After breakfast (today with real croissants) the team visited the Albert Schweitzer hospital which most probably is the most famous hospital in the part of the world.
The Albert Schweitzer Hospital was established in 1913 by Albert Schweitzer in Lambarene, Gabon. Its Medical Research Unit is one of the leading scientific institutions in Africa working to end the scourge of malaria, and also serves as a highly regarded training site for African physicians and scientists.
The hospital is supported by the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, which was founded during 1940 in the United States to support Dr. Schweitzer’s medical work in Africa during World War II
Albert Schweitzer received the Nobel Price for peace in 1953 and two of his famous quotes read:
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful”
Team Lipstick subscribes to both of these quotes…
The team visited the museum where the original office of Albert Schweitzer can be seen and a few original letters written to him by some famous people
The research unit against Malaria has a variety of mosquito species (over 150!) and researchers from all over the world get these deadly flies for their own research from here.
Willy at the desk of a great man – Albert Schweitzer
And Andre checking out the hospital beds of times gone by…
The second famous piano on the trip after Casablanca now in Lambarene where Albert Schweitzer used to play…
A letter from Albert Einstein to Albert Schweitzer …..In lieu of flowers after the death of a friend Einstein and friends collected money which thy send to Albert Schweitzer…
A great man and wife devoting their life to the health of Africa…
Back onto the winding roads of Gabon and soon after Moulila the tar road ended and Lipstick hit a gravel road which became narrower and narrower as the border between Gabon and Congo was reached.
Bridge over troubled water … Gabon ………..
The Gabon border consists of 2 booms with and office in between where a very friendly officer functions as a one stop place for passports and Carnet and thereafter lifts the second boom into Normans land leading to the Congo border.
Again a boom signalled the control points and at first the police officer at an office on the left noted the teams details into a book where after they had to go to the army office on the right where the same procedures took place,thereafter to the immigration office on the left and next to it the customs office for the Carnet de passage.
Border procedures on the Gabon side of the Border between Gabon and Congo…
The exit road of the border post was an assembly of potholes, mud and grass walls on either site and signalled what lies ahead for the next 160 km. It became impossible to exceed the speed to more than 35 km/hour and what was meant to become a 2 hour drive lasted a solid 6 hours!
The road connecting Gabon and Congo …
It is noteworthy to mention that this road leads out of the Congo and back to Gabon and thereafter back to Congo again without any border control but it is impossible to turn off the road into the high bush and grassland.
Shortly after a village called Kibangou Lipstick was stopped by police and told that we must report to the customs office back in Kibangou so the team had to drive back some 6km and explain to the customs officer that they had the carnet already stamped when entering Congo at the previous border posts. After paging through the carnet in Congo style slow motion he agreed that everything is in order and that Lipstick could proceed.
Bridges in Africa….
Shortly thereafter the sun was saying goodbyeand the team still had to cover another 120km and decided to rather risk a night drive than to stop and camp on the road or in one of the African villages along the road.
At one stage a truck in front of Lipstick hit a motorcycle and with no chance to overtake the scene Lipstick was stuck for half an hour before the truck driver and the motor biker reached a settlement.
A Truck blocked the road after hitting a bike – no chance to overtake….
During the night drive the worst was having one of the Log carrying trucks in front which blows up a lot of dust into the floodlights of Lipstick – by sheer luck Lipstick could avoid driving right into a bunch of logs which are not marked and stick out some 5 m behind the tail light of these African monster vehicle – some 2m before hitting these logs Lipstick was brought to a halt – thanks to the new brakes received in Libreville
That’s what oncoming traffic could see of Lipstick during the night drive
– Full Floodlights…top bottom
..and this was the view from the cockpit
It was almost 10pm when Doussala was reached and where at the entrance of town a tar road appeared again – by this time Lipstick looked like totally covered in mud and dust and immediate negotiations with the watchmen took place who would be willing to wash the car to make it look more respectable the next morning