This leg of the journey sees us uncertainly navigating the River Lulua and encountering more obstacles than we ever could have imagined.
The decision to travel down the River Lulua was made simply. We spotted it on the map and it fitted our requirements: it headed north, it wasn't too wide, and next to no information was available about it online. When we began our weeklong search for an adequate pirogue (the hollowed-out tree trunks traditional on Congolese rivers) we were bombarded with dire warnings of rapids, waterfalls, hippos and crocs. Put simply, we were told we would die...
Here are a few photos from our pirogue journey down the River Lulua -
This is blog 2 of a 3 part series covering a journey across The Democratic Republic of Congo. You can find the first blog here: The DRC Part 1. - Cycling to Sandoa
Map Key: The blue line marks the section of the River Lulua that we descended. The yellow marks the first part of the journey to the river were we cycled from Lusaka to Sandoa.
We came through many rapids dry. Some sank us and briefly dampened our spirits, but we had gone from utter amateurs to a well-drilled two man team in a pleasingly short time. We had effective routines for overcoming the various challenges we encountered. However, we finally reached a set of rapids that was vast, broiling and stretched for many hundred meters. We made the tough but sensible decision to continue by land. To that end, we were now landed on a remote river bank and needed to find a road. Some villagers led us part way on narrow footpaths. We were physically drained, peppered with infected wounds and Charlie seemed on the verge of collapsing into a tropical fever. We had to get to a town with medicine, and fast...
The DRC Part 3. - Malaria, Typhoid and Trucks.
Charlie has written a great piece on this part of the journey which you can find on his website, Charlie Walker Explore.