The Road

Monday 21 May 2012

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:

Sogara Road.

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.'


  1. Oh wow, stay safe on those roads! So glad I found your blog, traveling is my favorite so I love reading about your adventures!

  2. Holy cow, I'm never complaining about our local roads again!!!

  3. Wow, that is pretty serious! When I went to Tanzania a few years ago, we did a really long drive from Arusha to Dar Es Salaam (11 hours) and the roads were pretty much like that the whole way! I felt soooo car sick!

  4. @Oneika - My poor husband has to drive it several times a day to work but I'm so glad I don't have to! It's hard on the body and it's really hard on the cars! There are of course, several worse roads in town but there's no way of avoiding that one!

  5. The drive from Dakar to Southern Senegal was bumpy as well. I remember taking a video and bashing my head into the side of the car at one point. Sucks your husband has to do that drive daily. Bet you can't wait for Norway.

  6. I love how your listening to Jimi Hendrix in your car :-)


I love comments! Thanks for taking the time to leave one!

These days, I'm replying to comments directly in the comment feed. Check back!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
by mlekoshi