After arriving in Republic of Congo at Dolisie, I spent a few nights in Pointe-Noire and camped at a navy base. It was very laid back with the guys sitting around, watching TV, and drying fish in the sun.
A leaking tap had filled a large pool of water, which no one was using. Perfect for washing my motorcycle! Mud from the large puddles during the border crossing was now gone.
Cabinda, an exclave of Angola, was my next destination. The Massabi border is one of three borders posts that currently issue visas, provided the evisa application is completed online and a pre-approval letter is presented. Very appealing as the Angolan visa is notoriously difficult to acquire at embassies.
The visa at the border was fine and there were no issues. The only issue was my extreme hunger! I devoured two banana sandwiches with large glugs of sun-warmed water.
I met up again with Evan and Jaakko in Cabinda city. They introduced me to a mean double beef burger with chips, which I haven't eaten in a very long time! We were enjoying beers and it was cool to chat about bike and travel stuff.
A few days before, they were denied entry to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They'd spent all day at the border. Angolan officials went back and forth to speak with DRC officials. They wouldn't accept visas purchased at the DRC embassy in Cotonou, Benin. Peculiar, to say the least. This is where I had purchased my visa, so the chances of entry looked slim.
Evan and Jaakko had a dose of good fortune. They bumped into Júlio from Amigos da Picada, an Angolan motorcycle club. Júlio helped arrange voyage on a small boat to take their motorcycles around the DRC coast and into mainland Angola at Soyo. The boat was only for cargo. Júlio also helped arrange flights to Soyo. Very good news that there was an option to get around DRC, which could be tricky otherwise.
After a few too many beers, I stayed over the weekend and attempted the border on Monday morning. I was denied entry. The reason given was that it's unsafe with the war going on. I know West of Kinshasa is OK, but security East of there is not good, according to UK government travel advice. It's been like this for a long time and many overlanders have entered. Anyway, DRC at that border post is no longer an option for me.
I returned to Cabinda city and asked Júlio for help. My bike was dropped off at the port, which was just a beach where the bike was carried onto the boat. I was booked on a flight the following day.
The flight was good fun! Only 15 minutes in duration. I travelled in full riding gear :) The plane had two propellers and carried about 15-20 people. The plane's small stature meant the pilots had to jostle the plan in light winds. A few gasps from passengers, but I loved it!
There was a delay in the boat departing, so a day later I was reunited! I hit the road and headed South.
All details for the boat and plane are on iOverlander.
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