DAY FORTY-THREE  The rain pelted down during the night but had cleared by dawn and we were packed up and away by 6:30.

We got to the first rain barrier at 8 and after a heated debate between Scotty and the insolent bastard controlling it, we managed to bullshit our way through by saying we had a person on board very ill (tres malade) with malaria.  A couple of prescriptions backed up our argument and on we drove.

The next rain barrier wasn’t so gullible and the bastards kept us from 10:30 until 4 p.m.  We utilised the time cooking up pikelets for lunch and then preparing the stew for tea. Finally, they let us go and we hurled abuse at the officious little motherfuker who had kept us there.

Page one of a letter that I began writing to my brother while we were held up at the second roadblock.

Two hours drive took us to the town of Silbert and the beginning of the tar seal road that leads to Bangui.  We had expected a police check on the outskirts of Silbut but there wasn’t one there so we stopped on the side of the road to cook the stew then carried on into the night.

We  got to the infamous K-12 Police Checkpoint¹ at about 12 a.m. and spent an hour there while our passports were confiscated. Then we drove into town to the campsite.

¹ The K-12 Police Checkpoint was well-known as a point where travellers were harassed by dangerous and officious police personnel. Today, the area is known as PK-12 and is a place where French troops guard an enclave of Muslim refugees who have been harassed by Christian militias.

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