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An Incredible Journey by an Inspiring Man!
on 9 December 2012
If the river Congo had been in other (easier) countries this would still have been an epic adventure, but combined with the local lawlessness and corruption it is absolutely astonishing. The author, Phil, writes well and describes both the generosity and warmth of many of the local fisherman as well as the occasional aggression and hate of some people and intimidation and corruption from violent officials. He takes it all in his stride (well, losing his rag a fair few times). His self confidence is phenomenal, as is his belief in the goodness of others.
Just the length of the journey - 5 months alone or with a local, in such a potentially hostile environment is hard. By the end Phil is obviously suffering a little mentally, but as he says at the start of the book, facing adversity strengthens us. He had a huge amount of adversity and the book shows his strength.
He mentions Blood River (by Tim Butcher). Tim is not nearly so adventurous, but his book does give a better description of why the Democratic Republic of Congo is in the state that it is in. I recommend both books for different reasons, but this is the most inspiring!