It’s about an hour across the bay and up an inlet. I guess it is sardine season, because we had to navigate past 30 single-man boats fishing with nets. Many of the fisherman are Nigerian. They smoke the sardines and sell them in market.
The owner of camp, Beti, is a former French Finance person/Chef who moved here 15 years ago. The food, served family style, is fantastic and the wine is non-stop. When Beti first picked the location, there were two local homes. Now there is an entire village, most of whom work at the camp. He supplies the water, electricity, transport and wine to the village (can’t be more than 30 people, but apparently they consume 100 bottles of wine per week). Of course, the village never had a chief before, but with someone else paying the bills, you can bet they have one now. Beti also has to manage/maintain his own cell tower for communication. Apparently, rain is a cultural challenge. When it is nice and sunny, more people than are necessary come to work; when it is raining, he literally has to pull people out of their homes to come to work.
One of our friends who joined us this weekend is a director for the WWF posted in Gabon. Yes, it’s great to have him around because he can explain everything about the people, wildlife, flora and fauna of the jungle, but more importantly, he is Dutch and loves to fish. He caught a kingfish Sunday morning (very similar taste to tuna) from the shore with a borrowed rod and a single piece of bait…the chef served it carpaccio style with lunch; raw fillets with lime, salt, onions and tomatoes, delicious.
Although Gabon is a small country and not very populated, everything is big here...the skys are big, the views are big...it is a very beautiful country.