180th country-the Republic of Congo

Trip Start Oct 12, 2008
Trip End Dec 21, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Congo  ,
Sunday, December 7, 2008

Congo-Brazzaville-on the banks of the river with the same name,the mighty Congo
river-is clean and organized.But hotels are expensive in Brazzaville, and my choice, the Hippo-camp is fully booked, so I end up in a small, but modern place, the Bougainvilliers, its gonna be the most expenive accomodation on the whole journey, at around 50 euros.
I go straight to the river.today is sunday,most of the establishments and restaurants in
town are closed, and I spend the afternoon wandering around in downtown Brazzaville, it
feels pretty safe, I even go to the port where the ferries leave for Kinshasa, but no
more trip scheduled for today, and all offices are closed, the place has a
ghostyfeeling, I dont stay long.More interesting is the second port closer to
downtown, its the place where the big barges arrive, loaden with tropical wood from Congo's enormous rain forests in the north of country.It's also possible to join these journeys up river as a passenger,but it can take weeks to arrive.
For breakfast, the best place in town, and where the elite of Brazza meets every
morning before going to work, is called "Mandarine", a Libanese boulangerie on Avenue
Foch with lots of atmosphere and a nice outdoor cafe.Just like on the Champs Elysée
in Paris, but different, no Mercedes Benz, just huge Land Cruisers.
Its time to go back to the Maya Maya airport, but a quite chaotic organization here,
long queues outside, hot and humid, rude security guards to check the travel documents,
and a chief of protocol in his official uniform asking for 'coffee money'!
The flight to Libreville, Gabon, is delayed because of dark clouds and heavy rain.
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schwate on

Good to hear, that they rebuild Brazza. In 1998 I visited it only 6 months after a civil war and it was completely destroyed. The banks were doing their business in some backroom offices (since the front rooms were completely destroyed) and they stored their money god-knows-where, but the secretary carried it in from the outside in plastic shopping bags:-) There was not one working computer in town and the x-ray machine in the airport was of course also broken. I assume also the tower of the airport had no working equipment...

Of course, photos were also forbidden back then. Unfortunately:-(

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