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Author Topic: Angola, it's not like they said.  (Read 131199 times)

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Offline Andy660

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #220 on: October 08, 2007, 10:28:52 pm »
Awsome pics and written so well,I am glued to the pc.Hope all is well with fred !
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Offline michnus

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #221 on: October 08, 2007, 11:12:21 pm »

I just have to add these few pictures to Metaljockey's report.

Fred stopped me, there was something wrong with his bike, just the ABS acting up from all the sand. Well, we didnâ??t ride with the ABS off, just was too much of a hassle to put it off every time we started again.



Seawater is not your friend.



Now, this is the thing, I don't believe in walking if you can ride, that's why humankind evolved and invented the wheel. But seeing our predicament, I will do what have to be done and take a stroll with Metaljockey back to where I last seen Fred behind me.

I honestly thought it was only a mile or two from where we were, huuuge mistake, all the adrenalin and tension buggers around with your mind. It ended up being a return journey of 9 miles (14km). Well for the most that's nothing, but we are really tired from the ride, our energy levels are low and ploughing through the sand with biking boots is not fun.

It is a eerie feeling leaving your bike, with all your supplies and walk along a desert and a coast that has no mercy for anything, even with MJ there, you know you are bloody alone, it's really a very weird uncomfortable feeling.

Never had I felt scared and absolutely happy at the same time, it's a privilege to experience the beauty and loneliness thatâ??s there, day after day, and civilisation can't encroach there, they can't destroy it, it's ruthless, it's one place mankind can't live, can't build malls.

 


Metaljockey's bike is standing closest to the sea, before we left we moved his bike up to where mine is standing, just in case, because high tide was still coming in.

When we came back the water had just missed our bikes, if we left his bike standing there, it would have been buried in the sand.



On our way back and we are really tired and hungry. I lost my hat a few days before and the sun screws with me big time.



Back at our bikes, we have some comfort, our friends are alive and well.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 11:27:18 pm by michnus »
 

Offline Ektoknbike

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #222 on: October 09, 2007, 05:51:41 am »

Respect :notworthy:
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Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #223 on: October 09, 2007, 06:55:07 am »
Bitter goeie report......the best do far....awesome trip.  ;)

Just a dumb question. Would riding over/on the dunes and not next to the sucking/holding on/wet seasand...would that not been easier? Meaning just behind the big dunes that line the doodsakker paralel with the sea?

« Last Edit: October 09, 2007, 06:58:27 am by Ama ride ride »
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Offline surf

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #224 on: October 09, 2007, 09:16:43 am »
Ouens, unfarkinbelievable. :o

I'm reading this to some of my colleagues, they are sitting around me like a couple of 4 year olds, listening to the teacher reading a fairytale.
More-more, one shouts...

Respect guys, respect...
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Offline Grootseun

Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #225 on: October 09, 2007, 09:31:48 am »
well... this just keeps getting better and better.

Im with welsh on this one. THe stuff you see on tv is just marketing...supposed reality...they have no farking idea...backup van medical support all that shit...

You are the adventurers , we are all wannabe's.

Respect. It's amazing what one can do when there is no comfy way out..Fred has some real big gonads for riding that bike with a broken ankle. Good call on keeping the boot on.

Cant wait for more...

 

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #226 on: October 09, 2007, 09:44:33 am »


Nice 'holiday-by-the-sea' snap this. Like you haven't got a care in the world.

Surreal

Hey, but this trip is nothing like that. The drama just goes on and on. It really is fantastic stuff.

Well done to all of you.








 

David van Breda

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #227 on: October 09, 2007, 09:50:44 am »
The amazing thing about this report is the high quality pictures!  If I am in such a farked-up state (believe me I would have been if i had to do this ;D!!), I would probably not have bothered with pictures!

I'd love to attend a lekker B&B slideshow with all the guys on this trip and listen to them relating the story . . . !
 

Offline michnus

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #228 on: October 09, 2007, 08:48:38 pm »
Bitter goeie report......the best do far....awesome trip.  ;)

Just a dumb question. Would riding over/on the dunes and not next to the sucking/holding on/wet seasand...would that not been easier? Meaning just behind the big dunes that line the doodsakker paralel with the sea?



