Jan 072014

Got through customs and immigration, and expected a driver to be waiting from my hotel…but there was none to be found. One other problem, there were no taxis at the airport at all. My hotel was only about a mile away and would have been walkable, but my body was far from ready for the humidity and was saying hell no. To top it off, nobody hanging around spoke any English…so because yo hablo Chipotle, I gave it a go. I finally found a guy about 20 minutes later who was a private driver for one of the big oil companies, and he said he’d be happy to give me a lift to my hotel. Yes, this sounds like hitchhiking…and to top it off, he refused to consider money. There’s still hope for humanity!

Checked in, got a regular room no upgrade, but it was perfectly clean and comfortable and cool, no complaints at all!  Grabbed a quick snack and beer at the pool, before crashing for the night.  The pool was rather scenic, and the warm weather reminded me I wasn’t in Minnesota any more!



Up earlyish the next morning around 8, and went down to the lobby to see about getting to the city.  The one major downside of the Hilton (or upside, depending on your needs) is that it’s near the airport, and a few miles out of the city.  Not to worry, there’s an on-demand shuttle from the hotel, and he would take me into the city and pick me up again – no charge – whenever I wanted!  Wow!  Headed downtown, with about 2-3 hours to see as much as I could before my flight.

See, I’d taken advantage of the 24 hour stop rule for international tickets, and found out that I could get Equatorial Guinea for about 18 hours, Cameroon for about 20, and then head to Gabon…all for the same amount of miles!  I’m not one to turn down free countries.

First stop was the Cathedral of Santa Isabela:




A colourful column outside in the Plaza de Independencia:



The harbour:



Another view of the Cathedral:



The Presidential Palace:



It appears I just missed the “Miss Tourism” pageant.  How in the world did I not know about this in advance???



Stopped at the “Café Malabo” for some espresso to get the brain up and running since I’d skipped breakfast, and was treated to some of the most, um, profane rap music I’ve ever heard at any time…much less at 10a.  I thought living in DC I was pretty educated, but nope…hahhaha.

Hotel shuttle picked me up right on time, and headed back to shower off the African heat, pack up my bags, and head out.  A quick shot of the Hilton lobby:



It had been an incredibly short stop, but I did get a bit of a flavour of the place as well as a chance to practice a little spanish.  The hotel shuttle also dropped me back at the airport, and I have to say overall I was very impressed by this Hilton.  They really delivered for such a short stay!  I look forward to getting back to Equatorial Guinea for a bit longer next time!

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