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Heart of Africa Expedition: Into the Hot Zone

I knew today was going to be kind of make or break for reaching our destination, the Kotto confluence with the Ndjé. I was somewhat worried that our boys’ courage could have evaporated in the night, or the boogy man left the scene at dawn and suddenly the threat of Seleka goes down.

We wait around for the guys who said they would come, but never did. What the heck, let’s just go downstream and see where the path takes us. I decided to let the guys go out front today; I felt like a slow concentrated pace.

We were going through these landos that were freshly burned and bright green. The should have all had 3 or 4 hartebeest or a warthog or two, yet nothing, day after day. At at a certain point I got a bit off track and went down to check out a lando. Just as I was getting close to the path, I could hear the motorcycle, then I saw it, it was headed almost for me. Do I call it out, or go invisible? I decided on invisible, knowing people on a moto just look for movement in the periphery, and facial recognition is high. So don’t move, don’t look them directly in the eye.

This dude was no more than 5 meters away from me when he sped by; he never saw me. I made tracks to catch up because I didn’t want the motorcycle guy to report that he had seen the white guy’s team but not the white guy. More intrigue in the OK corral.

I caught up before the moto man had taken off. He seemed a Muslim from his demeanor; he also wore a matchette turned into a sword close to his chest. These guys consider themselves warriors. He didn’t give us much information, other than the Seleka threat had diminished somewhat out here because they were collecting in Bria.

Follow Mike Fay as he retraces William Cherry’s footsteps, sharing the experience in words, photos, video, maps, and social media: Expedition Through the Heart of Africa. This link contains all of Fay’s dispatches.