October 24, 2005

Heaven and Hell are just 150 km apart

After driving for hours in the heat of Congo, in a large Jeep with no A/C, slaloming between dozens of broken down trucks gesturing for us to stop, paying a couple of bribes or two or three, we get to Bumbo Lumene. Paradise.

The camping is exquisitely well tended to by the Government (admittedly, one just has to brush the camp grounds and add a few twigs to the bridge--but still, I'm impressed).

I am not joking this is what we did:
-sat on rocks jutting from the river surrounded by fluttering butterflies
-cooked a pretty damn good BBQ with minimal effort (two workers started the fire for us)
-jumped at the top of the tributary, let ourselves be guided by the strong current, only to be gently deposited on a small beach... 10 times a day for two days
-crossed the rickety bridge squealing in fear every time and acting like Indiana Jones
-read the New Yorker on a pania while listening to the bubbling of the river nearby
-got woken up in the middle of the night by a loud AAAAAHHHHHH and wondered for two hours what the f*&# that was and thinking "What the f*$# am I doing camping in Congo, I could be killed by a madman with a machete" (somehow that was a lot scarier than being killed by a madman in the states with a gun--the shout turned out to be a fellow camper having a bad dream)
-washed dishes with the remainder of the ashes from the fire
-walked in a spooky forest of gnarled trees
-climbed a steep plain to see what was on the other side, only to give up after a little too much sweating

Ah, heaven!

The drive back was utter hell again--though we did see the bridge that was blown up by Mobutu to prevent Kabila from reaching the capital. How can Heaven and Hell be separated by only 150 km?

For another account by a fellow camper, check out Because We're Here


Thanks Hasnain for posting on my GuestMap! How goes it in India?


Victoria said...

Wow. Camping in Congo sounds so cool! I'd be terrified. Now you're the real Bond that grew up dans la brousse...

Beaver said...

It all sounds cool, but be safe, ok ! (yeah, i know, i should shut up now :)

Miss ya - take care !


Ammo said...

Did you see any cool wildlife, apart from butterflies?

Anonymous said...

I thought I would put a pin on that side of the globe for you ....That side seemed empty !

I was born in bombay, so put one in there for you (even though I live in baltimore!)

Hope all is well.


007 in Africa said...

Hasnain, you're still in Baltimore? Hum, oddly enough, I miss it lots

Jamespbond said...

Good grief, you've gone camping! Now I'm going to have to disown you and cut you out of my will...

About the 150 km separating heavan from hell -- why is it that in Africa, cities are so awful and the countryside so wonderful? Ah yes, of course, it's because of all the people in the former. Perhaps that's the essence of development -- livable cities.

Black River Eagle said...

I know this has nothing to do with the post above but I thought that I would let you know the $$$ value of your blog in case you could use the extra cash someday if you ever decide to sell advertising space or (God forbid!) the blog itself.

According to Technorati rankings and a lot of other complicated stuff, the blog "007 in Africa" is worth USD $9,597.18 as of October 29, 2005. This value of course moves up and down according to your Technorati rankings. That ain't no chickenfeed if you ask me.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Technorati weblog October 24th posting "How Much is Your Blog Worth?" Here is the link to the article about Tristan Louis and Dane Carlson's cool little tool:

I've got my new badge pasted on my blog homepage at the lower right-hand corner. And the media critics were saying that blogs have no monetary value. Hah!

Anonymous said...

We really love your blog, i haven't seen you keeping the posts in in some time now. Is everything ok. You can reach me here = web traffic@simply pet supplies.com. Thanks Again Rob Dog Beds, Dog Kennels ( Dog Supplies & Pet Directory Pet Products, Dog Training Supplies) Send Traffic Now