Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Traveling Off-the-Beaten Path: Maga & Pouss, Cameroon

My favorite places to travel are the places most people won't. This is not so much because the places are unattractive, but rather, they are so far off-the-beaten path that they are just unheard of by any normal person. And this is where I like to step in.

From the regional capital of Maroua, Crystal Leanza, Andrew Barrisser, Andrea DeRocco and I headed off to the village of Pouss with the 6:30AM agency car of D'jumare.

Tip: Tuesdays are market day at Pouss! This makes transportation much easier and the village becomes alive.

Motorcycle helmets are necessary for any Peace Corps Volunteer to wear. Annoying to carry around, they do make great impromptu chairs!

A couple hours later (and after a lot of dust due to the unpaved road), we finally reached Pouss. Just as I expected, we were in the middle-of-nowhere! Luckily, nobody seemed too phased to see four random Americans in their village. It was market day after all and we were just shopping like everyone else!

Pouss was a gem! Here, we stumbled across Muslim men hand-making leather sleeves for knives. My friends piled up on the small knives selling for just 800CFA (~$1.60US) each.

A Pouss specialty - making traditional knife sleeves from leather

After exploring a bit more, we came across traditional blacksmiths of the Extreme North. These happy-go-lucky men allowed us to sit around their fire while watching them make everything from shovels to axes.

The happiest traditional blacksmiths in Pouss

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Pouss was its decorated clay homes. I'll let the photo speak for this one!

The traditional painted-clay homes of Pouss. He was so nice to let us take this photo!

We soon jumped on a motobike and headed to Maga, another village just 10km away. Though our motobike broke down (c'est la vie), we manged to make it as...well, things here in Cameroon always seem to just work out!

After speaking with some very nice locals, they took us on a canoe ride around the Logon River for just 2.000CFA (~$4US). The Logon River separates Cameroon and Chad and for anyone interested in nature, my science teaching colleagues found some interesting sealife!

Canoe ride on the Logon River

Short clips from our day as my camera can automatically record a few seconds before every picture. Enjoy!


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