I've mentioned the terrible state of the roads in Port Gentil a couple of times and surprise, surprise, they haven't gotten any better however, now that we live downtown, I hardly notice as our immediate surrounding roads are in pretty good shape.
There is one road in particular that you will hear every, single resident of Port Gentil complain about:
It's one of the most used roads in the entire city for 2 reasons. First of all, the majority of all foreign companies have their offices & bases out there and second, it's the road to the beach.
I'm certain the road was paved at some point because every once in awhile, you'll come across a jagged piece of pavement but they have since let that go and it's now mostly packed, red dirt. Every few months they plow it to smooth out the bumps and pot holes but it only lasts until the next big rainstorm and rather quickly, it turns terrible once again.
Because of Sogara Road, I have learned why there are handles in a vehicle. I have also learned that there is no need for a chiropractor.
A couple of months ago, I took a video to illustrate a drive to Joe's office. In order to take the video, I wasn't able to hold on to the handles and risked seriously injuring myself. (Fortunately, I came out unscathed.)
---Traffic swerves back and forth all over the road to avoid 'the big ones.'---
--- 8/12 months of the year is rainy season meaning there will be giant pools of murky water to also avoid.---
---It's about 10 am and traffic was at a downtime.---
---We only went 1/4 of the way and not even through the worst part.---
---Because of the video, Joe & I kept our cursing down.---
When we first moved to Gabon, we were planning to live out at the beach. When we expressed our concern about driving that road everyday, the response was always, "Don't worry, they're fixing the road." Am I ever glad we didn't find a house out there. When we lived at the staffhouse, that road was the bane of my existence.
Before we got here, many of the companies got together and proposed paying out of their own pockets to fix the road. The government wanted the companies to pass the cash to them and they would get the road fixed. Needless to say, it didn't happen because the companies know that money has a funny way of disappearing here without any work getting done.
A few weeks ago something started happening on Sogara road. Crews came, rerouted traffic and it looked like repairs were taking place. People rejoiced. While it's certainly better for the time being, it's really only been plowed and no one can quite figure out what they're doing. I imagine we'll be long gone before it's actually 'fixed.'