Day 75… Thursday 15th June
Our drive to Pointe-Noire was 4 hours – a much short drive today. Alaen got us some delicious pastries to start the day. Our route took us through some very bendy roads through a mountain pass. Very beautiful views but dangerous roads and a little stomach churning due to the road bends and overtaking logging trucks on tight corners. Saw a couple of trucks on their sides and drove past one recent collision involving a coach and truck where the truck had hurtled into the side ditch. More bush meat for sale hanging up at the roadside (ferret and deer). Alaen stopped to purchase mandarins, cooked yams and a spiky green fruit I had never seen before. Plenty of pineapples, bananas, papayas, corn, coconuts and mangos for sale. Arrived in the city with only one police stop today. Found our hotel and sat at the bar/restaurant next door overlooking the street. Had a great lunch and beers with Alaen before saying our goodbyes. Lovely chap and look forward to him and Sylvie visiting England in a couple of years.
The drive today was nice and simple, albeit with lots of bends and twists in the road as we traversed up and over countless hills.
At the last police stop heading into town the officer who came over was very thorough in demanding to see documentation and evidence of safety equipment, which to me raises a big red flag for bribery. I showed him my driving licence, the carnet, insurance, V5C, even MOT paperwork. He wanted to see the red triangles, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, and even jack. By the point of the jack, which is underneath the back seat and a slight pain to get out, I was clearly getting annoyed as I had shown him everything possible which is above and beyond what the other drivers clearly have on them. Thankfully he quickly lost interest and let us carry on. All very tedious but at least no fine/bribe demanded.