We really enjoyed dealing with the polite and friendly people at the Angola border. Nothing was too much trouble and they even showed us to an airconditioned room while they completed the paperwork for us. We had expected to as usual complete several forms sometimes in duplicate and wait in a hot room that never have enough seats for us all to sit down (I usually pull the age excuse and Kevin will stand…) but here we were sitting in comfortable office type chairs waiting for someone else to do the writing. The nice times continued after we drove down the steep road to the police post to get our car permits. They were all so relaxed and eager to chat. I think it had something to do with all the police cars being out of action and in various states of repair around the yard, they couldn’t go out and do ‘police stuff’ any way.
We headed south and wild camped at what could have been a rubbish tip except it wasn’t. It sure did make a good act of looking like a tip though and in the morning after sifting through some of the rubbish to get shampoo of all things, we headed on. We had by now restocked our food and fuel and were ready for a few days off the main roads so we headed for the famous Shipwreck Coast on the north coast of Angola. After heading to a campground and having a look around, we decided to check out a spot further up the coast only accessible by 4x4. We drove along the beach in front of the rusting hulks and found the small track up a canyon to a grassy plateau. It was a great spot and we spent the afternoon taking in the view. There are dozens of broken and rusting ships, from medium sided passenger ships and freighters, to steel fishing boats and barges, as far as we could see in both directions. The beach down in front of us was also a popular picnic spot, as we were able to observe. The next day Kevin, Christine and I swum out to a ship and explored the decks above water. As we came back to shore, a rogue wave hit my back and knocked my glasses off my head into the water just as it was receding back sweeping them away in a second with zero chance of finding them in waist deep water... My only prescription sunglasses were now amongst the millions of tons of trash rotting away at Shipwreck Coast… We left not long after with me in a slightly grumpy mood and Christine seeing the trail of money getting thicker the further south we travelled.
We headed straight to Luanda the capital of Angola. What an awesome city and it was the first city we had seen on the West Coast that had a big marina full of pleasure boats, just like at home! How do I know? Because we stayed at the marina right in the middle of the city. For some reason, the marina let overland travellers stay in the car park for free. We can use the toilets and showers, take water and sometimes they even have free wifi. We were still phone shopping and hit the town to see what we could find. We headed off with Kevin and Steph to a big new mall on the other side of the city. We nearly bought 2 phones but after some thought we came up with the idea of getting my optometrist to send some new glasses and he can put the phones in the box and we have 2 problems solved at once! That was it. We ended up just buying KFC at the mall and then decided on how we could all get back to the yacht club. We cramming into an already very full minivan bus and we were off! At that stage and for most of the trip we didn’t actually know where were going but it was in the right general direction. Kevin monitored progress on a mapping app and we managed to get back to the cars OK. That night I made contact with my optometrist and got things underway. Everything is going to be sent by DHL to the capital of Namibia, the next country for us and now we had a deadline to meet the package.
We headed to the south of the country via the coast and made a few stops along the way. A side road took us to a cave system that was massive! We walked down a path about 1 kilometer to the valley floor with a small stream. To our right and into the side of the valley we had just walked down was the entrance to the cave. It was 40 or 50 meters high and inside the first 300 meters of the cave the ceiling got higher still and was lined with thousands of bats. It stunk! We walked right through and back and in the hottest part of the day, back up the valley to the cars at the top. Luxy just hung out by the cars when we were gone and was sleeping in the shade when we all got back...such a good cat!
On the way south we stayed at 2 wonderful places for free right on the beach. The first was a resort where the owner has a soft spot for 'real' overlanders and we can camp in the carpark and although the pool was green with little beetles swimming in it, the place was really nice, 5 star. The second was a restaurant on the beach in Lobito. They had an area to one side out of the way of the diners and we set up camp right there. Luxy had fun on the sand and managed to avoiding the beach dogs that slept right under our car all night. The next day we agreed on a destination and headed off. Earlier while checking over the car I had noticed a problem with the four-wheel drive and when Kevin texted to say the road to the campsite we were heading to was very bad we decided to take another way and meet up later in the week. We camped just off the road on the way to a really interesting area that has some amazing canyons and in one place, some arches that have been formed with erosion from the wind and rain. Although the arches weren’t too interesting, the road to and from them was incredible. We dropped of a plateau down a road with countless switchbacks and amazing views around every corner. It was great that we had to do it twice as the arches were quite a way off the main road. Needing to keep our schedule to collect the package, we continued south to the border stopping only to look at the war relics and discarded tanks that lined parts of the road to the southern border. In no time, we were at the border ready for Angola crossing number 4 into Namibia and for the first time in 11 border crossings, we didn't have Kevin and Steph with us in their Landie.
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!