|Posted by Chutes du Cameroun on March 16, 2013 at 10:45 AM|
After arriving in Limbe the first thing I wanted to do was paddle the namesake river. Unfortunately, it was too low for the first several weeks so I spent a day walking along the river trying to scout out what to expect. Then one Sunday evening the first storm hit. The initial winds were impressive and within a short time a very heavy rain began to fall.
For the next several hours I sat in awe of the force, lightning flashes and thunderheads pounding directly overhead.One other thing became obvious, the danger of getting caught kayaking in a flashflood. Predicting/guestimating flows is not going to be easy. Especially since this is the standard level of storm in the rainy season.
It did however signal one thing, time to go kayaking!
In the morning I woke up eager to get on the river and also aware of what I was about to get into. This would be my first ever "first descent" in West Africa. I busied myself with getting my gear together. If I stopped and thought about what I was about to do I probably never would have left the house. It's one thing to do a section of river you've never done before. It's another to do a section of river that no one has done before. Combine the two, put yourself in West Africa, and be completely alone and you'll have some idea of what I was about to get into.
Not having a vehicle I started walking the 2.25 miles to put-in. About a mile in a pick-up truck driver had stopped to relieve himself and in passing I asked if I could get a ride to the junction down the road. He agreed and let me put the boat in the back. Apparently, his wife life is living in Maryland and he goes back and forth from the States quiet a bit. I offered him money for the ride and he refused laughing at the notion.
Limbe River. A little low.
Optional put-in and hazard at high water.
Sometimes you get a feeling you should scout.
Thankfully the river-left side of the drop was a clean and fun 4'-5'.
Bridge just upstream of the main falls.
Lip of the main falls.
Main falls on the "Town Run" of the Limbe River. Center line was clean.
Back of the Limbe Wildlife Center.
Bridge to the Limbe Botanical Gardens.
Looking back towards the Limbe River Channel from the mouth.
Oil rigs, waves, and rocks.
Taxi shuttle: $1