Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

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


Cabinda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Week 16 , tuesday 15 April - thursday 17 April 2014

Getting into Cabinda is no problem at all now I have a transit visa for the enclave. The only paperwork we have to arrange is filling in a paper for the police that I’m allowed to take my own motorbike into the country.

Cabinda is a conclave of Angola and has an coastline of only 150km. I have no plans to visit anything in Cabinda and therefor I head straight to the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

I arrive at the border post Iema and face for the first time during my trip through Western-Africa a border official who insist that I need a ‘carnet de passage‘ to enter Congo. I start explaining my usual excuse that in the Netherlands motorbikes do not get a ‘carnet de passage‘ till the age of five. I have to talk a lot and explain then what the real reason for a ‘carnet de passage‘ is. I explain them that in previous countries I got a ‘Laissez-Passer’ or a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). Still they don’t trust me completely and ask me if they can call the embassy to confirm my story. For half a second I think there goes my story’, but realize that the hole conversation we had went very troublesome because of the language barrier. So I answer as convinced as I could sound ‘off course you can call them and they will confirm it’. I thought in the meantime you will never call the embassy because the officials have to use there own cellphones and therefor they have to pay for it themselves. The officials have a chat together and as I thought they didn’t call but offered me to write a paper that I have to give back as soon as I leave the country, but it would cost me $20. To keep my story strong I pretend that it is extremely expensive for just a piece of paper, but in the same time I was happy to pay the $20, because my hole story is based on nothing than an excuse for not paying for a ‘carnet de passage’.

At the border there is this guy called Blaise who speaks perfectly English and did all the translation work and when I was ready to go I ask him how long before the road turns into tarmac and he answer me fully convinced that it is only 13 km. I think that is not to bad at all and start the trip. Straight away the bad is really bad, lots of sand patches of mud and more sand. It’s only for 13 km I tell myself and so I carry on and after 13 km I think ohhhh maybe he was wrong and it is 30 km. But even after 30 km there is no sign of any tarmac and I continue my ride. Because of the issue with the Carnet de Passage I had lost a lot of time at the border. Now it becomes dark and decide to stop at one of the many places and ask a local if I can pitch up my tent. When I stop the entire village surround me and my motorbike and then there is this guy who speaks a bit of english and tells me that I can say at his place for the night. So I think that’s nice and take him to the only place which sells drinks and buy him a beer. Soon I notice that it could have been a mistake because more as “I have no problem” didn’t come from his mouth. When I tell him that I like to go to sleep since it has been a long day, he shows me his place and then when I start putting my stuff inside he become crazy and start throwing my stuff out off the house and shout “go go go away”. I tell him that I will go and again all the people of the village starting to come over and the son of the guy apologize for his fathers behavior. I tell him all the fuck off and take off, by now it’s completely dark and carefully I make may way through the dark over the bad road. After and 40 minutes I find a place at the side of the road where I decide to sleep. I hangout my mosquito net and lay may self down to catch a nap. Not much later there are people coming and also going. They let me stay there while they call all there friends, at least that looks like. All night people are coming and going but at least I catch some hours of sleep and with the rising sun I get packed to move as soon as possible. The moment I get on the bike one of the guy’s ask me for coffee, and I ask him “does it look like I carry a dammed coffee machine with me?” I take off and continue my ride. All together it takes me 300km to reach the tar. It shows once more how dumb some (most people in Western-Africa) people are. I decide not to trust anybody anymore who gives me a time of distance in kilometers. Arriving in Matadi made me want to leave straight away. It’s a busy, dirty and awful city in the middle south of the DRC. I drive right through and stop at a gas station just outside the city, here I start a chat with the manager and he advice me to go to Songololo 70 kilometers to the east. Songololo is only 25 kilometer from the border-crossing Luvo and is know for the easy procedures. I find a cheap place to stay for the night in Songololo and meet some nice people when I walk around in town. At the end of the day it start to rain and I wondering how the road will be towards the border since it’s a gravel and dirt road. After a nice sleep I drink a cup and coffee and take of. The road turns out not to bad at all, there is only one major water-pool but that turns out not deep only stretch out. I arrive at 07.00 a.m at the customs building and then have to wait another 30 minutes before the chief will wakeup. I din’t wait for much because he just waved me through to the next office, the immigration. Here they told me that I had to wait till 09.00 because the chief won’t show up earlier. Talking about lazy Africans !!!!! Well there are even more lazy because he din’t show up before 10.00 and all this time I was just hanging around doing nothing. When he arrived it took only 10 minutes to get all the stamps and to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Angola is a country where I look forward to because there should be a bit more civilization and they speak Portuguese and I’m not, all about this in my next update.

One of the many Cabinda beaches.
Bad roads in Western-Africa continue in DRC.
But there are also nice view during the ride.
And the view of  Matadi.
The one and only place I slept in DRC with dark clouds moving in fast.

Countries I have visited: