Today we’ll be mostly in the Congo

Dolisie Travel Blog

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The hills of the Congo

The border crossing was very laid back as only a couple of vehicles pass a day.  Was Sunday and we had to wait for theCongocustoms guy to return from church.  The route was wet in places (it sent Matt off into the bushes one time but didn’t fall so didn’t get a chance to get my camera out! hehehehe) but was dried out well enough to ride and theCongoside was not as maintained, was like a farmers track.  While waiting for Matt taking some photos I was stopped opposite a group of locals sat around together and thought this would make a nice shot and dived into my bag for the camera.  When I pointed to the camera to ask before taking the shot they scattered in all directions as if I lobbed a live grenade in the middle of the group, hmmm never seen locals move so fast!!!  Further down the track I was mending front puncher (5th flat on front), didn’t take long to change and I was on auto pilot by now changing them.

Another flat being changed with interest
  Had hoped to be in Dolisie that night but stopped a 100km north in Kibangou, was getting dark.

Did our police check thingy in town and one of them took us to the local hotel, not like any hotel you’ll find where you are.  Here it was a opposite rows of small dusty brick rooms, spiders half the size of your hand, neither the wooden window or door had a lock on my room and it was a bucket wash in the very small room beside mine and a old paraffin lamp to see with, oh and a 10,000KWatt sound system blasting out local music from the pub next door!!  We were too late to eat in town, had a bit of bread and the smallest bit of meat.  The beers from the freezer at the bar were warm but they still managed to pump electric for the sound system, I left Matt with my Fanta and went up the road for a walk to get away from the music pounding in my annoyed head by this stage, annoyed for various reasons at this place, simple things are not so simple (TIA).

Congo route
  Even up the road it was loud, am I getting old????  Back in the bed that night the music blasted for ages and I started to applaud when there was quite between the songs, I was so tired I fell asleep and don’t remember the music turning off.

Next morning it was an early departure to make the most of the dry weather and to push as far as we could along the Dolisie route.  The bleary eyed hungover owner who had my bike in his house for security started to say I didn’t pay for a Coke last night, not this again, but explained how he had to get me change from his friend when I paid for it and sort of remembered.

When we arrived in Dolisie and had the bikes fuelled we found a very nice restaurant and had a lovely cheese omelette and coffee.

Petrol time
  Then hit the route toBrazzavillewandering what it will bring…  the route was everything except anything maintained apart from a couple of short tarred sections.  There was also the Ninja’s to contend with, they would stop people and extract cash from them to pass, some of the are also armed.  They have created much trouble in the past and robbed an overland truck full of whities a couple of years before at gun point, so the overland trucks don’t pass that way anymore (there is only 2 trucks travelling this west coast route these days and met them both a few times). 

The route was technical riding, sand, rocky, large ruts carved by water, muddy sections filled with water.  There was no rest, always looking ahead, spent all of the time standing up on the pegs but we were making good progress and covered around 350km which was a massive amount for the conditions.

Watch out for the ruts, photo don't do the route any justice...
  The locals were very friendly and I enjoyed the big waves, victory signs and thumbs up we got, always giving a big gesture in return.  One of the reasons I enjoy these greeting so much is there is no possibility of conversation, no chance of stopping to ask for something, this was a honest greeting without exchanging anything else other than welcome to my place and a thanks in return or a hello from me and hello back.  It had been a long day and the last dusty 30km to where we stayed was very hard won, light was fading and was tired from a full on day.  There was a lorry a long way up front and it billowed a cloud of dust as it passed that meant it was impossible to see a couple hundred meters behind it so couldn’t get past.
A little muddy??
  We had this during the day a few times also it made overtaking very very difficult on top of the rough and narrow piste.  Our horns didn’t work so it was lights on and making a dash up the side when you though you had a chance, once in front I would gesture like crazy to the trucker that another bike was behind them and it seemed to work.  I was very glad to make it to a hotel that night, having a bucket wash was bliss and eating the rice and meat with a cold beer was a delight.  We had certainly cracked a large section of this route toBrazzaville, had taken other people many days to get as far as we had!!

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The hills of the Congo
The hills of the Congo
Another flat being changed with in…
Another flat being changed with i…
Congo route
Congo route
Petrol time
Petrol time
Watch out for the ruts, photo don…
Watch out for the ruts, photo don…
A little muddy??
A little muddy??
Coming out of the dust
Coming out of the dust
Dolisie
photo by: MrDuck