Day 17 ... Africa - never as it seems nor what you expect!

After a very productive rest day yesterday - the team was up ahead of everyone else at Pwetu lodge packing our now fully functional bikes - the rest of the crew and the lodge staff were soon up and about and we were treated to a great egg and bacon breakfast (except Mark who had developed a stomach bug!!) ...

In good spirit, the team set off leaving just after 6am with a corrected nearly 500km drive. First stop was a ferry across the outlet of Lake Meru which was prepped and waiting for us - so no delay!

The morning was cold and the team all had their wind cheaters or riding jackets on. The first 50km had some surprises - steep and twisting roads with occasional sand as the road wound along the lake and then gradually improved, soon we were clipping along at a good 90kmph. We stopped after 2.5 hours for a rest and then another two hours and lunch, refuel and then with around 160km to go, we were off again.

As we came into the last sizeable town (Kasomeno) before Lubumbashi and suddenly we were riding a perfectly paved road! The team was quiet over the intercom - all wondering how long the tar would last - well, it lasted all the way to Lubumbashi - what a treat - we clipped along at pace and soon were being led through the streets of the famous copper/coltan town in Katanga to the Pullman hotel and Resort where the welcoming party was waiting with cold cokes and beers. We also met up with some members of the Kinshasa Motorbike Club who promised to meet us when we arrive there in a few days time.

After a luxurious hot shower the team were all eager to get out to the Bush Restaurant with Raph whilst Mark went off to have dinner with some of the Katanga mining industry.

So what was going to be just over 300km’s became closer to 500km’s but no one mentioned a tar road finish! TIA!!!

Tomorrow a slower start and a comfortable 360km drive on a paved road to Kolwezi - we have a two day rest day and some charity’s to visit in Kolwezi and it will also give Rob a chance to rest his back.


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