Date: 13th May 08
Location: Okoyo, Congo
Weather: Thundery and wet with scattered sunshine, 37°c
Status: All going well, Kees’s truck has new belts fitted but still unsure of the Colonel’s winch problem. Will fix asap.
Up bright and early and by the time the sun had come up about half an hour later we had quite a group of people assembled all around the temporary campsite with the youngest children being the most bold and the nervous parents hanging back in the wings for something new or exciting to be produced from the vehicles. Once we’d got the camera out and they saw their own faces on the screen that was it….everyone wanted to be the star of the show!
A rough sandy track greeted us as we pulled back onto the main drag and nothing changed much apart from the odd puddle for the next 20kms and we arrived at the next town where we hoped the tarmac would start, or at least that’s what the map showed. But as we left the town the tarmac left us and we were back onto rougher still sandy and undulating tracks.
Eventually after 60kms we arrived in the town of Oyo, the home town of the Congolese president and also arrived at the start of the new road. Apparently so he can get home quickly and smoothly he’s had the entire section from Brazzaville, where he works, to his house laid recently much to our advantage and the average speed crept up to over 50km/hr for the first time today!
We hit a good size storm as we entered the town of Ngo and decided to try and find somewhere to stay the night instead of battling into the darkness and pulled into the yard of a hotel which looked like it hadn’t been used for the last 50yrs or even opened up at all, no cars, no guests, no people about apart from a security guard (guarding what I’d like to know!). so I chatted to him and offered some money to allow us to stay in the compound for the night and he trotted off to talk to someone else.
Returning with his friend Francis some minutes later they said it would be no problem and we could use the rondavels to cook in, the one room to stay in and the entertainment room for all the others to pitch their tents in the dry for once and all at no charge at all! Superb.
The rain continued to come down so we had dinner and got an early night as we hit the capital tomorrow in the hope of collecting our infamous Angolan visas from the embassy as Eduardo the ambassador from Ghana had promised to us what seemed like so many weeks ago!
End of day location: Ngo, Congo
Distance covered: 334kms