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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Angola, part 2

Days 5 & 6: we spent 2 days at Flamingo Lodge. We took the opportunity to completely clean the vehicle and to reorganise our storage arrangement to (hopefully) a better system. On day 5 the mist stayed over the area all day, and it was quite cold. In the evening we took a drive to a spectacular canyon (multi coloured, sandstone – according to geologist Avril)  near by – we supplied some nibbles for the sundowners. On Day 6 we did get some sunshine. We had a nice fish meal at the lodge dining room on the last night.

Day 7: a reasonably leisurely 07:30 start to the day. Ray’s turn to drive; after the rough trip to the tar road, it was a made road for the rest of the day (confirming the accusation that Ray always gets the easy driving).It is good that we are learning to drive on the “wrong side” with a right hand drive vehicle under the careful and caring eyes of Koos. This will serve us well for the future.

We passed through Namibe and did some basic shopping and also bought vegetables from a road side market. Then we drove up the absolutely spectacular Leda pass. A great feat of engineering and fantastic views along the way and from the top. Unfortunately there was quite a heat haze, so it was not good for photos – memory will have to suffice.

We then visited a Dorslander Trekker monument and graves. We had a quick look at the statue of Jesus the King – a smaller version of the one in Rio and one of three in the world.

Tonight, luxury again – showers! We have a nice camp site on a strawberry farm. 272 km. S 150 00’ 27.1’’  E 0130 24’ 25.4’’

 Day 8: After a very cold night, we set off at 07:00, Avril driving for a very tough day – 11 hours. We rated the road in 4 categories: made road, very badly potholed; made road very badly potholed and partially deteriorated ; made road fully deteriorated ; not really a road at all.

In the morning we went to the look outs at Tunda Valla – truly breathtaking. The sheer drop must be well over 1,000 m. The view over the surrounding countryside fantastic. Unfortunately, there was a strong wind and a haze, so pictures will not do justice.

The drive was just hard work. There were large baobab forests along the way and in the distance, through the haze we could see what looked like some great mountains.

We looked at the thermometer at lunch: 470C outside in the sun & 400C in the car.
Ray managed to withdraw cash from a local ATM with a Visa debit – which is handy.
Tonight we camp right on the beach just south of Benguela
319 km. S 120 36’ 26.4’’  E 0130 15’ 35.7’’

Day 9 & 10: we are camped right on the very pleasant (& clean) beach at Lobito. It seems that we are leaving the influence of the Benguela current behind us – last night was mild and humid, no doona needed. Though the sea has that feel of the ocean off south west Victoria, a bit chilly.

Today we basically replenished bread, fuel (~ A$ 0.40 per litre – take note Andreas!!!) and food (a bit like a feeding frenzy for us, as we also stocked up for DRC). Fortunately the supermarket accepted a Visa credit card.

We stopped at a restaurant, most people just had a beer, but Ray decided to have the local speciality – stew of lentils, pork and chicken with rice.  

The local immigration officials visited us on the beach for a roll call and to welcome us. Very nice.
Ray’s turn to drive – 65 Km, mostly on dual carriage way! Mine you, Avril needed to drive after Ray had a beer. S 120 19’ 55.5’’  E 0130 33’ 36.7’’

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ray and Av

    Well we will tomorrow attempt the very difficult driving feat of getting through the city and down to Philip Island. Trying to avoid the Magpie and Cats supporters.

    Lots of rain and very cold here so 47 sounds good to me. Are you guys posting any photos cos I can't find them?

    Same old same old here.


    Steve & Olga