Through Angola in 5days!

Luanda Travel Blog

 › entry 63 of 98 › view all entries
dusty route from border

It was a late start to the day once we got on the road and the next route was not like the previous days!  This route hadn’t seen tar of a grader for some time.  Matt on his BMW was finding it slow going and I rode in front, I find speed is better in sandy conditions.  We had travelled about 50kms in 2.5hours, I had spent an hour of that waiting.  I got to a small market place that sold clod drinks so stopped, got Matt a cold one also and waited for him, he was taking longer than I had thought but he was managing the route at his pace.  I was keen to get moving after a while but Matt wanted to rest more and told me to continue alone a few times.

Eventually I decided it was best, he was going to try and get his visa extended at a town 150km away but I was not.

yet another dusty one
  Riding alone I went from 20kmph average to 60kmph along this part of the route and the route was getting more firm so I knew Matt should not have any problems alone.  I got toLuandabefore dark and found a hotel, 110USD per night with secure parking,LuandaandAngolais an expensive place!!  I had been to Luanda the year before with work but riding here felt much different compared to travelling in a works minibus through it, I like the feeling here.

The next day I past what I thought was where the Casa Grande was, the Subsea7 compound where I stayed before.  I went and had a look and found it easily from memory but none of the guys were around, the crew change was a couple of days before and had all left and the office Subsea7 people where inLuanda.

abandoned school bus, wheels stripped off it...
  I hadn’t much time to waste so continued south on tarred roads but the bike was losing power, hmmmm that will be the airfilter blocked after the dusty route intoAngola.  I stopped before a toll bridge changing  it when Matt rode past, I ran out to the road and stopped him.  He had had a late ride and a very early start managing to catch up, he didn’t bother trying to extend his 5day visa. 

He went on across to take photos of the bridge and I finished changing my filter.  I caught him up again a good bit down the road again and we headed south.  After lunch by a seaside town I went in search of a bank to change money, when I got back Matt was gone, hmmm he must have rode on again as it had taken me a while going to couple of different banks before getting cash.

coming into Luanda
  Riding south I never saw him again, was stopped by some police who asked if I was going to South Africa also but when I asked if they saw another biker they said no, I guess there where confused as they knew I was going to South Africa so maybe Matt had passed?

Riding south toLobitoand Bengula the change was dramatic, this place was white rocks and very sandy.  I was treated to a beautiful fiery red sunset as I came in.  Found a secure hotel to park the bike and the locals were amazed when I told them how far I’d travelled.  Upon doing my daily end of day maintenance to the bike I found I’d sheared another bolt on the other side of the racking from the one that was repaired in the DRC.  I managed to hold it in place with a couple of jubilee clips and a couple of straps pulling either side of the racking together.

Luanda at dusk
  It seemed to be a good secure job but the section of piste off the main route to cross the border I was planning on doing might not be the best idea if this didn’t hold up.

Next day I was on the road early and the secondary road had a mix of tar and 40km of rough piste.  Once I had hit the tarred section again I opened the bike up but had a real lose of power.  I oiled my spare air filter and put it in but the old one wasn’t that bad and I’ve had much worse, hmmmmm….  The problem was still there and I had to keep the bike revving in the power band to keep her moving, next I stopped to change the spark plug as I hadn’t been done when I serviced it.  It didn’t look that bad either and was dry but put a new one in anyway as I had stripped the fuel tank and stuff off.

Luanda, at the Subsea7 compound Casa Grande but none of the guys around, they can't be out working????!!!!!
  I thought I’d cured it riding off but no, and back on the main tarred road I kept the bike throttle wound open, any little hill and I started to loose speed.  Hmmm, it has to simple, either air, fuel or spark.

I’d done a good 50km after my last fuel stop on tar and didn’t notice this drop in power, and I’d also drained the carb in case water had got in from the water filled holes I went through… none and it had lots of fuel.  Coming into the town ofLubangoI thought in air again and removed the air filter completely and cleaned out all dirt from the air box before riding again.  She seem to ride much better, put the filter back in and rode back to a service station I’d passed and cleaned both filters with the petrol I had and installed one of them lubed up with filter oil to stop small particles of dust getting into the engine.

More happy locals after i changed my spark plug, me in the middle ((it has been the same all through Africa, the people are great and only the officials you need to watch for!))
  Filled up with fuel and rode down the road, was a little better but still I didn’t like it.

I don’t have the time to mess around and only have one more day left on this visa, once across intoNamibiaI knew there were civilisation and a KTM dealer, but nothing here so needed to push on.  As I rode following a dying thunder storm I stopped again and put the dry air filter in and this improved it a bit, I know my bike demands lots of air and there is something up with the mixture.  I had also reconnected a wire that tells the bikes brain it’s running on high octane fuel, I had disconnect this months ago for low octane inWest Africa.  

It was getting dark as I rode towards Cahama, the road ended and a graded piste began along side a road under construction.

Leftovers from the war
  I saw a small local bike riding the bit under construction, going between the stones laid across the road to stop traffic using it so I rode the bike up onto it and opened it up faster on this smooth gravel surface following the path other local bikes used and how had moved some stones to pass.  After a while I had to jump down onto the gravel piste when I saw road people up ahead and just after I was back on smooth wide newly tarred road again and put my lights on for a fast smooth ride in.  It was dark when I found Elvis and his hotel, it had animals running around in the roof space and no running water but the bike was secure in his yard.  I had a beer and a couple of donuts for tea, all I could find and went back to my room to put up my tent on top of the bed to keep the mozzy’s from biting me in the night.

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
dusty route from border
dusty route from border
yet another dusty one
yet another dusty one
abandoned school bus, wheels strip…
abandoned school bus, wheels stri…
coming into Luanda
coming into Luanda
Luanda at dusk
Luanda at dusk
Luanda, at the Subsea7 compound Ca…
Luanda, at the Subsea7 compound C…
More happy locals after i changed …
More happy locals after i changed…
Leftovers from the war
Leftovers from the war
mud huts
mud huts
local giving me a wave as i ride p…
local giving me a wave as i ride …
beautiful sunset coming into Bengu…
beautiful sunset coming into Beng…
that might be a tarred road once t…
that might be a tarred road once …
riding off into the distance
riding off into the distance
Luanda
photo by: hauteboy