Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award 2016 in the category of Adventure Travel In 2013, three friends set off on a journey that they had been told was impossible the north south crossing of the Congo River Basin, from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Juba, in South Sudan.Traversing 2,500 miles of the toughest terrain on the planet in a twenty five year old Land Rover, they faced repeated challenges, from kleptocracy and fire ants to non existent roads and intense suspicion from local people Through imagination and teamwork including building rafts and bridges, conducting makeshift surgery in the jungle and playing tribal politics they got through But the Congo is raw, and the journey took an unexpected psychological toll on them all.Crossing the Congo is an offbeat travelogue, a story of friendship and what it takes to complete a great journey against tremendous odds, and an intimate look into one of the world s least developed and most fragile states, told with humor and sensitivity....
|Title||:||Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place|
|Publisher||:||Hurst 1 edition December 1, 2016|
|Number of Pages||:||256 pages|
|File Size||:||582 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place Reviews
In 2013, two well-educated Brits, a physician, and her fiancé, a former British Army officer with a PhD, and an Indonesian-born friend, an award-winning photographer and London kebob shop owner, set out on a 2,500-mile north-south crossing of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in an old 1986 Land Rover 90, which they called 9Bob (apparently from English slang "as bent as a 9 bob note," meaning something shady.
I love reading adventure travel/exploration/survival books and have read a lot of them. This is one of the best I have ever read, for a number of reasons. One is that they travelled 2500 miles through the Congo, a difficult route through mostly unpaved roads and forest track. The things they had to deal with- bad and barely passable roads, obstructive and corrupt officials and tribal leaders, numerous vehicle problems, health and safety issues, and in the midst of it all, a relationship ending. It's stunning that they were able to complete their voyage at all. I like how it gives the nitty-gritty details of the daily struggles to deal with all these obstacles and yet somehow prevail. The book is also very nicely illustrated- not just a few pictures in the middle of the book, but photos everywhere- black & white, sepia, and full glorious color. They really help you to visualize the journey and really add to the book. Find a printed copy, or if must go eBook, read it on a color tablet, not a black & white reader. This is an amazing book that I will think about for a long time.
During their utterly challenging journey the authors of this excellent book demonstrated incredible levels of dedication, courage and creativity. This book especially struck home for me, because 36 years before the authors I travelled overland through Africa (south to north) as part of a group of young westerners seeking some adventure. We travelled in a truck owned and operated by a company called Encounter Overland. Without a doubt the Congo (then called Zaire) was easily the poorest African country through which we passed. We took a different route than the authors--we entered the Congo from Rwanda in the east, passed through Kisangani and eventually left the Congo at its border with the Central African Republic (which then called itself an Empire) in the north. We faced many obstacles during our trip, but the problems that our group faced (except for one harrowing experience) were much less difficult and numerous than those facing the authors of this book. Sadly, I cannot help but conclude that during the intervening years the Congo has dramatically declined economically, politically and morally.
I read this about book on a blog and was excited at the prospect of reading it. Eventually, I did finish it but it was more a matter of gritting my teeth rather than the pleasure I had hoped for. The first thing that bothered me was the general casual attitude and unpreparedness of the author and his companions for the trip. I found myself practically flinching from some of their life threatening decisions and situations. The fact that the trip destroyed relationships seems to sum it all up. I wish I could recommend it but I can't.
It would have been much nicer if they could have given a brift description of each picture that they used. I really can't see what the purpose of their trip was, just too see if they could drive across the congo? What about the life of the people living their? How did they live? What about their camping experience. The only thing I got out of this book is the struggle of a lack of a road and the poor excuse of people in authority trying to steal money.
A Fantastic adventure read. I couldn't put it down.
The book is written in a series of chapters from different points of view. I liked it, it was deep, believable, and refreshingly unpredictable. The travelers provide a fascinating but authentic world, and I was touched by the cultural shock, obstacles, and the emotional depth of the book. Ask yourself, how many books about the present-day Congo are there? If you want a primary source perspective, of three travelers learning how to get through this vast country, look no further because Crossing the Congo is a great read.
A good read, although sometimes seems like it was written by a 12 year old.