The DRC Part 3 - Malaria, Typhoid and Trucks.
by Archie Leeming
The final leg of our Congolese journey sees us crammed dangerously-tight into trucks travelling the indescribably bad roads to the capital.
We assumed that we had come through the worst with the end of our ordeals on the river. However, when squeezed into a dark metal cage on the back of a truck with a hundred or so fighting Congolese, the open spaces and occasional peace of the river seemed like a paradise.
After five truly terrible (but darkly fascinating) days of travel, we were disgorged at Kinshasa's bus terminal. We loaded up our cruelly battered bicycles and rode into the city centre and to the sanctuary of a friend's flat: hot shower, cold beer and cultural dislocation. We brushed shoulders with the country's elite at a diplomatic soirée that night. The expensive and developed centre of the capital was a far cry from the sub-basic fishing villages we'd become accustomed to. However, to remind us that we were still in DRC, the following day the city locked down and tanks patrolled the streets as some armed rebels attacked the barracks of the elite presidential guard.
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