Saturday, 9 April 2016

Angola 3

Leaving Lobito we stopped off for supplies and headed down South alongside the coast. It was a long day of driving, having come off the tar and onto fairly bumpy piste. Charles is not good on these roads because every 30 seconds he has his head out of the window checking for new rattles! The landscape changed dramatically, we had gone from lush vegetation to baron desert. Greens to yellows and oranges. 

We headed down a track to find somewhere to stay and ended up on top of a cliff overlooking a fishing village and a large expanse of the sea. The breeze gave some relief from the sweltering heat and we set up camp for the night.

Moving on towards Lobango the next morning we spend about 40km on dirt roads.. It was frustrating as there was a new road half built next to it but we were unable to use it due to blockages and high banks built either side.. It seemed like it had been this way for years. There were bridges built in the middle of nowhere but no roads to leading to or from them.. Their only use was as shelter for cattle herds! This continued until out of know where came a brand new petrol station and perfect tar. We just couldn't believe it. The road again, however, was littered with bridges without roads so every few kilometres you had to go on the piste around them! 

With the coast on the left and desert on the right it made for some spectacular views. Along the way we saw little villages with fields of green vegetables. Again surreal against the Orange sand!

By 12 we were both hungry and looking for somewhere to stop for lunch. Charles has seen on the points of interest there was a ship wreck about half an hour away so we went down a dirt track expecting to see a fishing village and the ship wreck. We arrived to beautiful houses spanning across the bay and a rusty ship wreck on the shore line. It was totally not what expected! We took some photos and ate our ham and cheese sandwiches watching the ladies fish in the sea. Leaving there we headed towards the Serra de Leba, a road winding up the side of the mountain. Getting there it was 1200m of a climb up the steep slope of the mountain. We started the go pro and off we went. On each bend there was art work depicting different scenes, with the climb getting steeper as we went up. Half way up we heard a crack, the go pro had come off. I ran down the hill to find it.. We were lucky, the go pro holder had snapped, it was lying on the road with the camera procariously hanging from the side .. Very close to loosing it! 

We arrived at a camp site in Humpata and settled in for the night. We had a few visitors.. The local stray dogs and the children shouting 'amigo' through the fence. Again in Angola we have had a lot of attention from people wanting something!

Next morning we had decided to do a bit of sightseeing in and around Lumbungo. A day of driving but not full on like the previous day. We set of towards a waterfall marked on the waypoints.. Down a dirt track until we reached a road block (a tree). We set off on foot over meadow like terrain, lots of wild flowers and butterflies. Long grasses which were greens and Pinks. Very pretty! Towards the end of the track we were rewarded by a small but stunning waterfall! The pool at the bottom could definitely have been swum in.. Shame we didn't come prepared! 

Heading towards Lumbumgo we stopped at shoprite (I am pretty sure we have spent most of our budget in these stores. That's what happens when you have a South African in a South African owned supermarket..). We stopped for lunch and headed up to Tundavala. We were not sure what to expect but heading up on cobbled roads to beautiful scenery we couldn't be disappointed. The rocks across the land looked like the Giants Causway, and for the third time in as many days we had a change of vegetation. No longer the oranges but green and space, much like the Alps in summer. 

As we got to the top (2230m) the cloud started rolling in over the roads and up from the valleys below. We went to look at the view point and saw nothing but clouds. Within about 3 minutes the sun was beginning to burn through and from the clouds came a very deep valley. It was amazing, our photos did not do the place justice. You could see over the mountains for miles around, the green valleys fading into blue in the distance. Just stunning.

(The view from another view point)

Coming back down the mountain we stopped off at a rather post restaurant and had a drink! Sitting in the sun .. We could not complain! 

We headed back down and met up with Rob and Mandy who had caught up with us. We went for a catch up drink and as the heavens opened we drove back to the farm camp. It was a brrai and lots of talking. Charles and I really enjoyed our time travelling alone for the week. We proved to ourselves we could do it and managed to stay on good terms throughout.. Often a challenge! 

After revisiting a couple of the places we had been so that Mandy and Rob could do some touristy things we headed south to being the process of crossing the border. 

We have loved Angola and it worth the hassle and stress we went through to get the visa. It is full of people who are proud of their country and what it has to offer.. And it had a lot to offer! From the bustling cities with all the western comforts, to the pouring green waterfalls; the arid and orange desert to the stunning white sand beaches. The country has it all and somewhere definitely worth a second visit!