Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........


Republic of Congo (RoC)

Week 14 / 16, wednesday 02 April - tuesday 15 April 2014

One of the few Countries which can be hard to go through on two wheels. A stretch of almost 300 km of unpaved road. A road which exists of mostly sand, mud and water what course for a huge challenge either you go North or South. Many bikers have done it before and there will be many going to afterwards. The road looks sometimes more like an earth track than a road and therefor seen as one of the worst roads in the western part of Africa.

After a reasonable easy crossing from Gabon into Congo I take of and straight away I hit the big water-pools. I step off the bike to explore for the best track to cross. It’s already hot in the early morning and just the thoughts of this part got me sweeting even more than I already do. I really don’t like it but hey what can I do, I have to cross it I’m not going all the way back. And so I went slowly through the water with enough traction on the rear wheel to keep on going. Some of the water-pools where 30 centimeters deep and in no time the bike and me where dirtier than ever before. My major concern is that I can’t keep the bike upright and that there is nobody to help me when I go down. During the last 2 months I lost lots of my strength because of the bad food and hygiene in the West-Africa countries. I wasn’t able to keep food inside for more than two days. I have lived the last months on anti-diarrhea and anti-worm tablets. A stretch of 500 meters take me more than thirty minutes. Getting of the bike walk through the water getting back on the bike and go. I’m glad to make it through and enjoy the more gravel road ahead of me. There are some more water-holes but not as big as in the beginning. The further I head south the more mud appear and that course for sliding situations and of course you can guess, I went down!!!!  Not able to pick up the bike I decided to wait till someone would pass by to help me. 30 minutes went by an hour went by and nobody in sight. I decide to start walking up the road to see if there are people around and within 20 minutes I arrive at a house and ask for help. lucky for me as turn out that the locals are very friendly and willing to help me out. They are very curious how the bike looks and when we arrive at the bike in five minutes the bike is back on it’s wheels. I answer many questions as how long, how many countries, how many kilometers and if I do it all by my own. We take some photo’s and than I’m allowed to continue my trip further south. This day I’m able to ride about 200 of the 300km, go down one more time and find a cheap hotel in one of the small village along the road. It’s not really a hotel as well just a room with a bed, but yeah can’t complain about it, at least I don’t have to pitch up my tent.

The next morning I continue the road with fresh energy and the last 100km are ok to drive and can get my speed up till 70 km/h. And then out of nothing there is an perfect tar road from Dolisie all the way till Point-Noire. During the ride down to the coast I stop sometimes for a drink and to stretch my legs and one of those time when I’m having a drink there stop a car with to Italians in it Rosario and Andrea. So far I have amazing experiences with Italians and we started a chat. They tell me that the work at an oil-rig an they invite me to have lunch with them in there restaurant. Here I meet more Europeans and also a Dutch guy Michel. We have a lunch break for about an hour and have to tell my story al over again. In the end we are taking some photo’s and exchange contact details. With only 50 km to go to Point-Noire I catch some rain. The good thing is it doesn’t rain that long and after the rain stops it hot again and my suit dries in no time. I hit the city of Point-Noire and it turns out to be a big city. I try to find the Consulate of Angola, but after question some people I give it up. I start to look for a cheap hotel and even that isn’t easy. When I get money from an ATM there is an black guy, Joel, stopping and asking me how I’m? A start a chat with him and when I ask him if he knows a cheap place to stay for the night he tells me to follow him. He brings me to a hotel where you can rent the rooms for an hour but for two and a half hour payment you have the room 24 hours. So thats easy and I pay for three days in advanced. Joel takes me out for a drink and then we meet some of his friends and when I ask if they know the consulate of Angola the answer positive. Joel and I agree to meet each other the next day and he will show me the way to the consulate. When we arrive at the consulate it turns out that they have just closed. They tell use that the next day the consulate is closed because of an party and the next available day is not before next week Tuesday. With no other choice we had back and go for some drinks. During the weekend Joel introduce me to lots of his friends in Point-Noire. On a Thursday we go together to the Consulate and we apply for a transit visa. It’s good that Joel speaks the local language and fluent French otherwise it would have been a hassle to get the application filled in correctly. Unfortunately they can’t tell me when I would be able to pick the visa up and continue. When I have’t heard anything about them yet on Friday Joel and I go once more to the consulate. Now it turns out the have a visit from Luanda in the embassy and the consular isn’t able to check the requests, but the secretary promise to ask the consular to look at my application first thing on Monday. At ten in the morning I got a phone call that `I have to bring my passport to finnish the request. On Tuesday I can finally pickup my passport and with a last drink on that evening I thank Joel for everything he have done for me. In the end I have stayed exactly two weeks in Point-Noire and I desperately look forward to continue my trip south.

I leave at 08.00 in the morning and it takes me an hour to get out of the city with all the detours. Finally I reach the road into the direction of Cabinda and breath the fresh air coming in from the sea at my right hand.

Still want to know the next step in my journey? The transit of Cabinda and my experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo are all in my next update.

The first view of the road in Republic of Congo.
Turning into a small and even worser road.
And than this happens twice.
Didn’t make it in one day, my hosts for the first night.
The Italians Rosario and Andrea, and the Dutch Michel.
Joel, my local buddy during my stay in Point-Noire.
One of the many nice female friends I got introduced to.
A party with Beniners in Point-Noire.

Countries I have visited: