Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: Zaire (Day 131-135)

Friday 2nd April - Kikwit, Zaire

Made an easy breakfast of bread at 5:30. Listned to music with Julia all morning, and rode up in the dog box went it was warm enough. Charlie?s legs have got worse, and my feet are full of blisters. Still dont feel well, had dry bread again for lunch. Arrived in the town of Kitwit in the afternoon. The whole town smells and is very dirty, spent a full hour trying to find something worth buying. Only managed to buy a packet of out of date biscuits, had one and decided they were fit only for dogs. Food group returned with sod all, glad to get out of the place which everyone christned Fuck-Wit. Note: Kikwit is the town where the Ebola virus broke out a few years later, can?t say that I am really surprised.) Now heading south, it got dark very quicky and we were lucky to fund a football pitch in the grounds of a school to camp in. Got a good spot for once between the goals. Rained heavily all night, not much sleep.

Saturday 3rd April - Lutshima River, Zaire

Pissing down with rain while we took the tents down. Had cold porrage under a shelter for breakfast. Got a flat tyre as soon as we started, so now I am covered in oil as well as being piss wet through. Now at an altitude of 2,000 feet and it is quite cold. Had lunch a a brook that would not look out of place in the Yorkshire Dales. Only Andy and Esther had a wash, rest of us were too cold. Read "The Africans" before having to strengthen a bridge with sand mats and planks. Got bitten by loads of red ants. Camped early in the light in a river bed, soon all the locals from a nearby village came scrounging for food and fags. Had the first decent nights sleep in ages.

Sunday 4th April - Bulu, Zaire

Up with first light at 5:30, very damp but sky soon cleared up. Landscape not resembles the Canadia prarie, but totally unculitivated. Passed throught a few small villages that seemed cleaner and more organised than those near Kinshasa. Road is not too good but we kept going all day. Had a bath in a fast flowing river at lunch time, plus did a bit of washing. Cut down some wood for the fire then stopped in a village to buy a drink of orange. We have lost two teeth of 2nd gear, which is the gear we use the most, no choice to keep going as there are no spare parts in Zaire. Made it to a wide river with a ferry crossing, could get no sense out of the people there regarding the next ferry. Once it got dark, we made a camp near the truck, people around all night in the trees. Could not be bothered putting the tent up and the truck was full, so I slept on the dog box, luckly it did not rain. Took loads of medicine in an attempt to get rid of the never ending shits.

Monday 5th April Kitota - Loange, Zaire

Got woke up at 5:00 by the girls making breakfast, could not get back to sleep, so I got up and helped them. Drove the truck down to the river to wait for it to cross. Pissing arround for ages, did not get across untill 11:30. We all had to get off on the other side as the truck struglled to get up a muddy bank. Road is sunken into the ground and is filled with giant potholes, made slow progress for the rest of the day. Rolling countryside with scenic hills and vallys, did not pass through anymore villages or see anyone else for the rest of the day. Rained so heavily that Patric stopped the truck, got out and had a shower. Camped just before dusk in a clearing with very long grass, not a very good spot. Did not stop raining, had to put the cook tent up, got a bit worried when the lightning came very close and we could feel the ground shaking.

Tuesday 6th April - Katanga, Zaire

Got up early in the damp long grass. Travelled all day, stopped near a village under a giant tree for lunch. Found a fast flowwing stream and stopped for a quick wash. Pace of the trip is starting to tell on us all. Camped on the edge of a village, and a crowd watched us all evening until we were all in our tents. Had a decent nights sleep once they had gone.

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