23.03.2016 - KITWE
The alarm was at 4.30am this morning. Bike was already on board and only my backpack and tankbag were left with me. Gaeton carried me to a closed by junction for the pick up at 5.00am. It was quite a sad goodbye. But it was time to leave and continue wild life in the bushes again. The last two weeks living the congo style were just amazing. Two crazy guys had a lot of fun in that lost place of earth in the world. Congo espescially Kinshasa is a place without any kind of rules, restrictions or even laws. All daily life is basically about surviving and fighting for your place. If your are not able adapting that behaviours you wont succeed. If you ever show any weakness or hesitation you will disappear in the lawless jungle. Play their game and be the strongest.
I took my seat in the cockpit behind our captain. Of course we had some biltong in the early morning after take off at 6.00am.
After crossing 2000k of jungle we arrived two hours later in Lubumbashi. Weather was good and me still tired after a very short night. Gaeton, Jerome and me went out the last night spending our last time in a night club on a top roof. From here it actually looks like the other Congo built their new bridge exclusively for DRC. You have a perfect view over the Congo River to the other side.
I've already been waiting for my bike while staying in the cargo office. To escape from the heat and in order to the airport terms I went into one of the warehouses. When I was preparing my bike two annoying immigration officers aggrandised themselves. But Gaeton's friend at the airport managed that for me. I kept on packing the bike and he concluded that paper stuff for me. No more controls and I left easily.
Regarding to the airport regulations I needed to go go in one of the cargo's warehouses. I dropped again a big bag at Gaeton's. He is going to bring it to Europe at his next visit. So I left again some kilos and lots of volume in the back. My goal is to reach Cape Town with only two cases and the tank bag. I'm almost there. Only the tent is still in the back because I can't squeeze it in.
I almost forgot I was still in DRC. But I rapidly remembered it at the next stop in town. I lost a lid of one of my cases on the road. I forgot to close it properly. It was blown up through the wind. So fullgas all the way back and I fortunately found it on the lower traffic road heading the airport. At least one car has already over driven it. But nothing happend and it matches even better then before.
From Lubumbashi it is only 120k on a nice road to the border. The Congolese port was expectedly boring and people lazy. Therefore I definitively enjoyed the Zambian side more. Beyond friendly people recieve and advise you at the customs. This smiling guy even asked me if I wanted to park outside not to pay parking fees.
Not far away enough from Congo. I tested a new roping for the tent. I have now only a 10l platic jerry can in the case, For this reason I can't open it anymore when the tent is on top. So I fixed it in the back. But I slipped out.
It's nice riding on real roads again. Partially the asphalt has suffered from the head and heavy trucks. Sometimes the top is badly waved for a few meters. They even have traffic lights and signs. It's awesome there are traffic lanes and cars are using them correctly. When you have two lanes you see only two instead of 5 cars next to each other. Traffic controls are made seriously and trucks are being controled for their safty. You enter a new world in Zambia without judging it. DRC is an amazing and beautyful country. The size and variety is hugh and all covered by jungle and water. Pure beauty and massive danger are closer then anywhere else. A Black Mamba doesn't care why you enter her territory and don't await any help when you fail discovering the deep nature.
Next different experience was in Kitwe. I asked the guy at the petrol station to fill the tank for 20$. He liturally didn't get me correctly and couldn't calculate it in Kwuacha. He sent some one for changing. After a while the was a hugh confusion and I became slightly pissed. So we went back to zero, everybody got his money back and we sorted it nicely out. The Zambian guys were still friendly and we were laughing afterwards about us. No comparison to rough handling in Congo. In bigger cities you struggle finding common street food. They have more western stylish restaurants, bars and fast food. After a shawarma I tried to escape the coming thunder strom. It was time to find a suitable spot in the late sunset. So I got the permission setting my tent in this room of a church. The maintainer and me we had a interesting talk for a few hours at night. It was about all the black and white story, about Chinese construction and mining companies conquering the Zambian market and more. The open and serious discussion opened my eyes again in a different way. These are meeting you're travelling for to understand local issues. And I was guarded from another guy in the left back.