The final leg of our Congolese journey sees us crammed dangerously-tightly 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.
Here are a few photos from our nightmare truck journey from the river to Kinshasa -
This is blog 3 of a 3 part series covering a journey across The Democratic Republic of Congo. You can find the first and second parts here: The DRC Part 1. - Cycling to Sandoa and The DRC Part 2. - The Congo by River
Map Key: The red line marks the final route we took by bicycle and truck to reach the capital, Kinshasa. 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 where we cycled from Lusaka to Sandoa.
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.
Charlie has written a great piece on this part of the journey which you can find on his website, Charlie Walker Explore.