Congo - February/March 2019

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Totof in Congo

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D9 - Thunderstorms in sight !

03/05/2019 - Journey : Bivéla <--> Cotivindou

The road is not very long for Cotivindou since Bivéla. Only here, the storm has decided to come and say hello. The track, normally passable, becomes a real ice rink when the clay is soaked. We then attend a new driving lesson. I let you judge with the videos. The pictures are self-explanatory.

When we arrive at Cotivindou, in the rain and the roar of thunder, Kuster stops to see the village chief to give him 2 boxes of anti-malaria drugs. These few moments have been magical for me. I savored every second. After reading the next few lines, close your eyes and try to imagine the atmosphere at that moment.
Kuster parks the 4x4 on the central place of this small village. We get off the vehicle, under a good shower (hot) and we are immediately invited to shelter under the main construction where the villagers are found. We are twenty to meet there. A fire is lit, the rice slowly cooked in a pot. Poor Biskouri sits quickly next to warm up. He is totally frozen. It must be said that he just made the trip in the bucket pickup...

Immediately, the village chief (born in 1935!) Leaves us his place and we take out two more chairs. We discuss with him the life of the village, difficulties to feed and heal in this remote and difficult to access, all under the roars of thunder and the sound of rain falling under the shelter. He is not worried. Optimism and good humor always make me feel as much about our worries as Westerners.
At this moment, time seems to stop. We are well, in peace. Unfortunately, the rain stops, and we must leave (and stop quickly to see a Bushweed captured there is little, and still alive!).
So we go on the reserve of Conkouati, with 2 trackers. We will see a few monkeys, then the road quickly goes down: broken bridge for ten years (but we knew before leaving). So we fish in this great river, and find a Plataplochilus (new?). The atmosphere is also special, in the forest with the cry of birds and large trees, not to mention the rain! On the way back, we fish in a small stream just before Cotivindou. The result will be a beautiful male Plataplo (same species). But the weather threatens again, and Kuster seems worried. He asks us to leave quickly, before which the storm breaks out again. The sky darkens very quickly, and the first drops fall when we leave.

Return to Bivéla after the rain is as sporty as this morning. But we arrive safely at the beginning of the afternoon, and enjoy these moments of relaxation. The atmosphere is breathable (29 °) thanks to the rain and the clouds that hide the sun.

In short, you have understood, it is the desert in Aphyo! The expedition is soon over and the record "Aphyo" is very very very thin! To be honest, tonight I'm getting tired of it. The next, it will take Aphyo ...

Small photo session so tonight (under the storm that starts again!), Then it will be necessary to prepare the suitcases. We leave Bivéla tomorrow morning at dawn to return to Pointe Noire, with a little bitter taste ... we are still good here, at the end of the world!

PS: and shit ... I still haven't seen elephants!

Reserve near Cotivindou

Nannocharax sp.

Potamochoerus porcus