|Day 117: Tuesday 1 March 2011. Catholic Mission
gardens, Lambarene S00 41.518 E010 13.680 Distance driven 281 km
The day dawned very still, cloudy heavy and looking like
more rainy - no chance to dry out, so we packed up and left for Lambarene, back
along the track to the N2, 98 km away. On the way the sun came out and it
got very hot.
We realised that we had got so used to finding ATM's in
most towns along the way so far, that we hadn't done any cash planning for
Gabon, Congo DRC and Angola. It seems that there are no ATM's in Gabon
except at Libreville and that would mean a 500 km detour. The are
reportedly none in Congo either and our next possibility is probably in Luanda,
Angola, some 2,000 km away! We are quite short of cash but do have some
US$ and Euros, but not many. We figured out that we will need about
120,000 CFA for diesel to get us to Luanda (top side) and have decided to go
onto a budget which includes bush camping wherever we can, and living off our
stock of food in the car. We will change 200 Euros as soon as we can and
hope for the best! We are keeping our reserve of US dollars in case we can't get
through Angola in 5 days and have to either pay a fine or pay for an extension.
Watch this space! We'll be staying at the Sailing Club in Pointe Noire -
maybe I can earn some money there on boat maintenance!
40 km down the N2 on a bad surface we came to Ndjole
again and bought some delicious hot roast beef and plantains at a street stall -
lunch for 2,500 CFA (£3). Once clear of Ndjole the road surface improved
markedly and the next 140 km to Lambarene was a delightful drive on a very
undulating road through wonderful forest with gangs of road men trimming the
grass and cutting back the vegetation to give an immaculate
We are camped tonight in the delightful gardens of the
Catholic Mission, or to give it its full name, Mission Soeurs de L'Immaculate
Conception. When we arrived, the mission school was in full swing but now
the children have gone home it is beautifully peaceful and we are camped on the
lawn surrounded by flowers.