We went for a lovely ride down to Kisantu to the very Western edge of the country. The drive is about 2 hours, on an amazingly paved road all the way. I felt like Dorothy going on the yellow brick road:
Follow the yellow brick road. Follow brick road. Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road!!! We're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of OOooooz!
Sigh. I've sunk low. I think I have a serious case of Movie Withdrawal.
Anyways, we were traveling with an American who was coming back to his beloved Congo after a long hiatus. He marveled at the state of the road, and pointed out various interesting features of the area: "see where the bamboo has been planted to hold the road in? that's where we had to negotiate with a military blockade to get past it. Oh there's another ancient blockade point. This is where we nearly got arrested. This is where 20 trucks got stuck in the road and it took us 3 hours to navigate through all of them to complete the 2 km stretch of road". Lovely indeed. I'm happy to know that the area has improve a bit.
Then we had a two hour lunch with a Congolese buddy of his. His thirteen-year-old son had killed his own chicken in honor of us. I tried to grin and nod appreciatively while trying to hold the meat inside my mouth.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see the famous botanical gardens as we had to pass a military checkpoint between Kisantu and Kinshasa before 6PM. Sigh, little bitty changes.