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Author Topic: Angola, it's not like they said.  (Read 129172 times)

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Offline Uiltjie

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #260 on: October 16, 2007, 08:05:55 am »
Thanx again MJ, you made us wait.....but thanx!
"Sit vis vobiscum."
 

Extreme Velcro

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #261 on: October 16, 2007, 08:08:17 am »
That's a ROAD!!!!!!!!!  OOOOOOO liewe aarde - its one I would take at 10 kays an hour - I'm feeling ill just looking at it !
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #262 on: October 16, 2007, 08:13:06 am »

I hate cities. To me they are just large containers for the desperate. Out in the rural areas one can be poor, but still live with integrity and self respect.

+1
Well said, a stunning discription

Thanks for sharing this experience with us meer mortals  :)
 

BigEd

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #263 on: October 16, 2007, 08:24:56 am »
Been rivited from day 1 - this report is bad for produtivity but GREAT for me >:D

Thanks MJ. Are the mags/rags banging down the door to publish you? I would. The pics tell a story of their own, but your words really make this..."containers for the desparate". Wow! What a phrase! You are a poet.

We are not worthy... :'(
 

Offline growweblaar

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #264 on: October 16, 2007, 09:29:21 am »
Thanks, MJ. I read the ADVRider version yesterday just for the comments from the rest of the world!
 

Offline Biesie

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #265 on: October 16, 2007, 09:39:48 am »
Man ...I want to cash in my retirement fund and hit the road .... MJ this is my daily fix !! I just can't get enough !!!! Brilliant !!!
 

Offline Wolf

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #266 on: October 16, 2007, 09:45:59 am »
MJ Thanks for the continuation, I have been waiting eagerly
A mans got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.
 

Offline Groenie

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #267 on: October 16, 2007, 12:39:31 pm »
Aag nee f0k man.... skryf nou jou storie klaar. ASSEBLIEF!!!!!!
Don't look back, that's not where you're going.
 

Offline MrBig

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #268 on: October 16, 2007, 12:56:35 pm »
Thanks, MJ. I read the ADVRider version yesterday just for the comments from the rest of the world!

Also did that.
Turned out to be a bad idea as it took me most of the morning.
"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don't understand is what I said is not what I mean."
 

Offline surf

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #269 on: October 16, 2007, 11:28:10 pm »
Great stuff, lekke, lying in bed reading the best ride report ever, on my cell. I love technology ;) ;)
"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them..."
 

Offline DaCat

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #270 on: October 17, 2007, 04:16:02 am »
... looking at that piece of twisty road just gave me a hard-on  :-[ ;D ... I would've gone up and down a few times to make sure it was okay  ;D

As for "Christo Rei", the direct translation would be "Christ King"  ;)

Shout if you need any other Porra translations  ;)

... I can't wait for the rest of this report  8)
When in doubt, Gas It! It may not solve the problem, but it WILL end the suspense! 
 

Offline Metaljockey

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #271 on: October 18, 2007, 07:55:10 am »




Like so much else on this trip, Lubango turns out to be a surprise highlight.

We intended to stop for fuel, a battery and some fresh vegetables and be on our way. In the heat and slow riding my bike starts acting up big time however. I have to rev the thing above 4000 in order to keep it going. When it stalls it takes a many attempts at run-starting to get it going.

Where we were of the opinion that it's not too difficult to ride on the 'wrong' side of the road, we now find it very confusing. With heavy traffic, one-ways and roundabouts things look a lot different. Also, most of the crossings do not have stop signs, some have signs that indicate whether you are on the bigger or smaller of the intersecting roads.

We don't find a battery and I'm getting increasingly steamed up. In the afternoon the bike becomes so bad that Hennie has to pull me with a tow rope up and down a sidestreet. This is very funny (hopefully someday) because before we came on this trip, everyone was concerned about Hennie's bike, which was well used already. His response was that he was still going to be towing a KTM out of Angola. Imagine my pleasure at being towed by Hennie's bike in Angola.

While all this is going on Nardus gets on with socializing.





When the bike finally starts I just want to get out of the city. Luckily my mates have cooler heads and they decide to find a place to sleep so that my bike can be dealt with properly the next day.

