We left our beekeepers in Mamfe and headed off to Barmenda the regional capital of the central southern area, and then north to Belo about 40 miles away in a shared minibus. We had the usual sort of journey, crowded with people, loaded up on top. We are getting used to all this now. It is funny though, that we are jammed in four to a row and don't mind it...so unlike home. We always seem to meet some character. I suppose it is because it takes a bit of an extrovert to come and chat away to the white people even if they dont speak our language.
This time we saw a chap in a full cowboy outfit and I just knew he was coming our way...and sure enough he sat next to Gill.
Brian thought he had a good seat with only 3 on a bench until the largest lady in the whole bus station started walking towards our bus...and sure enough she asked him to move over and sat herself down. She was so large he had to sit sideways. Brian seemed to manage. Our cowboy turned out to speak only french and decided he would practice his English on us for the whole journey! It kept the other passengers amused at least.
We had an eventful journey firstly travelling on the newly made chinese road. This is really impressive and falls in with mechanisms of development. Last year the road was mud and so slow as we climbed to the mountain plateau of Barmenda taking most of the day. This year the journey was about 3 years with most of the road finished. We did have a flat tyre and had to get down, but it was mended in a few minutes.
On the way we spent a long time in the bus stations waiting for the bus to fill up with passengers and found people selling honey. The first chap keeps his bees in his village and was filtering the honey at the roadside in the dust of the bus station. Brian got talking to him and was taken on a tour of his little shop. We just went and looked at the honey he was selling which was packed in water bottles as buying plastic bottles is too expensive for most. While we were there he sold 4 litres in less than an hour, so this is obviously good business. It gives us hope for increasing the sales of honey and maybe hive products in the future.
This bee keeper was very happy to talk to us.