April 21, 2007 GMT
Bongo Congo

Oblivious to the news around us, we recieve emails from family & friends stating there are serious troubles in the capital of the democratic republic of Congo, Kinshasa. We find out there have been violence & shooting, where many people have been killed. Brazzaville & Kinshasa must be the 2 closest capital cities in the world, divided only by a river. Locals tell us days before, they could hear gunfire from across the river but they all reassure us its all settled now & hence the ferry is still running. So off we go.

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It's a complete gluepot

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The ferry is absolute a haven for manic kaos, there no order & crowded with people everywhere. People coming on, off, sneaking off the boats. A blind man clutches dearly onto his son's shirt so they don't get separated amongst the crowd. As we try & get on, someone of authority carrying a whip, uses it desparately try & part the human traffic of sweating couriers carrying all sorts to let us. After dodgey affairs on both side, we ride through the Gombe district (where all the fighting took place), appearing safe & normal. I did, however spot a blown up car & destroyed building outside an embassy.

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Brazzaville to Kinshasa ferry

We assumed the roads are fantastic on a short cut to Angola avoiding Matadi, it's about 100 kms. but alas alas..... the rains have poured, small puddles have become big puddles, big puddles have become swimming pools filling the uneven potholes everywhere! Gee whizz, its very muddy & slippery. We never anticipated the roads to be this bad & now realise why people take the Matadi route. Horrendously washed out creating large valleys & ridges. We past 2 trucks, one submerged & the other filpped. Passengers stranded for days.

Courageous Rob's with the heaviest bike goes in front to help with picking the best path so we dont get stuck. A few times the unpredictable paths get the better of us and we bellow into the slush with no other solution but to heave it out slowly. We are lucky to make it through even though it takes us 4 days of solid riding to get to Maquela De Zombo.

Posted by Amy Lee at April 21, 2007 09:44 AM GMT
 
 

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