BootsnAll Travel Network

Boat life Congo Style.

And were a writing. I will get caught up if it kills me. It donned on me that I still have a bunch of photos to upload and they will tell a better story than I can by writing all this stuff, so I will make the rest short and sweet so I can get to the photos.

Okay, leaving Ilebo, on a boat. Oh yea, for those exotic food lovers, one of my only meat diets on this little sojourn was monkey. Yup, chewy, hairy, stringy, monkey meat. Not bad actually, especially when they marinate it in the peanut or palm oil and serve it with rice. Got photos, and it isn’t as disgusting as it sounds.

Alright, so the Immigration guys come and pick me up to take me down to the docks. I am getting this distinct impression they want me out of there asap. They even have an itinerary and notes for the next immigration people. We head down to the dock and we find a boat willing to take me after the immigration guys assure him that he will not get into trouble for transporting me and that they have letters of authorization.

The boat is an all steel boat which reminds me of a PT boat they use in the Navy. It is called a fast boat, or a petrol boat. I thought it was because it was gas powered and therefore fast, but it was because they use them to haul petrol up and down the river. This one was going down to the village of Dibaya so it worked out perfectly. Now, being Africa, we jsut sat on the boat for four hours doing absolutely nothing. I met a guy who was working in Ilebo and was heading back to Kinshasa as well. He spoke English so it was helpful in that he could tell me in English that we were waiting and he didn’t know why. Finally around noon, they kicked off all the other passengers and headed off. Luckily the guy could explain to me that we were going up river to a place to pick up fuel. That little voyage was an adventure in itself. We ended up going up a small tributary that seemed large enough, but with this big boat and a rudder steering system it was a bit tricky. We ended up stopping at some house in the middle of nowhere and the guys hand loaded these five gallon jugs of petrol and filled the boat. That took another hour. Onthe way down the river with the current, the captain just lost it. We were crashing into trees and the bank. We rammed through this huge tree that was overhanging the bank and it wiped out the lean too tent they had on top which was our only form of shade. I was a bit worried about this guys abilities, but I figured as long as we got to the main river, anybody could float down that sucker without hitting anything. Finally, we made it back to the dock where all of a sudden another fifty people were waiting and the laoding started. The same old plastic jugs, sacks of crap, and chickens were loaded on. The captain blew the horn and we were off.

The ride was beautiful. The scenery being breath taking. Much better than the Amazon because there were very few villages along the way. Just pristine untouched jungle. Everybody was in a happy mood as we just cruised along with the tide. We stopped at only one other village along the way, but otherwise it was smooth sailing. The guy I met had his “sister” feed us which was nice as I just had some nshima and peanuts. We had some rice with mayonnaise. It was actually really good. At night, things changed, at least for me anyways. I thought it would be a great relief having the sun go down and the temperature dropping. The sunset was awe inspiring, but the humidity went crazy. It turned cool to cold, but the humidity stayed high. It was like having a cold sweat. I was miserable. I hate that sticky feeling, enough so that I will take a bath in dumpster water just to get rid of the stickiness. I tried my best using a sleeping bag and covering my head, but it didn’t help. There was no way I could sleep.

Thankfully, early in the morning we arrived in Dibaya. I had played with the idea of saying screw the immigration guys and finding a boat to take me the rest of the way to Kinshasa, but there was no way I was going to spend another week being miserable. For me, overlanding was still the way.

We arrived while it was still dark, so the guy I met told me to follow him to his friends house where we could get a place to sleep. We ended up waking up this family who turned out to be the Chief of the port. He in turn woke up two ladies that were staying in the back apartments and had them move to another room so we could have theirs. It was just a dirt floor shack, but it was fine for the moment.

With that, we were now in the village of Dibaya. The next leg would involve either finding a car or a moto (motorcycle) to take us to the next village of Idiofa.

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