Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Its Tuesday morning. We are still in Mbandaka. The boat is almost full to the roof with luggage and provisions so much so that my ...bed for lack of a better word is very close to the roof itself. Hence I cant strech much there. I spent the night on the boat. i thought it will be a bit cooler there than in the stifflingly hot and humid house we are staying. It was a bit cooler but not as much as I hoped for. Presumably once we are on the move there will be a fresh breeze coming through the sleeping compartement.
Speaking of which the sleeping compartment resembles an obstacle course for training of soldiers - to get to my bed, I have to crawl over several other beds and then squeze onto mine by carefully trying not to ram my head or limbs into any ot the supporting pieces of wood that make up the entire construction.
The most interesting observation from last night was on the night-time boat traffic. There were many small and large dug-out canoes travelling on the river, some of them with no lights on them at all, only their silhouettes visible against a distant flickering of light on the other shore. Lots of noise and people arguing accompanied the departure of a largish vessel loaded with people. Then after they were gone it was quiet.
At the head of our three boats (that tied together coprise our BIG boat with the word Bonobo written on it) there is room for some camp chairs. At the very rear there are lots of provisions and also barrels of fuel. And since my own bed is somewhat close to those barrels I had the distince feeling I am sleeping in a petrol station. Again with the breeze of travel I hope this will be taken care of. I also hope that we dont have a leaking petrol barrel since our boatsman smokes while driving. I dont want to think what can happen if our boat suddenly blows up big time.
Oh, we also have plenty of inflatable life-jackets.