Brazzaville : The final Goodbye

in

We have been absent for a while and believe us, not due to anything but panic stations! We have learnt a few lessons in the time we were here……Africa teaches you not to make plans, and if you do, make sure you have at least 4 more back-up plans and be prepared to deviate from those at least a dozen times. We also realized that we have changed from tourists to true travelers. A 3 days break for a traveler is heaven, 4 days are nice and 5 days break is pushing it….needless to say, 20 DAYS make you feel like a caged animal !! We know the wait sounds OK to most of you, but once you are addicted to the road, the different smells, the smiles, the constant moving, the friendly faces and the continuous changing vistas of Africa, staying put in one place, even a place as nice as Hippocampe, drives you to either drink, drugs or insanity (and we are sure you all agree we are not insane…….yet!!)

 We finally managed to get the much awaited part for Stan flown in courtesy of Glen Page but much to our disappointment, once the part was fitted, Stan still refused to work!! Words to describe the despair we felt do not exist and after a huge amount of tears (Annaliese) and a few loud screams (Stewart) we sat down to replan and reconsider. We eventually came up with plan B,C and D. Our last hope was that the “mechanic” who worked on it finally decided that it is possible that he put the one part in back to front!!! However it was tool late to check and alas, we had to spend another sleepless night.

  The "workshop"Flip trying hard to make a mechanic of Stew!!

Well, we live in Africa and we have to make do what we have. We had the mechanic and that was it, so it just had to work. Lone behold…….he DID fit the part back to front!! The moment that we realized the gears finally worked must have been one of the most joyous on the trip. The whole Hipocampe celebrated with us when Stan finally started. Not sure of they were glad to see us go or glad that Stan was fixed!!

 The Team Mr Mechanic centre front  The Congo air team, David, Glynis and                                                                                                                                         Glen     next to Stew .Check out Stews new girlfriend!!

Before we carry on, we have a million thank you’s to say. For those of you not in Brazzaville, we do apologise as it might bore you, but the following people changed our lives with their help and kindness:

  1. Olivier and Catherine of the Hippocampe: We do not have words to thank you for your limitless generosity and we can only hope that you will be blessed in a big way.
  2. Lester and Philip of Nokia/Siemens, you guys have been a mountain of support, assistance and good company. You managed to keep our spirits up in the worst moments and we will be eternally grateful for all you did.Lester thank you also for posting Tin Tin to Ruds, you are a star.
  3. Aneez of MTN , thank you so much for bringing such a heavy package all the way from JHb to Brazzaville, we do appreciate it very much.
  4. Mark thank you so much for driving all over Josie to fetch and deliver parts at the drop of a hat. As always you are a true friend and a huge support for us in difficult times.
  5. Andre and Herman, whom we have never met, thank you so much for going the extra mile and making sure all we needed arrived in Brazzaville in record time. You guys put DHL to shame.
  6. David and Glynis (our fellow Capetonians) we are so glad we met you and thank you so much for all the strings you pulled as well as your company when needed most. We do hope we will meet again soon and wish you well in wherever life leads you.
  7. Joyce, Jordan, Tony and Darell (The American crew!!!) thank you for taking us under your wings and making our time at Hippocampe such fun. We are SOOOOOOOOOOOO sorry we did not make Ram Dam to dance with you, but age and lack of sleep caught up with us, so please forgive us. We truly hope to meet you all again and Joyce, thank you for being a pillar of strength when I needed it most, the angels will always be with me, and I pray with you.
  8. All our friends and family all over your constant support and messages made the 20 days of waiting so much easier. To those of you that put up with my down moods, you are the greatest. Thank you very much.

 The American group               Local Soccer team, I think they enjoyed to bo                                                                                                                                                                                        photographed more than winning the cup!

 

Despite the best efforts of the American crew to keep us out till all hours, we managed to get to bed at about 12 and left Sunday morning at 6.30. Wow , what a feeling to be moving again….first time in a moving Stan in 16 days!!! We were both very apprehensive as there seem to a lot of weird noises, but we drove for 11 hours just to make sure we are out of tne Congo, almost our nemesis!