It was with a bit of trepidation that we took off for Bunia after our game drive. Cher had broken her ribs trying to ride a body board, which also broke, in the surf in Kenya and was in pain even without all the rattling around. We crossed the bridge over the Nile just down from where it comes out of Lake Albert and were on pavement for about 50 kilometers. We aimed for Mahagi, the border town, and climbed steadily up a
dirt road through lovely country. We crossed through the Uganda post without problems and went on into Congo to the boarder post there, some 10 k’s away, where we felt like the adventure really began. Things went relatively smoothly, barring having to pay $60 for a month of Congolese car insurance because they do not recognize our foreign insurers who might actually pay when something goes wrong. It was
all dirt road from there, never more than 2 lanes with little one lane metal bridges the norm. This is the major road to the provincial capital and it is at most just 2 lanes. We were continually amazed that this could be the right road. There are beautiful parts lined with eucalyptus trees or flame trees or pine trees. We wound around and up and down all the way there. At every split in the road we found someone to ask which way was Bunia, signs being as rare as hens’ teeth.
It was very pleasant until about 2 hours out of Bunia where the road became very rough and dusty. Each time we saw a big truck coming we would get as far off the road as we possibly could and stopped till he was by. If they see you’re moving over they will just carry on where they are! It’s a battle won kind of thing. Many times the air was completely brown with dust for minutes after the truck passed and we had to
wait for visibility to return so we could go on. People walking on the road were covered and not happy with the passing vehicles and the greenery on each side was transformed to “brownery”. It took us about 6.5 hours of driving only 150 kilometers from the boarder but we finally got into Bunia shortly after dark to be welcomed by our house guard and co-worker, whose wife had thoughtfully made us supper. Cher survived, ribs and all. It was a nice little adventure. We are now settling back into the routine of life in Bunia. It is good to be home.