Posts Tagged With: nature

[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

[D+42] – A Walk near Diosso

(The lightning conditions weren’t very good for photographs, so some of them lack a bit of contrast)

About two weeks have passed since the last gallery, but we haven’t been doing much interesting things until yesterday. Indeed, a walk was organized on Saturday near the town of Diosso, not so far from Pointe-Noire, the city where we dwell.

Nevermind how early it was, we all met at 7:00am next to an area dedicated to sport and curated by the firm in which we work. Actually we could have come one hour later…

Then we were brought by a small bus to the starting point of the walk, after passing through some traffic jams (yeah, it does exist here, because the roads are rather uneven and vehicles have to slow down) and a tollbooth (please don’t ask the self-explanatory question “Why is there a toll system when roads are uneven?”). The Walk was about to begin…

Huh ?

I believe that pictures are often better than words, so I will try to gather them into same-themed photographs. Obviously there were many trees, from various types but don’t know all of their names. There were loads of palm trees, but we also found a rather small baobab. Even if it’s not really obvious in most of the pictures below, the area had ‘recently’ undergone deforestation, so there weren’t that many trees left, and also most of the remaining trunks were aligned, which means that it had been an area exploited for wood (which is a rather important business here in Congo).

Sometimes, at the foot of the track on which we were walking, we caught the magnificent sight of some more luxurious jungle-like forests, but we couldn’t reach them, which (I hope) will be solved soon during a new walk or something.

The whole walk was done on a sandy track, and even if the landscape was particularly exotic we almost saw no animals, except insects such as ants or butterflies. I guess that if we had entered the jungle it would have been spiders and snakes. Who knows.

The end is near…

…and we eventually reached the end, after a 12-kilometers long walk. The whole even was pretty cool. A Congolese guy had accompanied us most of the time and showed us some cool details, which was very nice of him. Also, since it wasn’t a run, we did have the time to take photos of many things and visually appreciate the landscapes.

Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Just a few birds

Categories: Just a picture, Nature | Tags: , | 1 Comment

[D+21] – A Mangrove

Wow! I just came back from a little excursion in a not-so-far mangrove (basically a seaside swamp), and it was pretty great ! There were hundreds of birds in the trees (like the white one below), and a lot of crabs as well as fishes with modified fins, which allowed them to get out of the water.

I maybe should have taken more shots, and maybe some general shots to give you a better overview of how the whole thing looks like. I apologize for that, but I promise I’ll try to remember this next time…

Some dead birds, too… but after all it’s Mother Nature !

A picture of Remy, who comes from the same school than me :

And finally a picture that doesn’t exactly satisfy me, but I think it’s still cool :

Categories: Nature | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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