Angola, it's not like they said.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by metaljockey, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. joe a

    joe a No Map

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    :clap This is a fantastic RR.:clap

    I've saved at least a dozen pics for my desktop.
    I'm gonna have to create a slide show.:D


    Thanks,,,:ricky
  2. Brad Felmey

    Brad Felmey Long timer

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    Astounding. Staggering. Words fail me.

    I will now put aside any stray thoughts of posting a trip report from taking my ST1100 to Prudhoe. Now it just seems so, well, wimpy.
  3. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    Wildlife was few and far between. The elephant and rhino that was in this area had been wiped out during the war years. I remember that our Senior rank structure used to hunt with assault rifles from choppers. There was also a devastating drought in the early eighties.

    We did see some though, springbok, oryx, monkeys, jackal and such. Not really good enough for pictures though.
    dedad71 likes this.
  4. metaljockey

    metaljockey Dodgy SOB

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    Suitably cooled down and having rinsed some clothes we leave the river behind again.

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    Not too shabby for someone with no sand riding experience.

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    Another smoke break. Before this trip only Nardus smoked. He quickly converted another two ex-smokers.

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    As I hit the starter at the next stop I hear 'poof' and my bike is dead. Dead. No dash lights, no nothing.

    I so wanted this bike to be reliable. I so wanted to trust it.

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    It certainly chose the worst place to shaft me like this. A scenic spot officially known as Fucking Nowhere.

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    If the problem is the battery, I can still believe in the bike.

    We spend some time trying to figure out what the problem is. It's clearly electrical. It could be the battery, the CDI (God forbid), the starter, fuses, ignition switch, starter relay or any wire pinched somewhere.

    Intermittently the dashlights would come on. The headlight would also work fine. So we figure it's not the battery.
    When you hit the starter however everything dissapears again, only to come back after some time and ignition switching.

    It could be a connection though, so I sand the contacts on the battery wires. I strip the earth wire from the frame and sand that too.

    It makes no difference.

    We can hear the starter relay kick in, so it is not that either. Unless it engages but the main contacts are burnt. It's sealed thoug so we'll have to ignore that possibility for the time being.

    We strip out the ignition. I have previously come across reports of the ignition wires coming loose. It's not that either. We strip the ignition to the contacts and clean them. We fit it again but there is no change.

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    Getting comfortable, we may have to spend the night.

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    We isolate the entire ignition by pulling the plug and shorting the contacts with a paper clip.

    This appears to have one benefit, the dash lights comes on everytime. The lights don't work though and neither does the starter.

    We try to kickstart it while the dash lights are working. This bike does not start easily with a kick starter. But after a while it fires up. Halleluja!

    I'm not gonna tempt fate so we decide that I will ride as fast as I can and only stop when I reach Foz. Hennie is to accompany me as he has a GPS and if we do get seperated at least we'll still be two groups of 2 and 3.

    It does'nt work out exactly that way because less than 500m from where we were Fred and Hennie hits the deck coming down a dune. Fred takes the impact on his hip which buckles his spine and takes a while to recover. I've always said that a chiropractor will be very handy on these trips. By the time Hennie gets going again I've already dissapeared into the desert and he decides to stay with the group.

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    And so we race the setting sun.

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    Just as a quick aside, remember the shell worn by the Himba women? This is why I said it's a big deal. Imagine crossing this on foot.

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    Being on my own and riding at pace this turns into the most enjoyable riding of the trip.

    Just me, the desert, the bike and poetry.

    Dammit, this bike is just sublime when you use the suspension properly. This afternoons ride will stay with me for a long time.

    I finally get to Foz do Cunene and pull up at the Police post. Hell of a friendly chaps and I spend some time with them while waiting for the others. Much laughter ensues when Michnus drops in with the rest in tow.

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    The ruins you see above is the whole of Foz do Cunene.


    Fred with the Angolan flag. It's been a longish day. We left at daybreak.

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    We are in time to catch the setting sun though.

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    When I try to start my bike it is not interested at all and we have to push it down to the river. Good thing I kept it going while it was going.

    We camp by the old pump house to try and get some shelter from the cold coastal wind.


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    My lodgings.

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    One last thing on these policemen at Foz do Cunene. They must have the worst post in the force. I'm sure you get sent here for punishment.

    Here's a map. Foz do Cunene (Kunene Mouth) is in the far bottom-left corner.

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    There is nothing anywhere close to it.
    They drink river water. They eat only fish that they catch in the sea several kms away.
    There is no beer, no shop, they don't have their wives staying there, there are no women, no goats, nothing except sand, sun and wind and 7 guys. Oh, and one book where they copy names and passport numbers in.