We book in at Casper Lodge to camp. Not the most atmospheric place.

When the rest go out to hit the town, I just go to bed, this bike is burning my ring.




The next morning we start with repairs. Fred is still riding with a bent handlebar and a manual throttle. This gets sorted out with some teamwork.






I wonder why the throttle was sticking?






I start stripping the bike with the intention of getting the carb out and re-setting the float level and cleaning jets out.





As soon as the tank is off though, I find the problem. It's that choke elbow again. This time I cable tie it in place and I set the adjuster on the choke as loose as it will go. Why the hell the adjuster is located under the tank, I don't know. So I start another day with petrol hands but a light heart because the bike is back to normal, idling away and pulling strongly from closed throttle like it should.

Amazing what a little bit of attention can do to a bike.

Hennie and myself goes off to find a multimeter so that we can trace the battery problem. This turns out to be one hell of a job involving all kinds, including using an incorrectly calibrated multimeter and getting lost around town with a helmetless mechanic perched on top of my luggage behind me and finally tracking down a working multimeter at a backyard mechanic's place in a shanty town. All this being made excruciatingly difficult by not being able to speak portuguese.






But to my utter and uninhibited joy, we can finally rule out the bike as the problem. The alternator pushes a beautiful clean 13.4V. Even now I feel the joy of that moment. And again I have to apologise to the bike.

Next stop, to find a battery. This turns out to be a problem. We decide that I will wait with the bike and Hennie will scour town for the necessary. As I wait I learn new things again. That in the middle of the city, the old and new continue to live side by side.





I learn again that Angolan people are different than where I come from. My bike is left unattended with al my gear in a busy street and no-one touches it.
Several people approach me and offer their help, giving me directions and phone numbers of people they think may be able to assist (still with the language problem).

As I wait a Varadero pulls up. It turns out to be José. José turns out to be able to speak reasonable English! José is the president of the local bike club!!
What? Angola! A bike club?!!
One would think that this is as good as it gets. But it gets better. They have a clubhouse with bar and accomodation!!!

We go to their spot and have a cold beer foisted upon us. Here's what to look for.





Yes, the club is called the Falcons.

The other 3 have been patiently waiting at a bar on the road out of town for about 4 hours already. When we sms them about the biker bar they arrive within what felt like seconds. It's like coming home. Within minutes our plans to leave town as soon as a battery is found, is scuppered. We want to stay.

José takes me to various places to look for a battery. There is no shop that sells big bike batteries so we do the rounds to the local quad riders (apparently quite active over there) to see if any one has a spare battery. They don't but I do break one of my personal rules - never to ride on the back of a bike (it's a long story). And I break it in style, being paraded around Lubango without a helmet looking like Tom Cruise's floozy. This is José.





In the end José cuts open his battery holder to take the oversize battery he once personally fetched from Namibia, and I get the Vara's battery. It's a huge frikken thing and won't fit under my seat so we modify some cables and it gets carried in the saddle bag. Instead of 8A it is 20A. If this thing does'nt make this motor spin like a sewing machine nothing will.





José impressed me no end. One hell of a nice guy. I owe him. He tells us of his history. He never fled the country in 1976 when Portugal withdrew. Some bad things happened to the whites that stayed then. He stayed and later served in the army and is now a Major.

This gets us to the final one of my concerns. Like I said, the war finally came to an end only 5 years ago. Even though our country withdrew in 1989, we do not know what kind of residual feelings there are towards South Africans. Keep in mind that we invaded them, and spent 13 years operating on their turf, fighting a variety of factions, the most relevant of which the current ruling party. The government.

Four of the five of us had done military service in Angola at some or other stage. Now we are here to holiday. It may be a problem for some.

That does not include José though. He sees us as bikers, friends. He clearly has put some work into putting things in perspective.










I don't really know how to explain all this and I don't even know if it should be dwelt on here. I will say only this.

José was wounded by a battallion I served in.

He showed me the Imperial Hotel in town.






Those holes was made by our planes.

We do a lot of talking that afternoon. We learn a lot of things we didn't know. The main thing I learn is that there are several emotions that have not yet been named. I'll leave it at that.










The bar is open to the public but the under cover parking right in front is reserved for bikes only.





