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Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once. - Anthony Bourdain

22-23 July 2019, Ndende
Hotel Divive 9,000CFA (R225)


Our first order of business Monday morning was to get ourselves officially stamped into Gabon. The young man who completed the required forms at immigration was well-dressed and well-spoken and a pleasure to deal with. After he was done, however, we had a long wait for the actual stamp. I undersood him to say he was waiting for the “boss”; Charl that he was waiting for the “bus”. I showed him exactly where I wanted him to place the stamp, anxious always to save blank pages for all the visas and entry/exit stamps still to come, and checked that he would date the entry July 21 not 22. He said it did not matter, but when I said I wanted an accurate history, he humoured me.
Otherwise I caught up the blog while Charl had the bikes washed and mended a broken pannier mechanism. One night we ate fish and rice at a local restaurant; the other, a fresh baguette with French butter and cheese, Danish salami and German beer.
We had noticed that there seemed to be no taxis in Ndende, thoroughly un-African. We asked the immigration official why. He hedged a little, saying it was complicated, but that the mayor was looking into it and that taxis would be back shortly. Mmmm…

Money looking old
Money looking old
Ndende
Ndende
Ndende
Ndende
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Ndende
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