Roadtrip through the Pool

Finally heading west of Brazzaville, through the Pool region. A roadtrip of 440 km, from Brazzaville to Dimonika. It took us 7 hours, smooth driving for the most part. Amazing road between PK Rouge to Dolisie, I had heard it’s good, but hadn’t imagined it was this good, with two lanes each direction and no holes! Wow! Brazzaville to PK Rouge not great of course, no surprise there, especially with all the rain during the night and today. It looked touch and go when we set off in the morning after a heavy overnight thunderstorm. The roads were flooded to the extent that water got into the engine, a terrible smell and lots of smoke came off our car, but we were lucky and could continue.

The trip took us through the Pool region, which has been off-limits since several years because of the fighting. We took the northern route, following the new road and bypassing most of the villages touched by the conflict. On the way back home we may take the southern route, weather and security situation permitting.

The landscape is beautiful, lush green, vaste plateaus, gentle grasslands, rolling hills, spectacular forests. Absolute beauty – thank goodness for the cease-fire!

Along the road there’s the usual life, huge timber trucks making their way to Pointe Noire, farmers hauling their crop to the roadside for transport, taxis being loaded with all sorts of goods until the back bumper touches the road, goats wandering along the ditches, kids selling heaps of firewood, sacks of coal, and banana regimes, women selling bucketfuls of delicious mangoes, small markets teaming with activity, yellow canisters filled with petrol or diesel lined up to serve as makeshift petrol stations…

The last 20 km or so were different, a winding one-lane road, sharp turns, climbing and descending, slower going, sitting behind heavy trucks with no room to overtake. And the very final stretch, bumpy to say the least. Piste cum river, trying to manouver the car up steepish hills, through the village of Dimonika and finally arriving at the Auberge Vigoureux. Happy to have arrived!

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