Monday, January 4, 2010

Camping in the Congo

January 1, 2010

The Situation:
We decide to start 2010 with a bang and go camping for the weekend with some friends. Camping in the Congo. That is a phrase I never thought would apply to my life, but nevertheless, here we are.

The campsite is about 2.5 hours away from the city. It's amazing how beautiful the country is once you leave the city. The roads out are awful and full of huge, enormous, car-eating potholes.

The Upside:
The campsite is very scenic and there is no question we are in Africa. We set up our tents next to the river and right behind us are beautiful hiking trails. The river is clean and has a very fast current. Henry and some of our friends go upstream and ride the river current back down to our site. Sophie loved running around and swimming. It's great to be outside of Kinshasa and see another side of Congo.

The Downside:
The rainy season. As we began to go to sleep, it started to rain. And rain. And pour. And lightening. And thunder. And, sadly, our tent was not completely up to the challenge. We originally planned to stay 2 nights, but decided to cut our trip short when the rain failed to let up the next day.

Here is the bridge to cross the river to the campsite. Pretty much made out of twigs and mud.

Good news, the bridge can at least hold the weight of one tall dude...

...And one wiggly puppy.

Officially leaving "civilization"...

Here is the bathroom. Also known as a hole in the ground. This is nobody's idea of a good time. As our friend's 6 year old daughter told me "You have to make sure you put your pa-gina and your bottom over the hole".