Across The DRC Day 4
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
Mist rolls over the small green hills in the early morning, and I thoroughly enjoy going for a walk before sunrise. It’s fantastic to be moving and not pouring sweat for once.
Soon enough we are on the move again, and the day plays out much like the others – scorching heat and humidity, tiny villages with mud huts, friendly people waving and mud, mud and then for a change, some more mud.
In a couple of the deeper sections the walls of the trench that has been dug are well over the roof of the Jeep, and the entire underbelly and two diffs scrape along in the mud due to the massive ruts made by trucks passing through. With the lockers I hope at least one or two wheels can get traction, and they always do.
Mid-afternoon we come across a heavily-loaded truck stuck in the mud. Again, this truck supposedly works fine, just not the starter. The guys desperately plead with us to help, and so we hookup the winch and try to pull it out. I don’t think we ever really had a chance, and even with all of us pushing the truck, my friend’s winch starts to make all kinds of horrible noises before the truck has even twitched. Loaded down with sacks, I have to think the truck weighs at least thirty tons, likely much more.
Unfortunately, we are out-gunned on this one.
The guys thanks us profusely for trying, and resume their roadside wait, dozing in the shade.
On and on we plod, slowing racking up the miles. Eventually the road grows in size, and in traffic, until we are moving along a very good quality gravel road. We pass by an enormous industrial factory that I think must either be concrete or tar, clearly with thousands of employees that live in the adjacent manufactured “town”.
Finally, after a week on the most horrendous roads of the entire expedition, we hit the major paved East/West highway. I throughly enjoy moving along at 60 with the cruise control on, and am happy to see my distance to empty actually go up, even after covering forty miles.
To complete my disorientation, a Porsche with DRC plates whips by me at an insane speed.
Just when I think I am getting used to the place, the DRC has completely changed, again!
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