Posts Tagged With: 4×4

[D+97] – “Chez Tonton Mack” – Part 1 : On the road

After a good bunch of days without any news, I am finally able to provide you with some fresh new pictures. A LOT of new pictures.

This weekend was my first real trip on the countryside. I mean, far from the big town of Pointe-Noire. “The plan” was to sleep at a place called Chez Tonton Mack, which corresponds to a few small huts. The price is pretty cheap : 5000 XAF per night (7.5€ / $10), and spend the week-end over there.

We had prepared some food, with the idea of making a fire on the beach for the night.

We left home around 7am : 5 trainees, the girlfriend of one of them and 3 friends of Remy, with whom he had met in a party. Two 4×4 pickups.

Here we go.

We stopped for the first time just after the bridge that crosses the Kouilou river, in order to taste some Yanga, which happens to be a sort of palm tree wine. Probably not the best drink ever, but a cool experience anyhow. Ten minutes ago we we were back on the road, until Madingo Kayes, were the asphalt road ended. We had travelled half the way in terms of length, but only one quarter of the way in terms of time. Indeed, driving on a sandy track with large and deep puddles (almost ponds sometimes) accross the road is not always as easy as one may think.

Rémy, who was driving me
24mm - 1/3200 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

Ousmane and Pierrick
20mm - 1/800 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

20mm - 1/200 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

20mm - 1/500 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

187mm - 1/1000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

250mm - 1/1000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

55mm - 1/2000 - F/5.6 - ISO 200

We eventually reached the entrance of the Conkouati natural park, where we got stopped by some guards. Supposedly, we should have paid 5000 XAF per person, but after 45 minutes of useless discussions we eventually paid 5000 XAF per vehicle, and felt pretty relieved, since we weren’t aware of that fee.

Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to see a lot of exotic fauna (I mean, elephants or antelopes), but we caught the sight of a jackal and of a few birds…

250mm - 1/2000 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

250mm - 1/2500 - F/5.6 - ISO 400

116mm - 1/1000 - F/7.1 - ISO 400

After a rather long travel, with a lot of laugh but under a hot equatorial sun, we eventually reached our goal around midday. I have to say we were astonished by the place, and immediately felt we were about to spend a particularly great weekend.

It is getting late, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to read the rest of the story… Don’t hesitate to share your point of view regarding the pictures above !!

[read part 2 here]

146mm - 1/1600 - F/7.1 - ISO 400

Categories: Landscapes, Nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

To-do list

We will supposedly be able to borrow a 4×4 next week, provided by the firm we’re working in. Which obviously broadens our entertainment possibilities (finally!). Rémy and I are getting slightly bored to be only inside the town, and we’re really looking forward to doing more cool stuffs, far from the simple “expat” concept.

Okay, let me tell you in a few words about this concept (which is also something we joke about) : when we say something is “expat” it means that it’s expensive and totally related to the European way of life. At the opposite “not expat” is when you do something that has nothing in common with our usual way of life. Read : eating local food in local restaurants, going almost alone into the Jungle (lol), etc. Let’s make it clear : this is getting kind of a private joke, so it’s hard to explain 🙂 But put briefly, Rémy and I are willing to do more “not expat” stuffs.

[The list shall be updated from time to time]

  • Take a picture from the sunset on the beach
  • Get a walk to the “wharf” (you’ll see what it is soon)
  • Make a photo gallery of the kind of food we’re usually eating
    • In a N’Ganda
    • “Chez Nour”
  • Make a photo gallery about the cabs
  • Go to the market (never seen it so far!)
  • Go to a specific beach named “La Baleine” (“The Whale”)
  • Go back up the Kouilou river
Categories: Everyday life | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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