Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: Zaire (Day 146-150)

Saturday 17th April - Kamina

Drove all morning on a bad road, passed an Camel on the way to Kamina. Could not belive the prices, 10,000,000 = ?2 for toilet roll, 14,000,000 for a small packet of biscuits. Left without buying anything. Saw a sign to a Belgian farm that was selling cheese, but there was none for sale. Drove the rest of the day and into the dark, truck slipped down a ditch while we were parking it. Had to dig it out before lunch. Very hungry, but the Mettas cooked up their normal crap. Fitting end to a bad day when a massive thunder storm kept us awake and the tent began leeking.

Sunday 18th April

Up early to dry off. Can't wait to get out of Zaire, only a few more days to go now if we keep driving all day. Julia made lunch of bread and tinned meat. Dozed in the afternoon. Had to put the tent up in some long grass after I had cut it down with the machette. Another bad nights sleep in the damp tent.

Monday 19th April

Tea and biscuits for breakfast. Arrived at the Zaire river in the morning and had a swim. Water was too dirty for drinking, so we f=drive on to another river. Filled the gerry cans from the river from a bridge using ropes. Water tank now 3/4 full. Camped in a big gravel pit, saw a snake in the grass. Good nights sleep, with no wind, rain or thunder.

Tuesday 20th April - Likasi

Food runnig low, had Alpine and custard for breakfast. Started walking at 6:40am for about a mile until the truck caught up. In the dog bow with Mark, Esther, Niels and Jo for the rest of the morning. Had packet soup for lunch in a gravel pit. Rained very hard, listened to music in afternoon with Julia. Road getting a bit better. Stopped to buy some bananas at the side of the road, then into Likasi. Saw the police beating people up and they soon began asking us for money. Managed to drive to the railway station where we bought some bread. Left imediatly after to a farm outside town. Andy and Kirstan cooking again, took them three hours to make a dehydrated. Ian is gettting Exodus to book flights back from Harare on 11 May.

Wednesday 21st April - Lubumbashi

Had a piece of dry bread for breakfast. Travelled for a couple of hours in the cold morning, but at least its dry today. Arrived in Zaire's second city to find that inflation has all but eroded all our money away. Mark changed 65,000,000 zaires into $3 and bought three hamburgers and shared them with me and Charlotte. All I did with my money was to swap it for some new notes and take them home for souverners. Sorted my locker out and tried to barter my leather jacket away, but did not have success. We bought 48 tins of South African beer with all the money we had left on the truck. A bloke tried to get one of the bags off the truck, but we caught him. Drove out of town and made camp in another good gravel pit. Cleaned the truck with Charlie & Lars and had a good meal of smash and veg. Ian has managed to get us a flight back to London from Harare for ?305 on May 11th.

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