Book 2, Chapter 40

It does.

I wake up to a cool, fresh morning.

There’s a crisp edge to the air, which is like a tonic after the wet, stifling, draining humidity.

Conditions don’t get better than this.

I head to Customs and pick up the LP from my albino buddy with no dramas, and it's off to the next major village down the line, Bamenda.


The "N6" is deadset glorious.

Absolutely immaculate.

The white, painted-on road markings don’t look like they’ve dried yet; it's that fresh.

After yesterday’s mud bath this was exactly what I needed.

I’ve got it all to myself.

Fuck I love this...

Black underneath, light green on the sides and the "Toy Story" white and blue backdrop overhead.

There are butterflies everywhere. In places the sky is thick with the colour of them.

It’s friggin gorgeous.

If I was a painter I’d paint this.

The road is alive. It’s moving constantly as we undulate up and down and around the hills and mountains.

The bike is singing to me, music in my ears. I’m singing too. And grinning like a maniac.

I can’t help it.

My spontaneous happiness is mirrored in the spontaneous, easy happiness of the Cameroonians, and as I chug through the small roadside villages there’s always a big white smile and a friendly wave to reflect mine.

This place. Magnificent.

This bike. Perfect.

I'm in love.

I'm in fucking love.

This is what it’s all about; I’m riding a Royal Enfield through the mountains of Cameroon... Cameroon! Who the fuck gets to do this shit??

Outrageous.

If for nothing else other than this day, this moment, it’s all been worth it.


The dense rain forest starts to give way to a sort of a balding process, and the dark green trees give out to grasslands.

Have we put on some altitude then? Must have...

I’m coming out of another friendly small village when I notice three or four women on the side of the road up ahead doing some sort of wild rain dance around an old car wreck.

This is new...

They’re flinging their arms around in the air with stick brushes. Dancing about and making a hell of a lot of noise. Wailing away.

A dance of remembrance? How weird...

They're dancing in the direction of a car that's on its roof; it's come off the side of the road down a small embankment.

I see someone getting pulled out of one of the smashed windows...

Holy fuck!

I feel my face and back fizz with a dump of adrenaline, and steel myself to witness some gnarly shit.

This is fresh. Very fresh; I must've missed the crash by seconds...

I jump off the bike and run over to the upside down car. There are three old ladies lying on the road. They aren't mangled up like I was expecting, but they also aren't moving about a bunch either.

I don't want anything to do with this...

So I run away. Back to the bike.

I have an instinct that there was a hospital back in the village I just passed... A red cross... I feel like I saw one. Maybe...

I fly back to the village.


I was right.

I hit the skids as I slide up to the front doors of the village hospital.

I run through the front doors, yelling.

Adrenaline fuelled ranting.

I run up and down the halls yelling at the top of my lungs for help.

Nurses and doctors come out of the woodwork.

I direct them down the road.

The nurses are moving quickly with a sense of purpose.

The doctors want to wait for a bus...

A bus???

"It's just up the road! It’s right there! You can walk there! People are hurt, could be dead!!" I try to create some sense of urgency but the doctors don’t seem to give a shit.

With nothing left to do I jump back on the bike to show the running nurses the way to the wreck.


In the time I’ve been away a big mob has formed.

I peer through to where everything’s happening; down the embankment where the wreck is.

Everyone's fine. A little shaken up, sure, but they're fine...

Unbelievable.

I feel a little sheepish for having panicked - badly. I'm embarrassed for making a fuss...

I hotstep back to the bike and tear out of there.

What was I supposed to do? The car was on it's fucking roof.

The adrenaline wears off, and my hands stop their tremble.

I quickly forget about it, and go back to enjoying this superb ride.

Oblivious | Luke Gelmi