More dangerous than I thought

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Praia de São Tiago / Luanda / Angola
Luanda’s cruise terminal has seen better times.

With a fresh new creditcard in my pocket I could continue my trip with my mind at ease. And with renewed enthusiasm too, because everybody told me that from Angola onwards traveling would once again be easier, safer and most of all more fun. The funny thing is that you first get a small taste of if. Because Angola has a province, Cabinda, that’s enclosed by Congo Brazzaville and Congo Kinshasa. After I entered Cabinda from Congo Brazzaville, I immediately noticed the long lines in front of the gas stations. Quite strange given the fact that Angola is the largest producer of oil south of the Sahara. But apparently they don’t have their own refineries so fuel can be scarce despite. Apart from that it did however seem that everything had been raised to a higher level than in the countries I had passed through the last months. With among other things, roads without potholes, reasonably priced hotels, good restaurants and fast internet. So I stuck around for a couple of days. On the day that I left to face my last hardship I topped off my tank, because you very rarely get your fuel as cheap as you get it in oil producing countries.

Indiana Jones

Matadi / Congo Kinshasa
Matadi with in the background the only bridge over the Congo river, like being in an Indiana Jones movie.

Exactly at the border with Congo Kinshasa the road pavement stopped and my wheels ploughed on through powdery sand. A few kilometers down the road they had the guts to collect road tax, while immediately after that the road condition worsened even more. All so you can continue your journey cursing and swearing. At nightfall I finally reached Matadi, the city with the only bridge to span the almost four thousand kilometer long Congo river. ‘DRC cities are like Indiana Jones movie settings’, one of my travel buddies wrote. So I expected hidden treasures and horny chicks, but nothing could be further from the truth. ‘What a shithole’, Trump would say. And for once everybody would agree with him. I booked a room in a hotel with airconditioning, hot water and internet. But right after I swallowed the last bite of my hot meal in the restaurant they switched off the generator. So moments later I sat in the dark in my room without airco, internet or hot water. Fortunately I would reach Angola proper the next day.

Chopped up

Luanda / Angola
What do you know, a modern skyline. The first since Spain.

And so it came to pass. The first day I slept in M’Banza Kongo, that although the name suggests otherwise indeed lies in Angola. But due to the beautiful roads that allowed me to advance rapidly I moved into a really nice apartment in the capital Luanda just a day after. So nice that I didn’t mind having to wait a couple of days for an Argentinian couple, that I met through the online overlanding community, to arrive. They were only  a couple of days behind. Another couple from Germany with which they were good friends were struck by tragedy. They slept in their car somewhere near Boma in Congo Kinshasa when they were attacked by four men. The man didn’t survive, so de Argentinians drove back from Matadi to help the poor woman. That’s when, within the community, the stories of horrible events people had lived through were shared. The route I had navigated like many others during the last months apparently is a lot more dangerous than I thought, because I didn’t have any tense moments fortunately. That could be because I am always very lucky, or because the good spirits that Don Guido sent with me have done an outstanding job!

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