Crossing the Congo in a Toyota

I just spent the better part of the day reading what may be one of the most entertaining and exciting trip reports I've ever seen on the Internet (thanks to the Dubious Quality set of Friday Links). It's a trip report about a Belgian couple's crossing of the Democratic Republic of Congo in their Toyota Landcruiser. They spent 40+ days driving through jungle and savanna, along many of the worst roads in the world, if you can even call them roads (they were little more single-track trails at many points). And that doesn't even begin to touch on the hostility of the people they encountered.

Frederick's trip report was posted over time on a message board here. It's filled with incredible photos and lots of questions, answers, and criticism from other readers. Don't be intimidated by the length of the thread. Just scroll ahead for posts made by Frederick, aka "RadioBaobab". You'll be glad you did. Note ahead of time that this was just a small part of their 2-year long trip. They had already been on the road for over a year before embarking on this leg of the journey.

There were several comments that Frederick made in his report that I felt were particularly wise and offered some good advice for folks planning a trip like Kristin and I are. One was his saying that "It's better to be sorry for what you did do, than be sorry over what you didn't do." Let that one sink in.

The other came up at the end of his telling of a particularly harrowing ordeal.
"As agreed before we would not try to convince each other to push on. She contemplated the situation for half an hour with a warm tea. She is no quitter, she wanted to continue!"
Trips even less ambitious than theirs will always have their tough times. And sometimes the stress can be too much. I think promising one another ahead of time to not try and convince the other to push on is a great idea, as that can only lead to resentment and greater problems down the road.

1 comment:

Jeffrey S. Carter said...

No work done this morning thanks to this captivating read, it's a truly awesome story.