Category Archives: Historical

Heading to Leopold From Kisali, The Congo

 

As we traveled we traded and collected items that were not trade goods for the traveler!! The items were used by the locals themselves.
American Press Travel News–March 19th, Leopoldville The Congo section of my book: “Africa on a Pin & a Prayer.”
We left Kisali on the “boat” a riverboat pushing a huge barge a microcosm of African life being pushed along by a 2000 horsepower diesel engine turning a paddlewheel that splashed at the river and inexorably pushed more than 1000 souls along a river that hasn’t changed since, or before written history one iota. Congolese minister’s concubines took up most of the riverboat rooms and Gene and I got lucky enough with the help of a Belgian business man, to grab one of those rooms and we camped out there. God had mercy, we did not have to sleep on the deck with the water bugs and other slimy critters that came out on deck under cover of darkness. We settled in for a 20-day run to Leopoldville. I spent a lot of time on the barge. I visited the Cayman croc sellers, the fruit and vegetable vendors and looked over the booty and bounty of what many villagers had bagged in the jungle’s hinterlands smoked monkeys, boa constrictor snakes for food or sale to collectors, butterflies kept in between palm leaves, also for the collector. Raw latex from Goodman’s Goodyear rubber plantation on its way to be processed into gloves, tires, rubber boots, condoms. Wildly colorful songbirds and parrots, snakes, monkeys, sloths, bamboo and logs destined for trading in the capitol of the Congo, Leopoldville.
Every minute was an adventure on the riverboat. Villagers whose huts hugged the river banks along the way, braved the boats wake and came out to the barge in pirogues hollowed out wood log dugout canoes, to trade fresh produce, including cut pieces of sugar cane a favorite treat for everyone aboard.
All the things done in the village were being accomplished on the barge as it was pushed at about 5 mph towards Leopoldville was being done there. Clothes washing, cooking child care and even love making on the decks sometimes behind a cloth shade.
Drinking fresh. clean water out of a cut vine!!!

 

Pictures of the Week!!

American Press Travel News–March 12th, Florida Keys–Pictures of the week!!  ALL IMAGES IN “HISTORY OF FISHING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS!”  THIS BOOK IS BY BOB T. EPSTEIN SEE ON-LINE AT AMAZON!

Giant Melogadon jaw, inside of that jaw is a Tiger Shark Jaw!!!
Ted Williams and his guide Stu Apte!!
Zane Grey in the Keys with a permit
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the Keys!!

Excerpts From Finally Published “Africa on a Pin & a Prayer

AMERICAN PRESS TRAVEL NEWS–MARCH 9TH,–BOB’S WRITERS CABIN-GOOSE HOLLER’ FARM-Leopoldville The Congo.

My first book lover!
She wantged my Africa and Goldie the Goldfish book!

We left Kisali on the “boat” a riverboat pushing a huge barge a microcosm of African life being pushed along by a 2000 horsepower diesel engine turning a paddlewheel that splashed at the river and inexorably pushed more than 1000 souls along a river that hasn’t changed since, or before written history one iota. Congolese minister’s concubines took up most of the riverboat rooms and Gene and I got lucky enough with the help of a Belgian business man, to grab one of those rooms and we camped out there. God had mercy, we did not have to sleep on the deck with the water bugs and other slimy critters that came out on deck under cover of darkness. We settled in for a 20-day run to Leopoldville. I spent a lot of time on the barge. I visited the Cayman croc sellers, the fruit and vegetable vendors and looked over the booty and bounty of what many villagers had bagged in the jungle’s hinterlands smoked monkeys, boa constrictor snakes for food or sale to collectors, butterflies kept in between palm leaves, also for the collector. Raw latex from Goodman’s Goodyear rubber plantation on its way to be processed into gloves, tires, rubber boots, condoms. Wildly colorful songbirds and parrots, snakes, monkeys, sloths, bamboo and logs destined for trading in the capitol of the Congo, Leopoldville.
Every minute was an adventure on the riverboat. Villagers whose huts hugged the river banks along the way, braved the boats wake and came out to the barge in pirogues hollowed out wood log dugout canoes, to trade fresh produce, including cut pieces of sugar cane a favorite treat for everyone aboard.
All the things done in the village were being accomplished on the barge as it was pushed at about 5 mph towards Leopoldville was being done there. Clothes washing, cooking child care and even love making on the decks sometimes behind a cloth shade.

First Pygmies we saw on our trip through the Ituri Rain Forest, in the Congo! The dogs wooden clacker bells scared snakes away from the path, ahead of the men. Also the men could keep track of the dogs as they ran through the forest. These dogs did not bark!!
Dope salesman in Kampala, Uganda. Offered a bag of black gunge for 50-cents to me! No didn’t buy it!!!

 

Another Excerpt from my Book: “Africa On A Pin & A Prayer.”

Africa On a Pin & a Prayer
signed copies available
now! Go bobepstein@aol.com

Excerpt from my book: “Africa on a Pin & a Prayer.”

My god, it’s the middle of the night we are deep in the hinterlands of the Congo suddenly after a plunge off of a log bridge, dark swirling muddy water quickly rose around my neck than over my head. A moment before my mouth was covered I yelled screamed to Gene my traveling companion we’re, dead we’re dead.” In complete darkness, I kicked my way through the water out the open window on the drivers right side of our British Land rover Gene did the same. We made our way to a muddy bank and crawled out and up through slippery vegetation up the embankment that led to the dirt road we had just propelled ourselves off, into one of the most serious predicaments of our travels through Africa. Wet, scared and bedeviled immediately by the cacophony of frog peepers and coughs of jungle cats, we made our way back towards a village that we had passed a few miles back. Racing through my mind was “would we get out of this one”, would I ever see my mother and family again, can we salvage the vehicle which was literally our lifeboat in a sea of seething uncertainty, in a country who was in chaos and basically swimming in state of anarchy.