Our original plan was to leave Dolisie and head directly to Brazzaville, however, our sources in Dolisie said that the road to Brazzaville was not safe and we would most certainly encounter rebels along the way. The only other alternative was to head west to Pointe Noire and get our Angola visas there. From Pointe Noire, we could cross through the Angolan province of Cabinda before heading south into the DRC and then continuing on into mainland Angola. This was the same route our friends the African Surfers had taken so we headed west without hesitation considering it would save us a lot of driving on poor roads, we had been offered a place to stay in Pointe Noire and assistance with our visas and I was still extremely ill with malaria.
The decision to head to Pointe Noire was a fateful decision in some regards but also a blessing. We had numerous problems trying to get our Angola visas there and end the end, were unsuccessful even after four weeks of persistence. However, the hospitality and generosity we received from the expat community in Pointe Noire made up for the lack thereof by the Angolans. We ended up being stuck in Pointe Noire for over a month but thanks to the kindness of the guys working for MTN, Patrick at La Pyramide, Chris from Alpha Petroleum, the Bardin family and the Orlando family, and last but not least, Asmah and her family, our stay in Pointe Noire was as enjoyable as it could be considering our circumstances. In the end, we had no choice but to backtrack all the way to Dolisie and take the road to Brazzaville we had been warned about. Unfortunately, we had to make the trek to Brazzaville without Shoppman, who had to fly back to the States to attend his sisters wedding.
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