|Title:||first day on the river|
|Location:||sangha river, congo|
my tent is right at the edge of one barge, bordering the next one. between the two there is a gap of nearly one meter from where the splashing sound of the water emerges. the barges, overloaded as they are, lye really deep and, hearing to the sound of the water, you feel like sitting in a whirlpool. it was not easy to sleep with the sound of the water so near, and i woke up several times thinking that we were on the verge of sinking.
we spent a lazy day on board, did some cooking and looked around on the boat. there is one toilet/shower on the main boat but it's difficult to get there because you have to cross through the privacy of several family compounds. there are little make-shift stores where we can buy groceries and where women are cooking little, delicious snacks. i soon found out that the captains wife had a stock of ice cold beer for sale and i immediately decided that she was one of the most important people on the entire ship.
i read a lot in my book (lord jim, by joseph conrad. A perfect choice for the trip.) and enjoyed the luxury of having nothing to do, leaving the responsibility of the journey to the captain. at night ollie, corina and i went back to our ‘terrace’ where we discussed live on earth, marsian rights abuses on mars, the undoings of captain haddock and tin-tin in ‘tin-tin in the congo’, as well, as more serious things. sitting here on the huge river, with nothing but a clear night sky above us, we all agreed that this must be one of the most fantastic trips of our lives.