This was our one free day in Douala. Free in the sense that, while there’s always some work to do we could organize our day as we wanted to do something extra. I had planned a possible excursion to Kribi, two hours’ drive south of Douala, where a river tumbles over a cliff right into the ocean. It’s unique. I’ve seen it two or three times over the decades I’ve been coming here, but Marjolaine has never seen it. Sadly, we woke up to rain, which the forecast had lasting all day, which turned out to be pretty accurate. We decided not to go.
Online, I reserved a room at the Ibis, then we checked out of the Akwa Palace. They were sorry to see us go, but when we explained about the pool issue, the desk clerk said she understood and offered their hotel shuttle to take us to the Ibis, which we accepted.
It was a 15-minute driver and they had a room waiting for us. We settled in and I worked until well after noon. Then we decided to treat ourselves to a lunch of fresh fish at the Paquebot (translation: ocean liner) down on the Wouri River. We walked out of the Ibis and a taxi driver presented himself.
His name was Yusuf, he was Muslim, so since this the month of Ramadan he was fasting (observant Muslims fast during daylight hours for a whole month – they feast at night). He was a friendly fellow with a good car with functioning air conditioning. All to the good. It took us 15 minutes or so to get down to the nautical base. IT was still raining, so we weren’t able to sit on the terrace right by the water, which is what we most enjoy.
The waiter took us back to the kitchen and the cook, pulled several fish from the refrigerator: sole, carp, and seabass. We picked out a seabass to share and waited while is was grilled. The rain eased slightly so we could walk out on the terrace under a drizzle to take in the view. There is always something interesting happening on the estuary, fishermen and women at work, overloaded passenger boats crossing, freighters coming and going, and so on.
The seabass and fries were delicious, although the flies showed up too quickly. We had a glass of rosé with our late lunch which didn’t finish until about 3:00 pm. It continued drizzling or raining the rest of the day.