Thursday, December 12, 2013

#BitcoinAfrica reaches Angola and Cameroon!

So our Bitcoin heroes on motorcycke, Borja and Elvis, have managed succesfully to do two new exchanges in Africa! Story below.


"Greetings from Angola!

It's been a while since we shared our stories. We had difficult days, tiredness and lack of Internet.
But now I will share the experiences we had in the last 6 countries :)

Last update was in Cotonou (Benin), we headed north in the next morning as we wanted to cross to Nigeria, the shortest way was just beside to Lagos but we wanted to avoid some unpleasant experiences so we did an extra 400KM and get to know Benin.
We visited the Kings Royal Palaces in Abomey, 13 palaces in total and 2 available to visit. I was amazed in finding quite a lot of canons and artifacts that were traded by the Portuguese.

After the visit we drove north and do as many km we could, that night we slept in the back of a very important church, something like the Vatican of west Africa, without even knowing. We were very well received and the Priest was very friendly.

Next day after a long and dusty ride we arrived in Nigeria, very small border and friendly police, quick pass but then the roads changed.
We planned to drive another 200 KM but was no road so we managed another 60 Km until we found a very small village and the friendly people invited us to sleep in the Primary School in one of the class room. No much sleep that night, 5 AM we already had some curious visitors, there were missing some windows.

We were amazed with Nigeria, a country that all the people told us not to get in, very friendly people and helpful.
After managing all the non existing roads and arrived to the Tarmac but it was worst then before, I had 4 punctures in 1 day.

But then things changed, we arrived to Abuja, the capital. It was like being in another country, quite developed and very rich people, completely the opposite of the rest of Nigeria.
We stayed 2 days as we needed to find tyres, we met Francis the Gym manager of the hotel, who also loves bikes, he helped us finding the tyres and show us the city and we had a few beers with him and his friends.
Next day all of them join us with their bikes for 60Km, I don't know how they are still alive.

So we starting heading to Cameroon, it took us 1 day. Following day we cross the border with no hassle and friendly police and people but the roads changed again. Rainy season and no Tarmac, you can imagine.

The landscape changed radically, we entered the jungle, 30/40 meters trees it was very dense and beautiful.

After 2 days we arrived to civilization, Douala where we did our fourth bitcoin exchange :) Thanks to our bitcoin contact in Mali, he introduced us Dani who was interested in exchanging. Dani was kind and pay us the bitcoin in advance as we had some technical problems, we made a good friend and spend the weekend "resting".

So it was time to go east and find some Gorilas, we visit them in Lobéké. We spent 2 days in the Jungle and what an adventure, some heavy storm to make it a bit better.
So far was our favorite experience in all the trip.
As we were in the middle of nowhere, the closest bank was 400km away and due some expenses we didn't predict we run out of money.
People told us the next one was just 60Km away and for sure we will find it. Not! No ATM and it was not even a bank. It was just a money gram/western union agent, pity we couldn't trade our bitcoins.
We were stuck with no money, petrol and food. After a few hours we managed to ask a friend in Spain to transfer some € and we managed to continue our journey, we used this service twice due the lack of ATM.
I also had to sell my watch in Congo as it was bank holiday and all the banks were closed and M.G/W.U agents. In French what I don't speak well and made a profit :)

After the amazing Cameroon we had to cross Congo and RDC quick due the conflicts and we are a bit short of time to arrive to Cape Town.
But we managed to visit the Bonobos (Monkeys) in Congo, we spent 2 days with them, as the veterinary is our friend we had the opportunity to be very close and play with them, great 2 days!

The border crossing to RDC was insane, imagine corruption, a passenger boat where it was impossible to fit another person, no ramps for the bikes or even a wheel chair, last boat of the day and it was Friday. We managed and finished the day laughing about it :)

After 11 countries talking in French we finally arrived in Angola, as a native speaker of Portuguese things got easier for me and for our bellies, food is amazing here, like home.

Beautiful country and friendly people, no corruption so far and lots of ATM, everyone is very helpful as well.
After 4 days in Luanda with some friends, we are on the road again, today we did 515 Km to Lobito where we met a contact to do our fifth exchange, this time to Angolan Kwanzas.
Another successful transaction, the Internet is getting faster as we head south.

In 3 days we will enter Namibia, more stories will come soon."

2 comments:

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  2. What an incredible story. I can't believe you guys passed 11 countries and all through these hassles just to find a bitcoin dealer in the African countries.
    Anyway, since you've not reached Nigeria yet, i am available and willing to help you guys reach more African countries. You can contact me via my website at http://www.profithyips.com

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