March 27, 2007 GMT
Brian meets-Congo

At the border post of the Congo is a little township, not that i stopped, but i had people yelling at me, staring, or just motioning for me to come to them. My gess is i would have been hasseled to buy something, well i never stopped.

I rode and rode, not wanting to stop. Nature plays a part in travelling, and it was nature calling me. I pulled over or should i say i just stopped on the road, looking around while i releived myself i felt i was not realy there, i felt i was looking at it from a distance, like a movie. It was only 70klm but my nerves where on high alert. At one point i crossed from one path to another, being all dirt/mud and long patches of water, i chose badly and the bike sunk, my heart went with it. No dont get stuck here i said to myself, i was scared. I took it gental on the throatle, played the clutch and the rear tyre bit some thing hard, of i rode. It must have been all of a few seconds, but my heart was racing as it is now thinking of it.

Getting out of the congo was another round of officials wanting and getting a payment for one thing or another. At the re-entry into Zambia i had to pay to have my visa updated. It was all to hard for the one official, he kept saying, as they all do in Africa that ive come across, 'you cause problem'. He called someone on the mobile phone and i payed and rode out leaving my sandwich for the official to eat at his leasure.

To get to the Zambia side from the Congo u catch a ferry, this is a waiting game if its on the other side as it was while i was there. I put some effort into being friendly to the locals, i shared my bottled water with a young local, but sharing with me was not on his mind. My water bottle and lad disappeared into the crowd. I thought better of yelling or going after him. Must be some local custom 'we take but not return' as i smiled to myself.

Now on the north side of Zambia i headed for my next camp. Headed is the word as it took me till well after dark to find and reach my nites camp. I do not like doing this but my map is not the best and the signs are none existing at best in Africa. Ive found the local people happy to help out when needed, they may sometimes want money in return, but to me that is not a problem. Ive not found the locals to lead me astray and be dishonest.

My main reason for continueing on so late was that the area in the north is just so buisy and crowded that i could not relax, enough to look or even find a place to stop for the nite. As i was riding i was thinking of the nite i may spend propped against the bike sleeping peacefully as the locals walk by.

It was not to be so, this time, i got to the place i seeked, Samfya where there is a small lake. At nite i could not see, but next morning i realised i had a million dollar view. I was under a large grass canopy, looking over the lake and all its local fishermen in their dugout canoes, great stuff.

Samfya is off the main route so back i went to see the road i travelled in the dark. I could have taken some dirt roads but if i havant mentioned, its the rainy season. Most afternoons the rain gods come and visit, making the roads rather interesting.

That ride from Ndola to Samfya was a long one, something i did not want to repeat. I kept heading nth. to reach Ntumachushi Falls well before dark, actually i think it was very realy afternoon. The caretaker of the park was a lovely young local. We sat and chatted quite a lot about tourisum. He picked my brains about ideas to get the camp more visitors and had some great ideas of his own. Sadly or unfortunately he does not see his government going with his ideas. Like lots of things ive seen since being here, it will continue to decline. I feel for them,the locals, but now realise that the worst thing that we, the wealthy, did for the non-wealthy was to give and give.

Posted by Brian Bayley at March 27, 2007 10:46 AM GMT

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