On Monday we spent 13 hours driving in Liberia, this was after 7 hours the previous day. We’ll have somewhere in between to look forward to in the morning.
The roads in Liberia are overall much better than in Congo, but now my standards for road quality are incredibly skewed. However, the roads worsened considerably after it got dark (an underestimation in the time it took to get from A to B on the part of my Country Director).
We came upon a patch of road that was dug out to at least the height of a four wheel drive vehicle, taking a huge chunk out of the middle. Surveying the scene, it was clear that going down the middle wasn’t an option. Thus, we preceded along the left side of the road. Not ten feet into the forty foot stretch of treacherous road, did we begin to slip badly into the left bank.
In no time we were stuck.
After a few attempts at spinning our wheels, it was clear that this wasn’t going to cut it. We got out and dug around the wheels and then proceeded to try and push the vehicle out.
As you can imagine, two of us pushing didn’t give us a chance. Eventually a few others came to pitch in. It took about five or six goes at digging and pushing to get us out of there. By the end, the mud was flinging in all directions and I was covered from head to toe. Wet juicy mud from about my waste down, and luckily the more dry cakey mud above.
Needless to say, our driver and Country Director were slightly mortified to have me doing the heavy lifting. I’m certain that the slew of people walking through as we final got our car out were making comments about the white lady covered in mud.
It wasn’t my first time covered in mud though. My twin sister reminded me of the pictures we have of us covered in mud as children playing.
My favorite other mud memory was in Australia. On our first day into the Outback, after traveling about 1,000 kilometers, we got seriously bogged in the mud only about ten miles out of Birdsville. It took us about two hours or more to get ourselves out of there. It was a similarly muddy situation, and we arrived at the pub covered from head to toe in mud. Welcome to the Outback.
In this case it was welcome to Lofa County! The moment we arrived at the guest house it started pouring down buckets! Just glad not to have to sleep out there.(This is us making it through the same spot in the daylight. The diesel truck on the side stuck in the exact same place where we were stuck! Another big truck came through two minutes later and got stuck and blocked the road entirely. Since the trip took eleven hours of driving as it was, we were thankful to have gotten through first!)