We had three silent children observing us for an hour eating breakfast and packing the truck this morning from our roadside bush camp. They were irritating one of the passengers, but I imagine I would go stare too if a bus load of foreigners turned up and camped in a park near my house. Worse, imagine if things were reversed and a truckload of smelly African overlanders pitched up in some parkland in the US, I suspect they would get a less friendlier welcome than this truckload of extremely smelly Europeans normally get when we stop on some villages’ land.
It took about two hours to get to the outskirts of Monrovia, and another hour to navigate the traffic to get to the embassy. Zoe did a great job sorting out our visas, but it is inevitably slow and tedious to have 19 people fill out forms in concert.
Then we had three hours to enjoy the delights of Monrovia. The key decision to make is whether to be a good tourist and go see the sights (a Masonic temple, a bridge, and a few churches) or to be a happy tourist and go eat the buffet at the royal hotel, use a proper loo for the first time in a week, bask in the aircon, and get on wifi. 2 out of 17 of us were good tourists (not me), and the rest of us were blissfully happy stuffing our faces with fish tacos and guacamole, revelling in the spotless loo, and catching up on emails.
Our plans changed again today, rather than driving 5 hours back to Robertsport (Liberias famous surf area), we headed 90 minutes out of town to the ecolodge at Libassa for a couple of nights to wait for our visas. We had planned to camp, but my tentmate and I figured out for an additional $40 each we could have a bed, a fan, a loo and a warm shower. Bargain! I sang in the shower! First warm shower since leaving the UK 10 days ago. And we felt undeniably smug when the heavens opened and it poured down for two hours on our fellow truckmates in their tents.
Had a lovely cool sleep and am planning a big day of doing not much at all! Some laundry, a run, and a long nap 🙂