Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Quarry to Dolisie, Republic of Congo, March 19, 2019

What a night!  The lightning show was fantastic and lasted most of the night.  The rain didn't come until 3 am but then continued until it was time to get up at 6:30 to make breakfast.  The floor of my tent was pretty much soaked because the sides leak and the roof drips!  I am glad to have a washcloth along that I use to wipe it up and wring the water out the door.  I wasn't the most unlucky though- Richard was up in the night digging a trench so the water could bypass his tent and run down the hill. The wind flattened Clarissa's tent so she spent some of the night in the truck.  Just about everyone was pretty much soaked.  By 7 it was only slightly drizzling so we made breakfast and then headed for Dolisie-




The road continued to be shit and the wet clay is slippery.  Our speed averages about 12 km/h-




but the scenery is nice-



Once in Dolisie, I visited the Angolan Embassy, only to learn they closed in 10 minutes and the boss had already left for the day.  We were instructed to return tomorrow.  Then April and I set off hotel shopping.  The first two we checked only had one and zero rooms respectively available.  There was another place across the road but for some stupid reason we didn't check it out.  We went down the road to a couple more expensive places and even with all of April's wheeling and dealing, we couldn't get them to budge on the prices.  So, as a last resort, we went back to the third place, the place we should have checked out and voila, that's where we are staying, all except five of us who chose to upgrade - me included!

The day was hot and humid and the poor group had to wait a couple of hours for everything to get sorted.  A lot of beer was drank and personalities clashed a bit.  Then, to top it all off, it started pouring again.  Thank God is all I can say that we are not camping.  Norm, Terry and Short Brian were having such a good time they couldn't remember where they were staying so paid big money to get 'guides' to bring them the few hundred yards home!  Everyone in towns like this know who we are and where we're staying.  The orange bubble is hard to miss!  We found a man grilling chicken on skewers so went inside the "restaurant" to wait.  The tin roofed room was filled with smoke from the grill.  Terry and I were sitting on plastic lawn chairs because the wooden bench was wet.  All of a sudden I heard a crack and down I went.  A leg snapped off my chair!  It was pretty funny - the last time I did that, I weighed 200 pounds and was 9 months pregnant with Jane!  They quickly brought over another chair and stacked up three for Terry.  Fifteen minutes or so later, there was another snap, but he was quick enough to catch himself!  Two chairs in one sitting!  

Tomorrow we'll visit the embassy and hopefully get our applications in.  I'm going to love every minute of my 16 degree air conditionned room!

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