We thought yesterday was a challenge and had lots of mud but today proved all that to be wrong. Today has to go down as the most hectic riding day we have done and there is no doubt that the BOYZONBIKES made their own movie today!
We also visited the Centre of Africa on the way which is something not many people do. Mark received an amazing wood carving from the surrounding community.
On a regular basis the road was lined with people cheering us on - looking back they probably thought we were crazy doing what were were doing, knowing what lay ahead of us. Chief Danga and his whole village of Nanga Zizi including dancing girls and a band were waiting for us to drive past. Same with Rungu which is located 65km from Isiro on a large river - everyone was disappointed that we could not stop for too long!
It was a big duct tape day with Paul and Rob earning three stripes and Mark one - the pros in the team came close on occasions but so far have managed to stay on!!
Some of the “potholes” (hard to call them potholes - rather very large mud pits with truck tracks that are up to 12ft deep) were impossible to navigate - we all had near miss encounters but Paul dropped his bike in one of the mega potholes flooding the bike. Mike Puzey is an amazing man - he stripped the bike, cleared the engine of water and we were back on the road in two hours!
A fifteen hour day all in all of which the last three and a bit hours entailed driving in the dark - thank goodness for Mike’s spotlights that he fitted to the bikes. Poor Quinton’s lights kept fusing so he had to ride with the assistance of a headlamp strapped to his windshield.
Eventually tired but relieved, were met at the outskirts of Isiro by Colonel Kadume and a little later by Father Roger and the Dominican Sisters as well as the students from Isiro University who had clearly been waiting for a long time. With lots of hooting and shouting and singing we were escorted to the Bomokandi Hotel where Fennie from IOB and Jean Claude from DCMS were there to welcome and get us settled in and also help in getting some the mud cleaned off our gear - then a bucket shower.
Clean and fresh we then went to dinner with the Govenor’s Chief of Staff where we handed out NVEP donations to:
Institute Sainte Therese - where we are sponsoring classroom furniture and teaching materials.
Vivre et Soigner En Milieu Rural - this is an orphanage centre which supports mostly AIDS orphans and does not have basic accommodation for the little people they care for and NVEP are assisting in building a dormitory.
Dynamic Culturel Haut Uele - a centre that support woman widowed by the various conflicts in the province with a focus on giving them skills to assist them re-joining society.
Fondation Lola which helps children from needy families that show real talent and looks to select special achievers based on ability and academic results.
It was a challenging night with Mark having to manage with his French and Charles and Mark stayed on for questions, getting to bed at 1.30am. Cyrille got in with the first vehicle at 3.00am and Raph the next morning after we had left!
The pictures as always tell a better story.
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