Saturday, April 21, 2007

Periga Mina!!

I woke still drained, lets go thought I wanted to nearer to something that reveals civilisation which I guessed would be hard to find in Angola, as we rode I was weak and the what energy I had was draining fast just negotiating the track in front of me, we finally made it to a town called Miquala Do Zombo and that was it for me, fortunately we met an Italian lady there who was a doctor who let us rest in the shade of her veranda and away from the gather crowd. By 2 o'clock it was decided I had malaria as my temperature hit 40! SO quickly taking the treatment tabs we bought in Senegal we realised we would have to ride it out here, once again the police to the rescue, they let us camp at the station which involved putting a ground mats inside on the floor of the building as a huge storm approached, night one saw me in a daze, hot and cold, sweating one minute freezing the next as the biggest lightning and thunder storm raged outside.......for the first time I imagined been home curled up in bed with a fridge to go to and more importantly a toilet.

Yep thats a mine in the middle of the road.

The next day came after no sleep and I was no better, the head officer decided the place need a clean up for the new guest, us, and rallied all the prisoners from the cell to give the place the once over before been locked away again. Day three saw a vast improvement and I wanted outta there and feeling allot better with my temp almost normal we headed south again.

Move over you big loath.
The roads were horrific, and in one day it seemed that our bikes were destroyed in a sense, up until now I had managed to keep them going fine and in good shape but in one afternoon things changed, first Amy had a spill and bent her mirror and also the rear sub frame seemed out of shape, it was the back tire now rubbed on bits that are not meant to come close to the tire. Then it was my turn, the roads still bad but at least rideable I took a path on the edge of the road as the middle was washed out but as went my right pannier clipped the side wall throwing myself and bike into a huge canyon, well not that bad but it seemed that way, the mother ship went down hard with a bang. Straight away I could see the mirror smashed, it took Amy and I all our strength which I had lack of from the Malaria to get it upright. Eventually after a few vein popping moments it was out of the hole and the real damaged was visible, my entire dash took the brunt of the crash breaking all the mounts holding my dash together and shifting it all to the right, things were not very straight, a little annoyed with myself as i looked at the line I should have taken. But with nothing I could do about it there we pressed on.

The crash.
It was a race against the rain for the remainder of Angola, one afternoon we spent it all riding in the rain but it made no sense to stop and wait for it to pass as that might be days so we pressed on. As we rode I noticed white post each sideofthe road, thats strange I thought,white posts out here, they had something written on them so I slowed to read it, Periga Mina! this in Portugues translated to danger mines, we were riding right through the middle of a mine field!! But as we discovered this was normal, many a time we found ourselves riding on the road thats path travelled directly through mine fields, there are alot in Angola, one time there was a pile of sticks and a make shift barrier with a skull and cross bones on it right in the middle of the road and right there we could see the mine, must have washed up from the rains. We casualy rode around it.

Tank left over from the recent war.
Angola changes vastly from top to bottom but one thing that does not is the abandoned tanks and other military vehicles from the war and the old Portuguese buildings that crumbled from bullet and rocket holes were visible in every town. Plus the food or lack of in the country made us want to get to Namibia even more, we wanted civilisation, we wanted a hot shower, we wanted normality..........we were tired.

Angolan scenery.

...another left over.
The roads continued to get worse and worse shaking us apart as my broken dash bounced all over the place. But eventually we made it and on nothing but fumes as well, the Namibian border was in sight and the mother ship gave up, out of fuel so we drained what we could spare from the Baja and limped across the border looking a bit worse for wear, I suppose it looked like we had just ridden across Africa!

Mother and child.

The young and the old!