Canoeing the Congo. The First Source-to-Sea Descent of the by Phil Harwood

By Phil Harwood

At 2,922 miles, the Congo is the 8th longest river and the private on the earth, with a move cost moment in basic terms to the Amazon. Ex-Marine Phil Harwood launched into an epic solo trip from the river's precise resource within the highlands of Zambia via war-torn relevant Africa. with out open air aid whatever he confronted swamps, waterfalls, man-eating crocodiles, hippos, competitive snakes and spiders' webs the dimensions of homes. He collapsed from malaria, and used to be arrested, intimidated and chased. On one stretch, often called 'The Abattoir' for its background of cannibalism and recognition for illegal activity, the 4 brothers he employed as bodyguards have been requested by way of locals, 'Why have not you narrow his throat yet?'But he additionally acquired great hospitality from proud and courageous humans lengthy forgotten by way of the Western international, specially pleasant riverside fishermen who helped at any place they can on Phil's exhilarating and terrifying five-month trip.

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Sample text

But it was frustrating in a good way, because for the first time in my life I was forced to improvise, to think out of the box and most importantly to rekindle dormant instincts that are rarely required in the Western world. We had to live by our wits and slowly strip away all that our consumer society tells us should be important. I had known we were going to be in for one hell of an adventure from day one, when we tried to cross over the Oubangi River border from the Central African Republic.

One, the amount of work required to live out here, with next to nothing, especially in what was now the dry season, was mind-blowing. Two, I was finding myself increasingly drawn to the sway of Ag's hips. With her equally seductive eyes, I realised she was the most gorgeous guide I had ever met. It was a shame I was soon going to be canoeing away from her. All the same, it was quite a moment when we finally forced a way through the thick bush in a pocket of lush greenery to get to the source. The tiny spring by a banyan tree was the start of 4,703 km of an incredibly diverse river, the most powerful in Africa.

This way, if anyone or anything tries to sneak up on me, I've got more chance of seeing them and taking pre-emptive action. Night-time is the time for wildlife, and on a previous trip I had come face-to-face with a clouded leopard using this rig. If it rarely rains you don't always need the tarp of course, but since I've had malaria before, I knew the mosquito net was a must. It would also keep out my biggest fear: spiders! I once woke up and a tarantula was crawling across the net above my face.

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