Day 241: Going Nowhere, Fast!

29.08.09:

It was a extremely short sleep before I was up and at ’em. First up I rang Jean, the contact I have for the ‘Andrea, the cargo boat for Sao Tome that was supposed to leave last Monday but is currently still residing dockside at Port Mole here in Libreville. Jean said Monday or Tuesday.

Ha!

Is he on crack? There’s a small matter of the first election without Omar Bongo (he croaked it last June) for 42 years which is being held tomorrow. He thinks the borders will be open? He thinks there will be no civil unrest, no riots, no general African-style post-election insanity? I beg to differ my good chap. That boat ain’t going NOWHERE.

Desperate for a Plan B, I managed to persuade Alex the Yank to come to town with me and hang out at Marc the Belgian Yacht Guy’s restaurant on the off chance he was in and I could stalk him, sorry, talk him into going on a jolly over to Sao Tome on his lovely little sail boat.

We had a little company – a couple of locals (a girl whom Alex has entangled himself with and one of the guys from Tatayo’s joint) who tagged along for the ride. We found the restaurant, L’Akb, fairly easily but Marc was not there. His wife, Arlotte, served us with some yummy food and surprisingly cheap drinks (oh yeah, forgot to say, Gabon is generally NOT cheap by any stretch of the imagination) and we whiled away a few hours before Marc turned up and I attempted (but no doubt failed) to impress him with my stories of high adventure on the high seas aboard The Miriam, The September Song, The Barracuda, The Melinda II, The East Pack, The Vagrant, The Mariposa, The Vivo Libre, The Costa Fortuna, The Linge Trader, The Mighty Bootlegger, The Reykjafoss, The Dettifoss, The Mustapha Sy and The Fleumel… but I’ve got to say, he didn’t look convinced! He promised to text me tomorrow and let me know if it was going to be possible.

Fingers and toes crossed.

If my experience with the f—ing ‘Micau’ in Cape Verde (BTW, it STILL hasn’t left!!) is anything to go by, there is NO WAY I can trust the damn ‘Andrea’ boat to leave any time soon. It may be fully loaded, but my word they don’t look like they are in a hurry to go ANYWHERE. Marc really is my only hope if I’m wishing to be shut of Africa by Christmas. August is nearly over. I got to Morocco in MAY. I’m not even half-way through the flaming continent and I’ve still got a bunch of awkward little islands on the right hand side of the map to get to.

He’s got to say yes. I said I’d buy him a GPS and everything.

Tonight was spent in the rather wonderful company of Alex and our new acquaintances, before we popped back to Tatayo’s joint, a little tanked up and just happy to be there, I guess! Mobengo, Justin and I sat up talking until it was decided that we had to be up early in the morning – apparently we’re taking a little excursion to the jungle – so we all hit the hay.

I’ve got to say that I’m usually pretty toxic to mosquitoes, but here I seem to be getting bitten to hell. Although I have my suspicions that it’s not the damn mozzies, it’s the infernal no-see-ums that have me down for supper.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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