I received a lot of feedback after my first dispatch of the 2021 AFCON Diary yesterday which covered the first part of my trip to Garoua, not unexpected though, and I am encouraged by your comments and moral support for this tournament.
I also promised to give the concluding part of that adventurous (not intended to be, though) trip to Garoua, Cameroon so shall we have it?
My 2 hours 53 minutes boat ride terminated at the Badake River bank at around 3:40pm local time. Good thing is there are always young guys willing to help you offload and onboard luggages at a free-will token so that part is always easy.
We began our road trip from Badake to Garoua at about 4:10pm after sorting everything we had to do with the River Bank Immigration of Cameroon. There the dramatic part of the trip began.
The driver drove us first to the Cameroonian border immigration office and after waiting for about 20 minutes, their Oga arrived and said he had to move us to a nearby hospital for mandatory Covid test. Jesu mi o
I have always dreaded the Covid 19 test, reason I had never done it before Friday. It was one reason I never attempted to travel for any of Super Eagles’ away games between July and December last year.
Now I have to do it in a most dangerous circumstance. Questions began to ruminate. What if I test positive? What could happen? Quarantine me or deport me back to Yola? Wetin I go tell my Publisher? What if they take me to their isolation centre? Inside this wilderness where no one hears what you’re saying? Am I about to witness my moment of Island of Patmos? Mercy said NO!
We (myself and my friend Victor Modo) could not even negotiate to tell the man that we are fully vaccinated and have our cards, he was not even ready to hear anything. BOOOOOMMM! We were driven to L’hôpital.
By the time we got there, three people driving in their private car from Yola to Garoua had joined us also for the test. At least it was free-of-charge and most importantly, all of us tested negative.
I used a bit of sense in the testing though. I had just recovered from a mild bout of flu so all through the trip, I had balm consistently inside my nostrils so when it was time for the test, I ensured that some balm was still left for the testing apparatus to garner. I told Modo “Robb nor fit test positive for Corona nah”. Well, it was negative.
After the successful tests, we then proceeded for about two hours on the road with our driver doing some stuff Max Verstappen would be envious of, to the extent that Modo, himself a no-nonsense driver got scared at some point. The road was not for the faint hearted. Aba Road surely has nothing on it. P(of it in the cover picture)
We got to the Garoua Motor Park at around 6:55pm and it was already as dark as 9pm in Port Harcourt. That marked the end of an eye-opening journey.
Be on the look out for Diary 3 comprising of mosquitoes and peppersoup.
Meanwhile, the AFCON starts on Sunday and it is bound to be exciting. Can’t wait. Just keep logged on to www.aclsports.com for the gist both on the pitch and behind the scene.