We crossed into the DRC at Matadi. It was Sunday and a sunny day with vendors selling their wares.
We were directed by the police to park and I went with the officials to have our passports stamped while Tom went back to the car to search for our Yellow Fever vaccination certificates, the first time ever we had been asked to show them. Forms were completed, the carnet stamped and then our wait began. The chief official was in the village below attending church. We joined the locals at the vendors drinking pop to pass the hours and keep cool. Finally, the chief arrived, called coming especially from church to stamp the passports of the “Canadians.”
We had received a warm welcome to the DRC, but by now it was too late to drive through to Kinshasa. We camped at a mission just outside of Matadi.
On close inspection of the Cruiser I found this huge nail in the tyre. Amazingly the tyre had not deflated.
This cute and mischievous puppy spent the whole night barking at and trying to remove our clothes from the washing line.
The road from Matadi to Kinshasa was truly amazing. It was tarred and with virtually no potholes we were actually speeding along, with the windows wide open and the wind making our hair fly in the breeze.
We arrived in Kinshasa and drove to a mission that allows overlanders to camp in their parking lot. Kinshasa seemed “empty” after the chaos and traffic in Luanda.
It was peaceful but we did see a strong presence of UN peacekeepers.
We decide that we needed to break the trip here and head back to Canada via South Africa. That meant hectic days of packing the cruiser for air shipment to Johannesburg as well as arranging flights for ourselves. Friendly locals were as usual curious and helpful and we donated those items and goodies we no longer had any use for.
We handed over the fully loaded Cruiser a whack of cash and the keys to the shipping agent wondering if we would ever see it again. The we boarded our flight to Johannesburg.
10 days later our Cruiser arrived in perfect shape and nothing missing, (except our solar panel). Before returning to South Africa Janet captured some beautiful images of African Wildlife. We would return.
The main reason we returned to Canada without completing our overland Journey to London was to greet our granddaughter, Samantha into the world.
We will be back to finish the trip.