Nightly harassment

The province of Kerola has not turned out to be our favourite, although from a distance it looks great, massive palm groves, long beaches and massive river estuaries, there is potential. The only problem once you walk into the plantation is that there is no space, for the entire province there are wall to wall villages. Nearly every piece of land has some structure on it. We have met some really brilliant people in this province, but as a whole we all have found it very unfriendly and not at all geared for tourists, mainly because of attitude of the locals, who on top of this believe and constantly tell us that ‘Kerola is God’s country”, they could not be further from the truth, we have found it to be a bit of hell.

As with our entire journey, we camp every evening as close to my 50km run end spot as possible. Once we find a suitable site we always ask local permission, set up camp and in the morning when it’s still dark we are gone. Here it’s been a nightmare, firstly to find a spot, which takes the crew sometimes up to 3 hours. Finally we find a spot, get all the necessary permission from people in the area and then settle down. Cook our meal, set the tents and as soon as we have eaten, we settle down to sleep. This is now when the real fun starts.

No sooner have we gone to sleep and the first group on night walkers arrive, shining cellphones into your tent, and the normal questions; “Who are you? What is your name? Where are you from?”. On and on it goes, until eventually our answer gets short and abrupt, “Piss off I’m trying to sleep”.

Things go quiet for a while and then the things go really skew. Out of nowhere the Police arrive, and lots of them. There is always a few bikes, one or 2 vans. The foot guys will haul you out of the tent, ask hundreds of questions and then disappear to the van. Here sits the main dude, he never gets out the van. All the info is reported back to him. On and on it goes questions and answers back and forth until it finally comes, you have to move.

You wonder to yourself why the hell we have to pack up everything at midnight and move 2-3 km down the beach front what reason (beware don’t try reason as there is no reason). Then you are summoned to the big dude in the jeep and it begins in earnest now. Passports, Visas, addresses and phone numbers. Finally we are escorted to a new spot in the dark and told we can sleep here it’s safe from the poor marauding villagers who will rob you in the evening while you sleep.

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