and posted the blog – this took over an hour and still not able to post photos because it was too slow while Lynn did a small amount of washing. There has been no water here all day – apparently there is not enough electricity to pump the water. We then relaxed at the guest house sitting on the wall down a path overlooking the main road. Then back to get ready to go out for dinner tonight in town. We went back to the same restaurant and this time David had a similar sauce with chips (even though he ordered rice) and Lynn had huckleberry with fufu. Fufu is made from maize and comes served as a large white lump. It wasn’t too bad and she managed to eat most of it. After we had paid, David went to the 2 beautifully dressed ladies sitting in the bar area and thanked them for the dinner – he thought they were the restaurant owner and staff member – but…. they were actually 2 ladies on a night out. They looked pretty surprised when he spoke to them but fortunately didn’t speak English so weren’t aware he thought they were the staff. Once he realised what he had done he left quickly. It was so funny! Back to the guest house – still no water – thank goodness for the 44 gallon drum.