Travel Home Uncertainty

by | Mar 11, 2019 | africa

Yeti-coffee-mugWe’re headed home today and planned for a 9 AM departure from camp so we could enjoy a leisurely morning before the four hour drive back to the Garoua Airport.  Our flight back to Douala wasn’t scheduled to leave until 5 PM so we’d have time for lunch at the Le Poêlon after we checked our bags.  But as I took my first sip of coffee the fire drill started.  Greg ran down to our tents shouting, “Pack it up!  We just received word the flight leaves at 2 no not 5!  Trucks leave in ten minutes!”


I dumped my coffee and unzipped my massive Simms duffle and threw everything I had in there then ran up to the trucks.  There were three vehicles ready to go.  I heaved my bag into the back of the Landcruiser and soon came the other guys with their bags.  The other two cars were pick-ups.  Off we went.


CameroonIt was 6:55 AM and as we sped off I did the calculation – 4 hours – arrive at 11 AM for a 2 PM flight – we should have plenty of time.  But CamAir, the domestic airline of Cameroon, doesn’t work that way.  First of all they just changed the flight time.  How can you do that?  Then, remember when most of us got bumped off the plane heading for Garoua on Mach 3rd?  That’s because even if you have a ticket, it doesn’t mean you going anywhere.  If a local needs to fly and they’re ahead of you in line – you’re out.  Welcome to CamAir.


AfricaWe sped to Garoua as fast as we could.  The roads are bad and through many tiny villages.  One of the trucks blew not one but two tires along the way.  For the last 30 miles or so we jammed all our stuff and the guys from the jalopy into the two functioning cars.


We arrived at the airport at 12:30 PM.  The line was hectic.  There were a few unsettled people and a local lady going nuts.  The plane was full and they weren’t letting anymore people through even if you had tickets.  We were bumped and worst of all, the next plane was scheduled to leave in two days.


cameroon-fly-fishingTurns out CamAir hasn’t paid their loan payments on time for planes.  They haven’t paid their airport gate bills nor updated their computer software to requirements.  Since we got here and while we were off fishing, most of the CamAir fleet has been grounded.  There are a mere two planes servicing the entire country.


Garoua-AirportOur international flights back to Europe are scheduled for late tomorrow night.  We all miss them if we wait two days in Garoua for the next flight.  And who knows if a plane is really coming or if we’d get on it.  We investigated a bus.  We’re nearly 1000 miles from Douala and word on the street is that it takes at least four days to make it there by bus.


Tourette-fishingIt seemed eminent we were all missing our flights home and I began dreading the circus it would be rescheduling my international flights from Cameroon.  Keith was pestering CamAir personnel with how all his guests were screwed.  That’s when they informed us we could get on a plane at 5 PM tomorrow from the northern city of Maroua.


Maroua is a city four hours north of Garoua on the border of Chad.  The American Embassy discourages any travel in the north of Cameroon but all of us want to get home so we had Keith sort us our new CamAir tickets.


motel-plazza-cameroonWe’re all set now – hopefully.  Keith and Tourette have arranged two vehicles to haul us north in the morning.  If the flight leaves for Douala at 5 PM as scheduled we’ll have no problem making our international flights.  We’ll cross our fingers and tonight stay back to the Hotel Plaza where I stayed on March 3rd.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!