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17th Nov 12’ Bush Camp. Baia Farta – near Cahama, Angola

November 20, 2012

Miles unknown.

Before departing our triple shared room, Adrian asks the porter if there is anywhere for us to buy Angolan stickers for our panniers. There isn’t, but the porter pulls an old suitcase out from beneath his bed full of merchandise. He kindly hands out T shirts, badges and baseball caps all printed with the current Presidents face, name and slogan. The T shirts are clean so we take the opportunity to replace the dirty, sweaty ones we’re wearing. It was hilarious; we looked like some kind of party promoters all wearing the same bright white T shirts and baseball caps. We didn’t care, they were clean and that’s all what mattered, plus the fact it would have been rude not to.

Riding through the towns with motorcycle jackets un fastened because of the heat, people stared, clapped and some laughed. We really did look like we had come to candidate for his re-election, obviously not always going in our favour especially when we had to pay 20 USD for three coffees. The owner must have supported the other side, that’s all I can imagine, though he did shut the shop once we left presumably making enough profit for the day by selling us the three overpriced coffees.

The lads and I continued South East, heading inland towards Cahama, Angola. I thought I was travelling fast but I really struggled to keep up with the lads even on tarmac. I managed to stay close behind but just didn’t feel safe travelling at these speeds especially in a foreign country. I got the impression; Adrian was keen to be reunited with his partner.

Once we arrived in Cahama, unfortunately we couldn’t find accommodation anywhere and appeared a sleepy town with only one bed and breakfast which had been deserted and left derelict for some time. We decided our only option was to wild camp in the bush. We headed out of time so not to attract attention. I noticed a small thatched village overlooking the African plains so diverted off road to ask the Chief permission to camp. By the side of the road I noticed the mine indicators which were painted rocks, red for danger and unswept and white for clear and swept. Leaving the road I tried to follow the tracks which avoided the red areas but the bike immediately became stuck in the deep sand. Slowly, I managed to free myself and re-joined the road. A couple of miles further, Bruce dismounted and asked the Chief’s wife permission to camp, which we think was granted. We pitched anyway being careful not to hammer our tent pegs deep in to the unswept mine area. The area was sandy and surrounded by thorn bushes with plenty of dead wood to burn on a fire.

Adrian and Bruce collected fire wood whilst I complained the fire would be too close to the dry shrubbery and my tent, so they reluctantly relocated the firewood.

With the small village just a few meters away, the village animals come to enquire, pigs, goats, dogs and the chickens. Once pitched, we lit the fire just before dark and cooked a mixture of butter beans, hot dogs, choritzio and meat balls. Yuck!

During the night the lads still queued for the toilet, well the sand pit behind the bush.

I surrounded my tent with Livingstone and my spare tyres in case of any roaming cattle during the night.