    They have no electricity, so I assume they have no communications. They have no vehicle. They must be dropped here and left untill it is time to fetch them again.

    They borrowed our English/Portuguese phrase book for entertainment. Now they know how politely enquire if room service is available and what to say when they tip the porter.

    Those okes at Monte Negro don't know how good they have it.





    continued here

    dedad71, scudo and Mambo Dave like this.
  5. kejago

    kejago Kev. Haute Savoie, France

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    Reminds me of a Gladiator helmet...
  6. kejago

    kejago Kev. Haute Savoie, France

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    See the similarity?

    [​IMG]
  7. Mayertb

    Mayertb Beancounter

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    What a fantastic trip, I would love to do somthing like this someday. MORE PLEASE. I am actually in Pretoria, RSA right now on a business trip and I am really wishing I had the time and money to rent a bike and explore your country for a while.

    Awsome trip guys.
  8. kbear

    kbear Mudbiker

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    I hope and pray to God that this boy finds good medical attention. Indeed, stuff like this makes one appreciate all one has.

    kbear
  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    He sure will find medical attention, chances are it's not going to be top notch medical attention, but he will be okay. The Himba and Herero people are really a tough bunch, man, all the people living there are tough asses.

    The kids and toddlers there must be healthy, there are no doctors or pharmacies in hundred of miles and they must walk where they want to be. The kids are definitely healthier than our urban dwellers with all their vitamins and pills they suck away everyday.

    The other freaky thing we must understand is, the people have much less money than the average person on this forum, but they are not "poor", they don't have as much belongings as us, but that does not make them poor. They measure value in cattle, a 125cc motorcycle will cost them 4 cows. That's their lifes and that's how they live it, full out. You are their equal and they treat you that way, your wealth means bugger all to them.

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  10. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    Guys, that was a great story to read and the pictures were fantastic. Great job and what an adventure. This is adventure riding at its best!!! Thanks again for the post!
  11. praveenkm

    praveenkm Speed Demon

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  12. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    Awesome adventure!! Thanks!!
  13. Cara Pálida

    Cara Pálida Been here awhile

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    Thanks, MJ!

    Uzay words, are my words too!:bluduh
    Pro ride report!
    Seems that are more to come?:ear:clap
    Obrigado!

    Abraços,
    PGF
  14. Damir

    Damir AKA Pudla

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    Excellent report, thanks for sharing. :clap
  15. XCAV8R

    XCAV8R Adventurer

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    Assuming the young woman wearing the shell did not cross the desert herself, how would she aquire the shell or anything like it? Are there markets or brokers or something similar? What, if anything, do they use for currency (besides cattle) and what type work do they do to get it? Don't mean to draw you too far off the topic of your ride report but this is very interesting.
  16. kamanya

    kamanya Andrew to most

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    Himba's

    You can start here;

    Himba's

    What I know of them;

    Himba’s are an amazing race of people who are semi-nomadic cattle barons. They have a very rich culture that is expressed in their dress and customs. They smear themselves head to toe with a red ochre and butterfat mixture. It has a strong alien smell to us but I know that they think we stink just as bad to them. They have a complex and highly ritualized language that would make the French look uncouth. They are polite and friendly and never imposing or aggressive. A bad habit that some of the younger kids have learned on the more well trodden paths is to shout for you to stop to give them sweets. Something that travellers to this part of the world have wrongly encouraged and it has eroded the image of the proud Himba nation a bit. It is better to trade tobacco, sewing needles or flour for photo’s and low value bangles.

    It is really bad form to try and trade for their status adornments such as their metal neck/waist bands and shells and the more unique pieces. As they are incredibly polite and sometimes naive, I have seen some 4x4 tourists trade a paltry amount of money for these highly traditional and culturally significant items.
  17. flan8tive

    flan8tive Flea Tibet!

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    Very good points. Africans in general are loathe to tell you "no", their culture does not permit it. Africans will general give you the answer they think you want. Interestingly, the Himba I ran into were trading handiwork for cash in NW Namibia did not smell at all, but it was wintertime. IF you are just passing by and must have a picture, offer money in exchange; hold 5 fingers to signify $5 (Rand, or the Angolan equivalent) and mime a camera. They may write on their arm with a pebble the number 20; offer 10 and everyone is happy.

    So where is the rest of this ride going...up the Angolan coastline?
  18. Grad

    Grad Wannabe

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    Incredible report, can't wait for more!!!
  19. Wheedle

    Wheedle I love inflatable fun!

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    ...just...wow....
    INCREDIBLE!!!!
  20. claudio17

    claudio17 Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Angola is very special to me, I was made there, mother and brother born there.

    Keep it up:clap