DAY FORTY-ONE We arrived at the border on the Zaire bank of the Ubangui River at 7:30 and as was to be expected the border officials hadn’t turned up yet. Paul, Russ and I went for a walk out the end of the dam which is been built across half the width of the width of the river to harness the hydro electric potential. The river is too big to dam fully and the water flows around the end of the dam and over a 5 m waterfall with awesome force.
The border guards finally turned up and the formalities took a further hour before we were allowed to board the ferry which would take us and the truck across the river. A customs official charged us 640 francs, about 64 pounds, for the trip!! which only took about 10 minutes and we were in the Central African Republic.
Customs didn’t take long and we drove up the hill but we only got about 5 miles before we struck the first roadblock, manned by an officious twit in an army uniform. He kept us there for 2 hours while he quibbled over minor passport details, demanded a bribe which Scotty refused to pay and told us we couldn’t travel further due to rain damage to the road. All bulshit of course so we just sat around until it became obvious to him that we weren’t going to pay him anything and he let us go.
We traveled on through the country which had changed from jungle to wide open rolling grassland as soon as we crossed the river. In the late afternoon we were stopped by another group of gits at a barrier and were told we couldn’t go any further until the road dried out. So we camped in a nearby quarry.