We were sleeping well, until 05:45 when the children came They jumped on the fence, they were screaming And then they started throwing stones to our tents! Those little *****!!! I love children a lot! That’s why I came in Africa Oooohhh, good morning guys! Ready for Lubumbashi? Today we hit the road again Here is the Vespa and the other two mopeds Locked in the hotel’s parking We slept in a hotel yesterday As you can see the infrastructures are amazing They’ve got a big yard and also a sunrise every morning! We’re gonna wash some t-shirts and our underwear Cause the trip will be long according to the information we’ve got from the internet And in the worst scenario if it’s very difficult we’ll just put the bikes on a truck and problem solved I don’t know how, but at the end we reached Ilebo We didn’t go through Tshikapa because of the trucks We read that all the big trucks go through Tshikapa and most of the times they get stuck On the road to Ilebo there are many rivers that the trucks cannot cross, so that’s why we took that one (road) Most of the bridges are destroyed and you must cross the rivers on a pirogue We were sleeping in catholic missions, in churches, in villages We were bush-camping No one ever threaten us, no one chased us holding machetes, Mercedes or what ever I was listening terrible stories for those machetes I have a master in English but I’ve never heard this word before I thought they were saying “Mercedes”! As foe water? Or food? You won’t find sushi or pastitsio but there is plenty of both (water and food) in every village A funny thing was those money “bricks”! You change $10 and you get a kilo of banknotes! At the supermarket you are waiting the previous customer to count the millions for a pack of cigarettes! **** ***!!!!!
At this point the “Kinshasa – Lubumbashi” stops for me I did 360 kilometers until Ilebo and 100km yesterday and 90km today Do the maths We’re here with Erike, Besame, Guion and Stergios We’ll push the Vespa I burnt the clutch again The village is 4km away And if I’m lucky I’ll get a truck to Lubumbashi From the moment I got on the truck the real nightmare began The average speed was 2.08km/h!!! 95% of the time we were stuck in the sand, having flat tyres, or dealing with engine problems, the lights and many other things One day we lost the driver! We had almost every problem you can imagine And the tiny Vespa I was very lucky I had good company in the cabin We were 5 or 6 people, plus the “big mama”
So I had a warm hug waiting for me every single cold night Also 100 or 200 people on the back Maybe a little bit overloaded But the thing that impressed me the most was that every morning and every night They were all brushing their teeth! Also when they had the opportunity, they were jumping off the truck to wash themselves in the rivers! Washing themselves was one of their top priorities! One more thing. Antonis Kanakis in his documentary for Sierra Leone said that all the people there, they have the rhythm and dancing in their blood I didn’t believe that. I couldn’t believe that those people having all these everyday problems, they would dance in every chance I couldn’t believe that, until I met the Congolese people! Children, adults, babies, even older people they were all dancing They were not waving their hands. They were just dancing I don’t know what this mean for them, or if they have this into their blood or what With no reason. They were just dancing. There was no celebration or something similar They were the nicest people I’ve ever met! They were all smiling! Bravo Kanakis! He was not lying What? Come on, let’s go! Come here What do you want?
What do you want “tsiftaki”? (tsiftaki = good, nice kid) What “gee-gee-gee”? Who? Who? Everything is “gee-gee” here! Here is the other “tsiftis”! (tsiftis = good, nice guy) Gee-gee-gee-gee-gee Geegeekakia mou!!! Geegeekakia mou!!! Kalimera (good morning)! Kalinihta (good night)! Nice! Bravo! Let’s hang around here Here is my “boubouka” (boubouka = beautiful little girl) Don’t touch my beer! Alcoholic! Now let’s talk about our main issue I’m talking for the police of course They are simply awesome! I don’t know how much is their salary In every city there are 5 to 10 police checkpoints on the way in and 5 to 10 on the way out of the city! And in the villages into the jungle, you want to cross the river and there is a checkpoint 2km before the bridge, one just before the bridge, one just after the bridge and one after 2km after! And what does the police want? They start wasting your time by asking stupid questions and always at the end the only thing they want is money! But trust me, you won’t have any serious problems dealing with them After a while I was playing with them! They are so many that after a point it’s like talking to a friend I was telling them “malaka give me my passport!” And then they were begging for some money by calling me “brother” etc Unfortunately they were not treating the locals the same way The locals are suffering from the police! The policemen are trying to waste your time They are really “smart”. They want you to lose your patience and give them some money But they didn’t know that I have unlimited time and I am very patient. So at the end I was wasting their time! They were begging me to leave the checkpoint cause I was blocking the road and of course the next “customers”! This is a good tip to avoid the bribes! I really miss Francis! He was an amazing guy even he was riding a BMW!
He was very optimist that he could reach Lubumbashi But he burnt the clutch disks one day before I did the same to my Vespa! His clutch was destroyed and then we split up. He took the road back to Kinshasa. He wanted to go through Angola And I continued with Steven Unfortunately I didn’t go far cause next day I also burnt my clutch disks for second time in this trip! After a day waiting in the jungle I loaded my Vespa on a truck The first truck-driver asked for $500, the second asked $300! My answer to both of them was some “special” Greek words Some hours later I found a truck on reasonable price and I was on the road to Lubumbashi again This is the first river crossing on the way to Ilebo
Don’t ask me where is Ilebo! I’m just following Francis and Steven And as you were all expecting the Vespa won the race and reached Lubumbashi first!
And please don’t tell me that I used trucks, airplanes and trains! Did I reach first or not? I was in Lubumbashi a week earlier than Steven And then I met the Greek community here and it was like I won the lottery! I didn’t know a thing for the community and it’s existence here The first night I slept in Jean’s house (via couchsurfing) and when I told him that I’m from Greece he told me he was working in a Greek company and then he told me some Greek names! “Psaromatis”, “Tzavanos”, “Tzavanis” and other Greek names “Giorgos”, “Giannis”, “Kostas” And I couldn’t believe that after so many kilometers I would meet Greeks again The next day I literally drove onto the Greeks! So the miracle started! Should I thank every single one? Should I thank Nikos? Should I thank George? Should I thank Dimitris? The guys left me alone This was the most difficult part till now They didn’t have any problem on their bikes so they just continue riding and they left me Of course I got stuck The clutch disks are almost destroyed again! And the remaining distance to Lubumbashi is 1890km! I’ve done only 50km and the clutch is almost destroyed I’m stuck uphill I removed all the luggage from the Vespa and brought them here Francis and Steven are gone as you can see I’ll try to push the Vespa alone And later I’m gonna kick some asses!