Friday, February 18, 2011

Crossing the Congo in a Landcruiser
We did not even drive for a full kilometer or we were stopped again by the police..

This time it was a jolly fat guy. He laughed when he stopped us, gave us a friendly hello and without skipping a beat continued that we had to pay a fine. "Malchargé" (badly loaded) he claimed. At the same time a truck passed with a dozen people hanging of the back.

That was the funniest thing we heard all day and we burst out laughing. He too joined in the laughing. Anyhow, back to reality so we just said goodbye and started to drive of. He jumped onto the driving boards and asked for "un jus" (cold drink) in a final attempt before letting go.
Edit: I took me two days to read through this entire 80 page thread.  I can't possibly recommend you read it enough.  Here's another quote from near the end, that describes this story as just one chapter in a much larger story.
I think some people think the Congo story is a stand-alone event where we flew in and when it was done flew back out again. An impulsive plan just for the sake of adventure. It wasn't.

in 2006 we sold all our belongings (literally: ALL), quit our jobs, took all of our saving money and decided to go on a little trip. We had done our homework during the many months/years we had saved up for it and bought and prepared a Landcruiser. (I will go into further detail on the preperations later on). We planned to travel for 1 year. People who have done this too will certainly remember the moment when you say goodbye to all your family and friends knowing you will not see them for an entire year. That is a big decision to make. We travelled overland, 25.000km down Africa (west route) and after 9 months found ourselves in South Africa. We liked the travelling so much and found it such a pitty that we had such little time left to drive back that we started counting our money: Lo-and-behold, if we didn't do crazy stuff we could extend our 1 year trip with another year. We shipped our car to Japan and from there drove trough Siberian Russia, Mongolia, Central Asia (all the *stan countries), the middle east back to Africa. Once there, we really longed to visit the East side of Africa and while we were at it we could visit DRC, a country that I have dreamed and read about for so long. So that is what we did. After the traverse of DRC we would find ourselves back on the westcoast and we would drive back north as central as possible (via Niger-Algeria) which was a pretty daunty route in 2008. We travelled for 715 days non-stop. 100.000km. We never went home or even set foot on the European continent during that time. In fact, we did not have a 'home' apart from our car. We had crossed dozens of remote deserts, driven trough some of the most barren mountain ranges in the world, hacked ourway trough many jungles. Returned on our paths many times when we though we were risking it too much. Always unsupported. Always with the two of us. Always with the same car.

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