By the way, José now imports trucks. You pay per meter deck space. So this is how you save on shipping costs.





They are very proud of this '69 Honda. At night it's lights are switched on.





We spend the entire afternoon seated and quaffing 'Ngola's.






Beers and entertainment, this guy can make that saw sing. Anything.






On the left, playing the saw is another José. Let's call him Jo. He fought alongside José for most of the war. They are inseperable. Jo is a helluva lekker ou. He makes a point of enjoying every moment to the full. Focussed on having a good time. My kinda guy.






He is one hell of a singer too. Think Axl Rose crossed with Louis Armstrong.



This afternoon was just getting surreal man.



Fred's ankle getting some medical attention. Vinegar to get the swelling down. Just for the record - not very effective.






The bar also has a braai area and a resident cook. We feel like some chicken and it is duly delivered.






They are left to wander around the dinner tables until later in the afternoon when they are knocked out with a kierie in amongst the guests. Another first for me. Having your dish killed in between the tables at a restaurant.

One of our waitresses and a niece of José's.






Another of José's nieces.






And our chicken dinner.






The later it gets, the better it gets, the Falcons is not only a bike club but also a band.





At some stage a drunk Hennie gets onto the stage with his Dakar (after having fallen over in the parking lot) and proceed to ramp off it, which he does successfully, but fails to hit the brakes and hits a wall instead. Funny as all hell, they must've heard us laugh up at Cristo Rei.





It was a hell of a night.

Later on things became a bit strange.





We sleep right there amongst the tables after everyone had gone.

Lubango. Who would have thought.

Angola, it's not like they said.






Offline Metaljockey

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #272 on: October 18, 2007, 08:08:04 am »


Ok, I can't let this shit go.




Allow me to introduce the band.

On drums - Jo, took eleven bullets in the leg, some of them tracers, twelve years now and the leg still weeps puss every so often.

On vocals and lead guitar, José, shot by my people.

On backup guitar - (can't recall his name), spent three days in an upside down, shot out tank with the bodies of seven of his crew and his leg broken in seven places.





These are the people we were supposed to kill.

What a fucking waste it would have been.

How wrong it would have been.







Extreme Velcro

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #273 on: October 18, 2007, 08:10:49 am »
I am so glad you are still here to tell this tale..... ;D :'( ;D and to be able to become friends.

Ag man, I'm getting all emosioneel !
 

Offline Grootseun

Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #274 on: October 18, 2007, 08:14:34 am »
Jeeez MJ.. it's not the kinda thing you think to walk into... talking with your hosts, about the shit our cuntry did to them.

there's still some shit to be said...

"He clearly has put some work into putting things in perspective. "

i know a couple of individuals who will not be able to do the same.

maybe there is hope still for mankind (sounds like a cheesy american movie line)

awesome report..
 

Offline MrBig

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #275 on: October 18, 2007, 08:15:31 am »
Freakin amazing story
"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don't understand is what I said is not what I mean."
 

Offline bmad

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #276 on: October 18, 2007, 08:21:06 am »
Dude.....




... words cannot express my thoughts.

This must be the best ride report of all time and i am pretty sure it will stay as the best for years to come.
You seriously should consider publishing of some sort. This is writing with passion, i feel like i was part of your group, struggling and enjoying every moment of it.

Awesome  :thumright:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline LostDOG

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #277 on: October 18, 2007, 08:22:36 am »
A man amoungst men - again, thanks for taking the time to share.
It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The windnoise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. Suck it up. -- Scary Gary MC
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #278 on: October 18, 2007, 08:22:55 am »
Awesome, bloody Awesome.
 

Offline Goose

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Re: Angola, it's not like they said.
« Reply #279 on: October 18, 2007, 08:24:45 am »
MJ - you've hit the nail on the head... we are all humans ... all the same, yet bullshitted into killing others... both sides.

My feelings now... let the politicians donner each other... I will never vote for any idiots ever again  :-[ and am in fact ashamed of what we were "told" to do those years....

Thanks for this amazing story, which not only shows the adventurous spirit of humankind, but also their kindness and fragility.
"Life is a Waste of Time..... Time is a Waste of Life........ Get Wasted all the Time and have the Time of your Life"  ()