Another early morning, another day on the road. It poured most of the third day, but it felt a little easier, knowing that we were only a little more than 100km away from Buta. Nearly there! Nearly there!
Boom! Bike breakdown. Adam’s driver discovered that he had water in his engine from one of the many puddles we’d gone through. They’d originally thought it would be a quick and easy problem, but when 2 hours had passed and the bike seemed to be being taken apart instead of put back together, we realized it might be a bigger issue.
It is always slightly alarming when you go over to check on your bike drivers and they are sitting, looking worried, and there are 1000 wires hanging from the sides of the bike. It wouldn’t usually bode well.
We were only 80km from Buta, but we decided to stay in this tiny 3 hut village for the night. Had we left for Buta then at 4:30, most of the journey would have been at night and Adam’s driver didn’t drive so well during the day, let alone during the night. Nothing is scarier than being told to dismount from a bike to get through the mud, getting off, then having the bike drive away, taking its headlight with it. There you are, left alone, in the dark, in a field of mud in the middle of jungley forest. Not too safe feeling!
So we pitched our tent, and felt like sorcerers as the entire village watched us create a lime-green home from a teeny black bag.
It was nice to get away from the bugs and the stares, but the ground was pretty hard to sleep on. There were two tiny puppies in the village to snuggle -- ratty, flea-invested and hollow -- but it was a nice connection. The old grandmother kept saying to me in Lingala that she needed a doctor and could I help? I felt bad to say no, but there was really nothing I could have done.
It was nice too to sleep under the clear moonlight -- we’d be woken every once in a while by the sound of the skinnier dog eating the bugs who were attracted to the glow of our green tent.