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Part 4: Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart...Up a River Without a Paddle...Pirogue Progress

Posted By: oldmaninthedesert
Date: Monday, 29-Mar-2021 17:16:37
www.rumormill.news/169021

I think this author had a wild hair up somewhere to go on this journey, but I thank him for sharing his wild ride.Reading this now has me wanting to look closer at the situation....

..I wish I could say my first glimpse of the upper reaches of the Congo River was a moment of dramatic revelation. For days spent clinging to the back of various motorbikes and plodding up hills through Katanga and Maniema, I had tried to picture the scene when I reached the river. In my imagination I hoped for an instant when the rainforest would fall away from a craggy hilltop to reveal, spread out before me, Africa's mightiest river churning through rapids, cloudy with spray, as it gathered itself for a 2,500- kilometre descent to the Atlantic.

I was disappointed. The moment came during another long day of motorbiking as we picked our way along a section of track not noticeably different from the 600 kilometres that went before. We simply turned a corner and there, unheralded, in front of me, lay one of the natural wonders of the world. The object of so much mystery for generations of outsiders, and the thing that had fired my imagination through years of research, oozed lazily downstream between two thickly forested banks almost a kilometre apart. The midday sun was directly overhead, my least favourite time of day in the Congo when all the colours of the trees are washed out and the heat is at its most suffocating. In the flat light, the river appeared viscous and still. Conrad likened the river to a serpent uncoiling right across Africa. In these upper reaches, the snake was fat and lifeless.

I struggled to recognise Stanley's lyrical description of his first sight of the river: https://exploringrealhistory.blogspot.com/2021/03/part-4blood-river-journey-to-africas.html





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