Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
Date : 22nd September, 2018
Time : 54’ 39”
Number of runners (total to date) : 30 (2433)
Total distance run to date : 1520 km
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3051105779
Just about my least favourite part of visiting a new country is the airport transfer. What’s the best way to get to your hotel? How much should you pay? Do you need local currency? Is it safe?
It doesn’t help that you’re often tired after a flight and surrounded by people clamouring to ‘help’…
So it was a great pleasure to walk through customs in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and be met by someone who whisked me off to an air conditioned room to wait for my luggage to be collected. And then to be driven to my hotel through some of the liveliest street life I’ve seen to date. (No pic of the street life I’m afraid – I took a picture from my taxi in Lagos and a man got very angry and started to thump the car.)
All of this had been arranged by Gregory and the Running Club de Kinshasa. As was just about everything else during my time in Kinshasa including the Saturday morning city tour with Djambo.
We started at the train station and the fresco commemorating the 132 Europeans and 1800 African and Asian lives lost while building the first railway line. (You get the sense the European deaths may have been more carefully recorded…)
From there to Laurent Kabila’s statue
and mausoleum in the closed off part of the city centre
and then on to the Musee National de Kinshasa with its historic artefacts inside and colonial era works – including a huge statue of Stanley – outside.
They also arranged the run that evening which featured about 30 of us in total including Ambassador John Murton, Nick and Nico from the British embassy.
The route took us through the Gombe district – the westernised part of town that’s home to most of the Embassies and NGOs. And a very nice run it was too taking in the Congo river,
a family of pigs
and some good chats.
Afterwards, some of us went for a drink at the embassy before heading back to homes and hotels.
Altogether an excellent 24 hours in Kinshasa. Things went downhill from there but that’s for another blog!
In the meantime, it just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Gregory and the Running Club de Kinshasa, and to the Ambassador and Nick and Nico from the British Embassy.
I hope to see you all in London one day, ideally on July 4th 2020 for the UK leg of Run the World!
If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
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