Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Boma to I'm Retarded, DRC then to a Bushcamp, Angola, March 27, 2019

The countdown is on.  We have two days to get to Luanda which is over 500 km away.  I'm hoping to fly to Toronto on the 29th at 2 pm and Ella is also leaving that day.  However, Boma did not want to cooperate and we spent an hour in a traffic jam.  It was interesting because there is so much to see including food stalls along the way, so I was able to find an omelette, eat it in the truck and then drop off the plate on the way by the stall once we got moving!  That's one thing I love about Africa!  I can't imagine their "normal"-

Apparently there were road works ahead but once through, I didn't see that happening.  It seemed like too many motorcycles blocking the way of too many big trucks-

The market was well stocked and lively-

DRC has been one of the worst countries for yelling at us when we take pictures.  Once I took a photo of the chicken woman, she was grumping at me, but then, pulled out her phone and took a picture of me with the truck.  She thought that was quite funny-
Leaving Boma, the countryside is lovely- 

We stopped in Matadi to see an old church but I was on cook group so had to shop.  I didn't mind because I'm 99.9% sure it was 100% underwhelming.  We carried on-

and got to the DRC border at Luvo which had at least one kilometre of stalls and many carts selling everything imaginable-
I've never seen so many cripples either.  Many of them drive carts that have to be pushed when they fail.  Many are missing a foot or lower limbs and moving around on crutches.  The DRC border crossing itself was sort of painless but slow.  First, the inspector had to look at each visa while he also dealt with two women that I think had been arrested for thieving because he told them that it took money to travel and then he asked me if that wasn't true.  I said yes of course and he looked at them and said "See?"  Then our passports were handed off to a couple of finger typers who scanned each one and entered a bit of information and finally given to the chef who was in a lovely air conditionned office with three of our older passengers - he said it was too hot for them to be outside so they were crammed in his office as well as Carol who only has a few passport pages left so she wants to make sure the stamp goes in a specific spot.  It's quite annoying because numerous people have fewer pages and rely on whoever is handling our passports on a particular day to look after things, but I regress.....Eventually we had our stamps and were on our way to the Angola side, through another kilometer of shops.  Here, our passports were very professionally handled.  Only two of us were allowed in the office so Carol and Thomas were kicked out!  That was the best part.  Oh, did I say that out loud?  We had a document from the Angolan embassy in Dolisie where we got our visas with all our details and that sped up the process.  Once they had checked the visas (we also submitted a copy of our passport and Angola visa), they took the passports away to have them stamped while we enjoyed the AC.  After 2.5 hours total (both borders and customs for the truck), we were on the road.  
Angola feels first world:  the highway is nice-

for the most part and the land is green and rolling-
The grass along the edges of the road is taller than me.  It's a coarse plant that I don't think animals will eat beause besides a few goats and chickens, we haven't seen any life.  Africans eat cassava. It's why they are so skinny.I was riding shotgun again so it was a hard day, hopping in and out of the cab at numerous police checks.  About 6 pm we found a quarry for a great Bushcamp.  For supper we are having black bean burgers and avocado/onion/tomato salad.  We have 5:30 breakfast and a 6:30 departure as we try to get to Luanda tomorrow.  We are making omelettes with tomatoes and onions.  It's not hard even though it's early.  Some cook groups can't be bothered doing much at breakfast - cereal and dry bread.  I don't understand their attitude.  If people eat well, they are happier but some people are too selfish? Or lazy? Or I don't know what? to do a good job.  Oh well, tomorrow is my last day!

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