January 4, 2 PM
We are about to leave Matadi. Our destination is about 4000 kilometres away from here. As Matadi is one of the most important cities in Congo, it is well connected with all the big cities. We have a plan to reach Kinshasa, from there we will take the train and come at the nearest station of our destination.
Clay told me that if everything goes right, then we can hope to reach our destination within a week. I couldn’t wait for this adventurous journey; we have to cross almost whole Congo to reach there. I am too much excited to witness the unknown places and meet with numerous tribal there. Within an hour we will board the train from Matadi and go to Kinshasa,the capital and also the largest city of Congo.
January 5, 9 PM
I got the chance to stay in Kinshasa for today. It has no difference with any modern city with all amenities present; you can get all brand of wine you want. One day was not enough to explore a whole city but at least I got the scope to gain some information about their art and culture.
This city is located in the southern part of the Congo River, downstream on the pool Malebo. Congo River is one of the main transport medium here, but the roads and trains are also well connected and very much available; our hotel was on the southern part of the city just beside ‘The Great Art Market’, it is an amazing place. The handcrafts and the pictures depicting an idea of the tribal Africa and their ancient cultures. But the prices of the handicrafts are quite costly, so unfortunately I couldn’t buy any of them.
A little far from there I found the Botanical garden, which is also considered as the place of independence, there I heard of a stadium far from here; it is on the northern part of the city, so I didn’t get the time to go there. But I became acquainted with something prodigious, I have started writing my diary just returning from there. It is basically a river driveway, they called it ‘Avenue du Tourism’ that means the best drive on river, like the pacific coast highway of the jungle, beautiful and breathtaking views of twin river capitals Brazzaville and Kinshasa. The view from the river is so much satisfying.
And now, we have a plan to go to the famous restaurant here named ‘Jardin d’Eden’, it is by the shores of Nsele river. You can eat delicious food, listen to the live band playing Congolese classics, or even take a boat on the river. So, I have to stop writing now as they are calling me for dinner. I can’t wait to enjoy dinner in the shores of Nsele with a live band performance.
January 6, 10 PM
We are on the way to Kisangani; Clay and his men bought all the necessary items for excavation because the market in Kinshasa was quite cheap, it may be because Congo is too much famous for excavations. Now we are in a long journey as we have to cross almost 3000 kilometers in train and we have to spend 56 boring hours in this train.
But, I love train journeys more because one can have ample scope to view the aesthetic beauty of the place he is passing by and no one can disagree with the fact that nature has given everything to Congo from beautiful lakes to little green mountains, lush greenery here and there, a rich culture and a lot of history attached with it. But the interesting fact about this country is the temperature all over the year is almost same, you can expect a 4 o’clock rain almost every day. So it never gets too hot. I kind of love this place more and more.
Tomorrow, the train will pass beside the biggest National park in Congo ‘Parc National de La Salanga-Sud’ and I heard from Clay that if I am lucky then I might see a jaguar chasing a deer just 20 meter distance from the train.
January 7, 7 PM
I didn’t see any jaguar chasing deer or something fascinating like that, maybe I’m quite unlucky one. But we saw a Rhinoceros though way far from our train and lots of bebun jumping from tree to tree.
But I witnessed something horrific today, never expected to see something like this. The train has no provision to stop within the National park area and also there is no station within a long 150kms. But, surprisingly in the middle of the park the train slowed down for no reason, and before anyone can understand a man jumped on the train and immediately the train speeds up.
It will not be a problem if the person was a normal one, but he isn’t. His shirt was almost red with blood and he was holding a knife in his hand which also like drenched in blood. His visions were blurring but he was trying to scare us with his weapon. I know Clay has gun with him so, I wasn’t that much scared but somehow his attention fell on me. I was on the upper bunk, he pulled me down from my bunk, and I hit a rod in the opposite side and started bleeding. It was the right time for Clay to bring out his gun, but the person was under some kind of drugs or hallucination so he was not scared by the gun. The person was just talking nonsense making no sense, but he holds the knife quite close to my neck.
Just then I heard a shout behind me, the rail police has reached the place as someone may be informed them, but the guy was behaving like he wasn’t able to hear anyone and I was terribly scared as he has no vision, so he may not know when he cut my throat. The Policemen discussed something within themselves, and a minute after that the train stopped. They told the man something in their language and then he freed me and moving towards the door with wimbling legs. Just then shocking us a policeman shot in his leg. The guy fell down on the floor and lost his sense. They came with a stretcher and took him. The floor was flooding with his blood; they called the maintenance to clean it.
One police came to me and asked for details and asked for my first-aid, he told us that in the national park they suspected a drug ring but they failed to locate it. They are hoping the victim can help them in that case, but the incident was so much disastrous for me to handle. Maybe a long rest can help me out.