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Three flat tires in 450 km
Douala, Bertoua, 1997, 2002
That was another interesting drive: from Douala, the coastal main city to Bertoua, not far from the congolese border.. At first good asphalt and the old Nissan Patrol was doing 140-160 km/h!
Later on some of the worst washboards the speed was around 100, there is absolutely no control when the car is more in the air jumping over the washboard, and then the dust that caused no visibility at passing cars/ overtaking, my serious thought was that this must be more risky than Paris-Dakar.
Stopped at every checkpoint were the police use to talk about "Papa Noel"... I played a naive whitie but at a couple of places the driver needed to pay some. Not that we were illegal but thats how it is, if not paying, the police is checking paper and car for hours and ALWAYS find something.
Some days later a police captain insisted in I had been filming at a checkpoint from the truck cabin. (ok not totally wrong BUT...) I tried to say I didnt have a camera but however he found it and for an hour I thought I was loosing it. But because of the workshop manager at the company was a friend of him I got a "good" price later that evening. 50 USD payed and the good old Sony PC100 back again.
The unbelievable speed at these roads made the tires go burning hot. And yes on the way back the driver manage to get three flat tires, there was only two spares but luckily there is many tire "huts" along Africas roads.
Click the link below for the video
The video is from a trip from Douala 500km straight into Africa to Bertoua, close to Central african republic and Congo.