First stop was the bakery - hot bread, meat pies, and even Scotch eggs! Went to the Drill Monkey Ranch, a rehabilitation center for re-introducing Pendrilla monkeys to the wild. Two family groups of the drills, a few miscellaneous drills, plus three chimps, and a few other animals. The Drills are impressive - especially the males. Bright fuchsia and purple skin, beautiful gray fur and 3 inch fangs on something that is five times stronger than a man. The purpose of the ranch is to rehabilitate Drill monkeys who have either been orphaned (monkey meat is a staple here), injured by automobiles, or kept as pets. It was pretty interesting and the women who were running the place (Americans or Canadians were more than willing to talk and show us around)
Drove around the older part of town along the Calabar river - beautiful colonial buildings in various stages of decay. I'd like to spend a couple more days in Calabar exploring. We went back to the guest house and spent some time tying everything possible to the top of the car to make room for four VSOs (Jane, Rachel, Nicky and Mel).
An hour drive up to Kwa Falls in the Oban Nature Reserve - part of Cross River National Park. We hiked down to the river and Stu and I immediately jumped in for a swim and then headed upstream towards the Falls. Sometime later I realized that no one was back with the gear and headed back. A few minutes later Joy came back and asked if I'd seen her camera. Someone had taken it! There was a fisherman down river so Stu and I swam down to ask if he'd seen anything - nope. Meanwhile some men came down and told us they'd seen some local boys running from the trail at the top. Joy and I hiked up and the lodge keeper told us the same thing. I set off after them while Joy waited for the others to come up. I found a couple other people who had seen two boys running before getting to the village police station. One of the off duty police officers had seen a boy running carrying something so he told me to wait and set off after him. Meanwhile the others have shown up in the Land Rover. The police had Joy fill out a report (getting her typical information, plus asking her Tribe - and the police chief insisted it be filled out - she listed American). Then things got scary, the officer returned with the boy and they slapped him in leg irons and threw him on the ground hitting him with a stick and reducing him to tears. He said he hadn't been down to the river today and we believed him but the chief didn't. We were told to go back to the campsite, but refused we were afraid they'd kill the boy - who we thought was innocent. Finally the lodge keeper showed up (he had seen the boys) and said this guy wasn't one of them - so they let him go. Between the keeper, the police, and the boy who'd been arrested they were able to figure out who the boys were.
There was nothing else we could do so we went to buy food for diner then went back to the lodge to set up camp. Dean, Rachel, and Nicky went back down to the river to fish - I laughed at them, but they brought back six fish! The lodge keeper returned and told us that the police had arrested the boys mother - we were scared for her but couldn't think of anything we could do. Dean, Nicky and Jane went back into the village to get some palm wine (we wanted the evening harvest - this stuff ferments quickly, becoming so strong that it's undrinkable in just a few hours). After diner we were sitting around listening to music and playing cards when the chief of police, the chief of the village and a few other men showed up - with Joy's camera! Everyone who had heard about the theft was outraged. You could tell that everyone was very sensitive about Nigeria's reputation and wanted the few tourist around (us) to spread good reports.