Day 21 … When it couldn’t get worse - it did!!

We were all up early and fresh after a two-day break - and we left still in the dark at 6am - and the road out of Kolwezi soon deteriorated and then got progressively worse - first stop was after Mark had a big fall! Then the next was at 160km to cross on a ferry - this ferry was a manually operated one.

We handed out caps and t-shirts to a lot of grateful local folk and once everyone was across, off we set expecting the road to improve - but that was wishful thinking! It got worse - Mike Puzey described it as a “pro-day” - the road at best was a track with constant washouts - sand and some hectic rocky sections - it’s hard to believe that trucks get through at all - not many, but we did pass a few - mostly broken or stuck!!!

We eventually arrived at a T-junction and onto a well-kept road, then stopped at a roadblock to wait for everyone to catch up - the policemen assured us that the road to Kamina was good, so we stayed a little longer only to watch a spectacular accident as two local motorbikes came haring up and ran into the barrier.

We eventually left the barrier expecting an easy afternoon ride - after a few kilometres we found that dreaded sting in the tail! The road deteriorated, became very sandy and then got worse - a lot worse - worse than we had previously experienced! We had to manage extended stretches of sand, then up a pass which was just rocks - then sand and more sand and rocks, wash outs. When the sun started to dip to the horizon, we were still out far out!

It proved to be a 13 hour day again and for some even longer - but all arrived eventually with the last support vehicle arriving at 9pm. The Boyz were amazing and Rob deserves the “true-grit” award! Driving those roads at night was not for sissies. That two day break is already a distant memory!!!

It was a 10 pink duct tape day - Rolfe opened the batting with 1, Quinton 2, Mark 1, Charles 2, Rob 4 - Mikes the only one without pink so far!

Jeanette and Antoinette were waiting for us in the street as we entered Kamina and they hopped onto a moto-taxi and escorted us to the Guesthouse La Grace - pure luxury - it’s amazing what you find in the middle of nowhere and then Girish from Revin SARL of the Somika Group arrived in a 5 tonne truck with an Indian curry smorgasbord to add to the La Grace Congo cuisine - what a feast. Thank you Girish and thank you to the Bishop and the Methodist Church.

During dinner Mark made a donation to the NGO, FAR (Femme d’Action pour le Reveil), run by Jeannette Kabwika. FAR’s focus is victims of sexual violence and orphaned children, taking them through a programme of rehabilitation, education and life skills so they can rejoin the society that so neglected them.

It’s late and the team’s exhausted - another tough day tomorrow - not sure whether it could be worse than today but then you never know!

Crossing by ferry

Mark negotiating a roadblock

These locals didnt see the road block an crashed straight into it

Mr Delivery - Congo style!


 responses to this article

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!
Pole sana! sound like hard day!
Love the 5 mt canter with the curry pots in the corner.
Sincerely hope today's ride you'll be done with the sand and rocks!
well done team

by sheila craig on June 22 2016, 11:32
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this is something for the history books! take care.

by JOHNO on June 23 2016, 06:56
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Our Heroes
Phew! All that pink duct tape--now evenly spread. It's a real credit to your grit! Quentin, that ferry crossing photo is a classic!

by Robin_Uganda on June 24 2016, 05:35
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Mark, I hope you have a supply of good cubanos to round off some of those great meals!

by Charles H on June 28 2016, 12:52
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Amazing Adventure
Quince we are thinking of you. You guys have had an incredible trip. You're nearly there! Enjoy the last strech. Our love and best wishes

by Goolk and Lisa on June 28 2016, 19:13
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Randgold Resources
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