Congo

Trip Start Mar 11, 2009
1
23
55
Trip End Jan 05, 2010


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Flag of Congo  , Brazzaville,
Thursday, July 9, 2009

6th - First impressions of the Congo's scenery is savannah on rolling hills with little villages in between.  We did a lot of sand matting in the morning as the roads are pretty hopeless, so we had to get up at 6am to ensure we could cover a decent distance today.  Around 9am we hit tarmac then saw a bridge, so we all had a bath/shower in the river.  Then....the tarmac ended a few 100m later and took us back to sand.  Bogged quickly nullifying the shower we all had 30 mins ago.  Kept driving on till we reached customs and the town of Okoyo.

We also bogged in this town filling the jerry cans from the well.  From the town the roads are still being constructed (with sand of course), but much larger width-wise and helped by the Chinese. So it's still sandy roads for us.  At the small town of Boundji we stopped for cold drinks and had our first Primus beer of the trip. Bush camping off the road outside of town.

Dist cov. = 137 km


7th - Drove through Oyo and stopped for lunch in Gamboma.  Luckily we tarmac sooner than expected, which is great news for us as we could stow away the sandmats underneath.  Around Ngo we looked for the entrance to Lefini Reserve, but couldn't find it - must be further south.  Bush camped in a quarry.

Dist cov. = 376 km


8th - Eventually found the entrance to the reserve by a small red sign saying Reserve de Gorilles, and 10km up this track is the small entrance to both the Reserve and Lac Bleu.  The lake is actually another 7km further up from this hut, but the track is too narrow for our truck.  For the people who could afford to go in the reserve, 15,000 CFA, unfortunately no trucks were available so it looks like they need to arrange it as a daytrip from the capital.  On the way to Brazzaville we just happened to drive up and overtake a guy on a bicycle who was selling ice-creams by the cone...an amazing stroke of luck for him.  Ron swapped his t-shirt with the seller's, as he had a presidental candiate one.

Arrived in the capital and we are staying close to the city centre in a Catholic Mission opposite the Saint Ann Church, with its Green roof.  Went out to a local bar, a few hundred metres down the road, after dinner.  Stayed quite late and we were entertained by the local comedian who was drunk.

Dist cov. = 206 km


9th - Day in the capital, had to meet back at the truck though to find out when we're leaving, presidental election is on sunday 12th.  Used the internet whilst waiting.

Since we can now stay today 5 of us went to the Tourist Market a 10min taxi ride away, which sells traditional weavings, carvings and masks from both Congos.  I ended up buying a painting and a small drum.

That night was a girls night out so that depleted the camp a lot and a few others went out leaving about 10 of us, strange with so few at a meal.


 
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