My north-eastern DRC adventure... - Page 4





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  1. #61
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    Gary, something nobody will ever be able to take away from you, are the memories of this trip. Good or bad, in the end the good will remain, even if you never go back again. As time goes by, you will not even regret going there. Glad you safely back home!!
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  2. #62
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    Hi Gary

    Welcome back, glad you made it home safe!. Sure your little man is quite happy to have his dad home!

    Have been following your posts and I am sure that you have had quite an experience. Losing 13 kg's! I am sure quite a few of us can do with that!

    I do not think that it is a question of defeat, in my opinion you are quite right that personal considerations should take precedence over the commitments that employers sometimes expect and demand of employees.

    I wish you luck and many happy hours with that cute son of yours!!
    Peet Schultz

  3. #63
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    Welcome back, Gary, and thanks for all the posts - it's been a good read. Ten or 12 years ago, I wrote a 2500 word piece on the Congo at the time that Kingsley Holgate was trying to do the Congo River (they never did it - the civil war got in the way). Drop me an email on tony.weaver(at)inl.co.za and I can post it to you - I didn't want to post it here because of its length and because it would hijack your thread. Have a read and decide if you'd like to post it here.

    Tony

  4. #64
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    Thanks Tony, mail sent!
    I am strong, because I've been weak.
    I am fearless, because I've been afraid.
    I am wise, because I've been foolish.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Weaver View Post
    Welcome back, Gary, and thanks for all the posts - it's been a good read. Ten or 12 years ago, I wrote a 2500 word piece on the Congo at the time that Kingsley Holgate was trying to do the Congo River (they never did it - the civil war got in the way). Drop me an email on tony.weaver(at)inl.co.za and I can post it to you - I didn't want to post it here because of its length and because it would hijack your thread. Have a read and decide if you'd like to post it here.

    Tony
    I would also love to read it if possible! adriaan.booysen(at)facegroup.co.za

    Gary, the DRC definitely did not beat you! You clearly tamed it. I have also indicated that I would only return there in an emergency, if ever.

  6. #66
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    Default Tony Weavers' Congo story...

    Tony Weaver was kind enough to send me the story he wrote when accompanying Kingsley Holgate on an epic river trip. They weregoing to navigate Africa from east to west, via the Zambezi and Congo rivers. They never made it, the civil war in the Congo made it impossible. However, the non-existant roads and availability of fuel was also a very deciding factor...

    Please read Tony's story, its fascinating, and gives an impression of the Congo several years ago, and I can vouch that not much has changed since then.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    I am strong, because I've been weak.
    I am fearless, because I've been afraid.
    I am wise, because I've been foolish.

  7. #67
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    Gary - bly jy is terug. Weet nie of ek daarvoor kans sien nie.
    Elize
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  8. #68
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    Wow - what a story! Awesome pictures as well!
    ========================================
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary110 View Post
    Ok, finally I am safe back home in SA



    What was good about the trip?8)
    • I was very privileged to spend 6 weeks in one of the most unspoilt and beautiful natural rain forests in the world.
    • I discovered many new animals and plants, known to man, but previously unknown to me.
    • I made one or two friends, renewed a very old friendship with someone I had not seen in many years, and met many very interesting and different people.
    • I learned a lot about myself, and realised that I can do things, even when my mind and my body are telling me that I cant.
    • I lost 13kg's in 6 weeks!!8)
    What wasn't good about the trip?
    • The accommodation was poor. Sleeping in a 2 man tent is fine for a couple of nights, but when its your home, then a bit more space and privacy would be nice.
    • The lavvy and the "shower" were not up to standard. Even though I really tried to get them cleaned, and put ash down the long drop every day, it was still a nasty experience to use either of the facilities. The local people just have no idea about basic hygiene...
    • The food was terrible! If I dont eat rice again this year it will be too soon.. and after I left the army I swore I would never eat bully beef again, NOW I REALLY MEAN IT!!! Ditto the beans..
    • Getting in and out of the area I was in is a real PITA. Air transport is completely dependant on the weather, and on the equator its rainy season all year...
    So, although I did have many positive experiences, I also had many negative ones too. In fact after spending the last few days very seriously considering my options, and after doing a lot of soul-searching, I have decided that I wont be returning to the DRC. This may cause problems at work, but my personal happiness, mental health, physical health, and personal security mean a lot more to me than a contract or a job.

    The DRC is not for sissies, and the parts that I was in are definitely not for the faint hearted. I consider myself neither a sissy nor faint hearted, but I am going to admit defeat here, the DRC has beaten me - but only just.

    Glad you are back !!! Naaah , i don't think the DRC beat you If its not your lifestyle , it just is NOT for you Besides , you stuck it out for 6 weeks
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  10. #70
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    In my opinion:
    The big issue with the DRC is that it will actually remove any sense of a lifestyle if you stay too long at a time. A solo trip is also far worse than travelling with 3 good coleaugues or friends. When that whole adventure feeling dissapear, it becomes apparent that the DRC is a very cruel and unforgiving place.

  11. #71
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    Gary,
    It is the first time I read this story.
    I worked in Africa for consulting engineers, but never East Africa. I would like to experiance someting like that again before I get to old.
    My idea is to take the Unimog up Mozambique and southern Tanzania to start with. Off the normal routes.
    No planes for me though.
    Thanks for the nice TR

  12. #72
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    Hi Gary, very interesting threads and beautiful pics - regards to Kelly Nzambe.

  13. #73
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    Hi Gary,

    Only discovered your thread now and can help with identification. The parasite in the trees you were talking about is actually ferns.

    "The genus Platycerium is included in the family group of Polypodiaceae. Platycerium ferns are Epiphytes, like orchids, which means that they only grow on the host plant and not from the host plant like Parasites. Epiphytes generate their own food and are not dependent on the host plant for sustenance."

    http://www.platycerium.co.za/p__stemmaria.htm
    http://www.platycerium.co.za/p__elephantotis.htm

    The call that you heard on your last night is probably the tree hyrax, a sound you will not easily forget once you heard it in a very dark rainforest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Tree_Hyrax
    http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/465...ia-david-moyer

    I have worked in the DRC for 5 years and much of the time in the exact same area you were in. Was lucky enough to visit Epulu and see the Okapi's. All I can say is that nothing prepares you for the DRC.

  14. #74
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    Also never read this thread because I never had any desire to visit the Congo, (DRC ) when over landing, BUT I am very glad I did.
    Very informative and Stan's article really broadened my insight about "the heart of darkest Africa"
    Thanks Gary for giving us a first hand (eye ) insight into this "dark" country.

    Chris.

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