dinsdag 5 juni 2012

Congo Brazza to DRC

From Dolisie, we made a 4 day tour to Pointe Noire to get some repairs done on Thomas' car and in the mean time, try our luck at the Angolan consulat. As expected, the consulat didn't even let us in, saying that no tourist has got the visa there, ever! With the repairs done we returned for a short stop in Dolisie and then went onto the piste towards Mindouli, where we would turn right to avoid Brazzaville and Kinshasa alltogether, as the ferry between the 2 countries is often referred to by overlanders as ' the worst experience of the trip' and we heard stories of tourists being put in jail on the Kinshasa side for no apparant reason.
Congo looking to the border of DRC
Mindouli trainstation
 The piste turned out to be alright and posed no problems now that we arrived in the dry season. Once we got to Mindouli, we had ourselves stamped out of the little Congo and were on our way to the dreaded DRC border.
Towards the border post
We had some trouble finding the little road into the mountains towards the border post and again we spend hours inbetween borders, strugling with badly rutted steep inclines before we arrived at the tiny post of Nzala, where we changed some money and nobody even mentioned the fact that we got our visa in Gabon and not in our home country. We were put onto the right grass overgrown track towards Luozi by the border people and arrived a little later at the family of mister Fidel at Moutanga Ntende, where we spent our first night in Drc.

 It took us two more days to arrive at Luozi along beautifull but hardgoing pistes, but as my bike suddenly and mysteriously consumed 50 % more fuel, I ran out of petrol just 20 km short of town centre. Luckily Thomas had some 2 stroke in his generator, which worked fine. The DMG (immigration services) where already waiting for us as they were telefoned from another village we crossed, and this time they made us pay 10 dollar for filling in the information form, witch we reluctantly paid after getting a receipt.  We would soon learn that the DMG would turn up just everywhere, even at a mountaintop bush camp, but mostly they where friendly and just wanted to write down our names.
Webcam fun
 In Luozi, Thomas decided to take the ferry, and me and Anita took on the piste that stayed on the North of the congo river as the scenary was just unbelievable and the roads were challeging but not too hard.

Bit muddy, otherwise fine...

160 euro worth in Congolese Francs

 We even spent an extra day just camping in the mountains so it took another 3 days to finally arrive at the bridge over the mighty congo at Matadi.
Pushbike, the main transport of goods to small villages

Not going hungry on the piste

DRC holiday

No phone reception all the way to Matadi

In Matadi, which proved to be quiet larger than expected, Regis, our French companion, was getting the visa formalities sorted, as he was there for already more than a week. He made good friends with a lady who worked in the embassy of Angola, but as the embassador was out on holiday, we had to wait till next week.


Best campspot ever

Matadi by night, having some fun with long exposure shots

Boma, looking at Angola at the other side
As we had some time to kill, me and Anita went out of town, first to Boma, but as that was a bit of a disapointment, back towards Matadi, into the mountains that overlooked the city. When checking out a little village near the river, and as we both were out of the car admiring the view of the congo, some kid reached into the car and stole my Ipod. I only realised it that evening and the next 2 days we visited the village to find a solution.
At this moment, my Ipod was swiftly grabbed from the open car
 It was a bit surreal, the whole village knew about the theft, but explained it was already sold and they could do nothing, but after talking to the village chief, a big mama and some staged drama, the next day the Ipod turned up again, and I paid them a little compensation, as the story was the mama had to buy it back with her own money and the thief was on the run. We didn't let it get to us as we found a real perfect camp place on top of the mountain, overlooking the little thieving village and the bright and big Matadi.

Last news: well nothing, still waiting to get permission to apply for the Angolan visa ....

2 opmerkingen:

  1. hi Tony,

    we zien dat je aversie tegen kamperen helemaal is opgelost. :-)
    fijn te lezen dat je reis goed verloopt, de foto's zijn prachtig.
    hou je goed daar, hopelijk lukt het met het Angola visum.
    Wij hadden ook een fantastische week in de Andes, foto's en tekst is on-line.

    dikke reisknuffels and ... kiss the ride!!
    Johan & Ils

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