On top of the dunes some stretches are fairly compact, but the back side are just soft desert sand, with huge dunes and huge drop offs.
At least close to the water edge it's hard pack and easy to ride.  The problem was the tide we underestimated and the time you need to complete the section.

fire-ant

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #229 on: October 09, 2007, 09:12:15 pm »
Bitter goeie report......the best do far....awesome trip.  ;)

Just a dumb question. Would riding over/on the dunes and not next to the sucking/holding on/wet seasand...would that not been easier? Meaning just behind the big dunes that line the doodsakker paralel with the sea?



On top of the dunes some stretches are fairly compact, but the back side are just soft desert sand, with huge dunes and huge drop offs.
At least close to the water edge it's hard pack and easy to ride.  The problem was the tide we underestimated and the time you need to complete the section.

+1,

and they are extremely dangerous with unexpected massive blind drops (both barkhan and longitudinal dunes), resulting in being paralized or death when "flying blind over the edge".
 

Offline funacide

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #230 on: October 09, 2007, 10:35:20 pm »
MJ thanks for the update, I am sitting in a wet and dreary England and your report is just the thing to make me long to go back home and ride.

Awesome stuff guys, no question as to this being the best report I have ever read. Thanks again for all the effort in sharing and yes please keep it coming....
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Offline Metaljockey

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #231 on: October 10, 2007, 06:36:07 am »



The next morning we have a look at Fred's ankle. It's an unpretty thing that balloons out both sides, but he is able to wriggle his toes and to move his foot up and down ever so slightly.
So our combined 'expert' opinion is that it's only the ligaments that went. It may be a bad sprain but a sprain none the less. And if it's a sprain there's no purpose in seeking medical help, they'll just tape it up and that we can do ourselves.

Our accomodation in Ze's factory.






We also do a post mortem on the ride and hindsight shows us where we went wrong. The reason the riding was so much easier in the afternoon, is that we started riding on the ebb. In other words it was not yet low tide, this gives us a better quality of sand to ride and gives us extra time. It took us three hours to do the run against the dune. We started just after low tide and we were racing the incoming tide, which just squeezed the breath out of us.

What we should have done is to schedule the whole trip around this section so that we could utilize Spring Low Tide. If we then departed on the ebb, it would have been a lot safer, time wise. As it happenend, we were there 2 or 3 days after Neap Tide. We couldn't leave earlier as it was still dark. Even before we left that morning, we were already doomed. Our planning let us down.



We get to rinse the bikes with fresh water. And they need it badly. This is the back side of the 950's radiator.






Hennie and myself construct a jumper cable that plugs into his power outlet. My bike gets it connected and carried externally so we don't have to take the seat off every time we need to use it. It does'nt work, as it overheats, but we learn a very important thing. The starter goes 'tchigdrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'. That's the sound of a flat battery. So it's not the starter, solenoid, relay, ignition, or any of a myriad other possibilities. All the other options have now been eliminated. I feel massively better. It's not the bike. It's the battery. And so I learn that a battery can have the headlights shining strongly, yet still be unservicable and short out once a bigger load is put on it.

Ze takes me to an outdoor market and there between the bras, panties, pots and pangas we find three motorcycle batteries. Two tiny 2.5As and one, still not that big, 6A one. My bike needs an 8A battery but this will have to do. I fill it and put it in my bag to charge up properly. I'll fit it in Namibe, the next town.

Some local biker brothers.






Tombua is the first sizable town we get to and we learn a couple of things.
We learn that people are happy to go out of their way to help. Ze had taken a good portion out of his evening to take us around, he had let us sleep in his factory, he let us wash our bikes, he arranged for hot showers, he took Nardus around to change Dollars to Kwanza, he took me around to find a battery. This is a man with a factory to run and a family etc. We owe him. He intends to start a tourism business soon. Tombua is ripe for it.
We learn that if you want to run a business, you must generate your own power. The Municipal power is on for perhaps 3 or 4 hours during the day, on a good day. This turned out to be so, not only in Tombua, but throughout the country.
On the issue of changing money; in Angola it is illegal to import Kwanza. In other words you are not allowed to obtain their currency outside the country and bring it with you through the border. Consequently you have to obtain your Kwanza once you are in the country. The problem is that their banking system is not linked to any foreign banks. So even though the bigger towns may have ATMs, we will not be able to draw money from them. The solution is to carry your whole budget in US Dollars, it is accepted most places and the conversion rate is easy to calculate; 10 Kwanza to the Rand and 7 Rand to the Dollar.
We also learn that the people here are of a different calibre than back home. The town centre consists mostly of abandoned buildings and potholes. There is no lighting as there is no electricity. When we were at the restaurant the previous night, our bikes was parked in the dark outside, with all our gear on, surrounded by twenty or so youngsters. When we mentioned our concern for theft, it provoked surpised laughter. Nothing was touched, we still got up now and again to have a look, but here we were the freaks for being so suspicious.



