Saturday 13th March - Congo Jungle
Very hot working in the sun, but the hole is as wet as ever, dug for a few hour in the morning then I had had enough of this stinking mud and went for a wash before making lunch with our dwindling supplies. Collected loads of wood ready to make a ramp out of the hole, took hours to saw into hundreds of logs. Crashed out for an hour before cooking the evening meal, with Metta and Neils using the oven to bake some cakes. Had a party at night round our own camp fire.
Sunday 14th March - Congo Jungle
Up early, emptied the truck for food and tools, had difficulty making a fire. Had porridge and the cakes from last night for breakfast. Washed up in the river then went to work underneath the truck. Had a bit of a sleep out on the grass, then made our first attempt to move the truck at 3:30. Not successful ! Re-made the ramps and rigged ropes at the front so that as many people as possible could help pull. Second attempt at 4:40 moved the truck forward a few feet. Third attempt at 5.45 finally got the truck out, it looks battered and filthy but we are all very pleased. Parked the truck on the road . Celebrated by eating some Jamaica Rum chocolate that I had stashed away for 4 months. Had a wash in the river in the dark before crashing out, good nights sleep after all the drums in the village had gone quiet.
Monday 15th March - Congo Jungle
Everything on the truck is in a mess, sorted my locker out then helped Marion with the washing up in the river. Sorted more things out on the truck with Jo and Andy. Eventually got underway mid morning with all the people from the village cheering us on. Straight back in the thick of the jungle, got cut up again while in the dog box with the machet?. Had a small lunch on the road, then walked most of the afternoon taking turns with the machete. Came across a large tree that had fallen across the road, too large to move so we had to cut the smaller trees down and drive around it. While doing this, a swarm of small black flies turned the air black. Some people came close to panic after they landed on everyone. It became impossible to breathe without getting them in your mouth and nose. All work stopped as we were picking them out of our ears, eyes and scraping them off our bodies by the hundred. Took one hour to get past the tree and leave the flies behind. Made camp on the road half way up a hill. I collected some fire wood before trying to find a spot to pitch the tent. Was not easy as the tents had been put up all over the place. Last one to crash out but could not sleep.
Tuesday 16th March - Congo Jungle
Got up to find the camp in a real mess with litter everywhere which pissed me off. Walking speed all day, did not ride in the truck all day. Kristen and Jo ill and the only ones in the truck. Came to another bridge that needed to be widened to take the truck. Had to cut a fair bit of wood down to strengthen it. Stopped at a river for lunch and we all had a bath. Also filled the water tank up. Walked ahead with Charlie & Metta in the afternoon. So hot and humid, never seem to stop drinking. Camped in the light but still could not find any flat ground for the tent. Feel very tired, but felt a bit better once I had eaten. Had a meeting about the state of the camps and people losing tools which we cant afford to lose. Everyone tired and fed up of living on dehydrated food.
Wednesday 17th March - Congo Jungle
Had scones for breakfast while Ian and Patrik fixed a broken engine mount. Walking speed again all day, nothing to see apart from trees, trees and more bloody trees. Another tree blocked the road but we got round this one a bit easier than the last. Had to abandon lunch because of too many of the black flies again. Walked ahead on my own well into the afternoon, had to turn back when it got late to find that that they had stopped to make camp. Slept in the spare tent.