By Phil Harwood
An exhilarating and terrifying account of the historical first source-to-sea descent of the Congo
At 2,922 miles, the Congo is the 8th longest river and the private on the earth, with a stream price moment purely to the Amazon. Ex-Marine Phil Harwood launched into an epic solo trip from the river’s real 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 spider webs the scale 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 haven’t you chop his throat yet?" yet he additionally bought super hospitality from proud and courageous humans lengthy forgotten via the Western international, specifically pleasant riverside fishermen who helped anywhere they could.
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Additional resources for Canoeing the Congo: The First Source-to-Sea Descent of the Congo River
It did depend on it. I was praying they would give up the chase, but it was no good. Despite my best efforts they were catching up. All of my senses were strained to the limit. I couldn't have felt more alive and in the moment – the rhythmic sound of my paddle pulling hard and clean in the water, the heavy, pungent aroma of steaming vegetation, the feel of my heart pounding, and the sweat dripping off my nose. The fear was rapidly growing within me, demanding an answer to the age-old question: fight or flight?
I was desperate to persevere, and prepared to beg. Again he looked at the floor occasionally glancing back at his superior, who finally made an appearance. 'We have made our decision, and it is final. ' The superior didn't look like the sort who would change his mind. ' I asked, pleadingly. 'I am sure,' he promised. I'd believe it when I had it in my mitts. The last thing I wanted to do was travel to Lubumbashi, the Congo's third biggest city. As well as the extra expense, it would take a week or more.
He was happy, I was happy. When the doors opened the next morning however, he looked nervous. Somebody just out of sight in a back office was clearly calling the shots, and telling him to give me some bad news. 'I am very sorry Mr Philip, but we can only give you a two-week visa. ' He was looking at the floor, clearly embarrassed. 'Why have you changed your mind? This is the Congo Embassy – if I cannot get one here, how will I be able to get one in Pweto? ' I was desperate to persevere, and prepared to beg.