We leave Tombua and head to Namibe on a tarred road.

Normally I detest tar when on the 640, but it is novel and I enjoy sitting back and just letting the bike get on with it. Angolans drive on the 'wrong' side of the road however, so everytime I see a vehicle approach my stomache gives a slight turn.

Namibe turns out to be a major town. As we pull in, we stop to get something to eat and we have the most fantastic pastries. We notice a lot of Portuguese come in and drink what looks like cappucino and whisky as a combination. We also have guys pose next to our bikes for photo's. they appear to be well-off and drive new 4x4s and wear Ferrari branded clothing. This is clearly a more affluent town and it shows. The roads are better, we see a traffic cop and the place has many bars, pubs and discos.

We head to the beach front to find accomodation and we find a restaurant where we grind to a halt.






The service is excellent and having the prettiest waitresses in town does'nt hurt either.









The beach.






We spend the whole day on this veranda spending a large part of our budget. Money well spent I say.

We are entertained by this guy doing all sorts of tricks at breakneck speed.



My favourite is when he comes past with his legs over the handlebars, his hands behind his head as if he's sitting on a sofa, keeping the throttle open with his calf. We stop taking pictures though because we can just see that this lot is going to end badly if we keep on encouraging him.


We just loved the local bicycle gang. All with impressive skills.





That is another thing we notice. It looks like children here have the time and space to play. We see unsupervised groups of 8yr olds swimming at the beach and playing games. Where I stay that would be out of the question.

We find camping for R50 a person ($7). We are the only people there.






Fred's ankle appears to be worse than the previous day and he is clearly in a lot of pain. As soon as we've eaten, he heads off to take a lie down.

We have high expectations from Namibe. It's Africa, it's Portuguese, it's by the seaside, and we know there will be many clubs and young people partying. And the locals we have seen so far are sensational. What we forget is that we are not that young anymore. A long story short - we wander the streets looking for a good time from 19:00 to 23:00 by which time we are so tired we go to bed. The night life in Namibe starts at midnight. I kid you not. At midnight people only start going out. Then they party untill 6 or 7 in the morning.

So, to my utter embarrassment, we fade and have nothing to show of Namibe.

I apologise.





Offline PARAMED

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #232 on: October 10, 2007, 06:56:29 am »
MJ another great update buddy, Great to see the hospitality of these people that have nothing,we can all learn something from their example!
Must have been a relief to be in a town with most ammenities,a treat I am sure...

Great to see that tourism potential is being harvested,it could only benifit the local economy!

Well done again to you and the crew,glad Fred is Mobile,sort of,anyway! ;D

Cheers B
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Offline Colyn

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #233 on: October 10, 2007, 07:05:37 am »
Thank you for the update.
Never underestimate the power of denial.
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shark_za

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #234 on: October 10, 2007, 07:22:44 am »
Lekka, looks a lot like Moz.
Colonization has that effect.
 
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #235 on: October 10, 2007, 07:30:14 am »
Keep it coming!  ;D
 

Offline Plothond

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #236 on: October 10, 2007, 07:30:49 am »
aaah, Thankyou !!!

Now I can go to the Rallye Raid in peace   ;D
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Offline Goose

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #237 on: October 10, 2007, 07:58:45 am »
This one is the BEST!!! I've also been reading the post on ADVrider... and can honestly agree with one of the US blokes comment - "MJ must be published"!!! It's GOOD!!  8) 8)
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Offline MrBig

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #238 on: October 10, 2007, 08:10:22 am »
Great reading as always!
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Offline Wolf

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #239 on: October 10, 2007, 09:44:18 am »
More More More please
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