Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Chaos, warmth and beauty

Whilst I was still 'stuck' in Lobito, I received an email from one, Pedro Bandeira from A.M. Travel and Services. A sponsorship proposal from Hoteis! Woohoo! They had read about my adventure on an Angolan news website. How the site got to hear about me, I still don't know!

Not only are they sponsoring the Angola leg of my trip, but they also helped me to get an extension on my visa and organised a number of television and radio interviews! Every single day I stand in awe of how 'little miracles' keep coming my way!

Saying farewell to Lobito ... and especially 'my boys', was not easy! But I knew it was time to go, otherwise I'd run the risk of never leaving!

The road from Lobito to Luanda is a challenge! Firstly, the road is very narrow! There is no shoulder to the road, so nowhere to go but straight into the bushes. And you need to be a speed freak to drive on this road! Secondly, the HILLS! Looong climbs that will extract every bit of sweat that your body can possibly produce!

Your prize for your efforts - the scenery! Just when you think that you cannot face getting to the top of a hill just to see the next one ... you get to see the next downhill lead to the ocean! Woohoo!

And the people are so friendly! Here, people only ever either call me 'amiga' (friend), or 'bonita' (beautiful). :-)

On crossing the Kwanza river (the biggest river in Angola), I had the privilege to stay at Kwanza River Lodge. (sponsored accommodation) Here you have the Kwanza river on the one side and the ocean on the other. Unbelievably beautiful. I spent the night chatting and having a glass of Tassenberg (Tassies) with Manny (who runs the lodge) and Bruce (who used to run the lodge).

The next morning my hosts in Luanda, Candido Carneiro and his wife Linda, met me at the lodge. They would accompany me all the way to Luanda! And with them, 2 television crews! The whole day was spent cycling and filming!

My entrance into Luanda caused quite an uproar. The two TV crews, with their camera men filming whilst standing on the back of their trucks. One in front of me, one next to me. Behind me, Candido and Linda in their Land Rover. On top of the Land Rover, two big waving flags. One Angolan, one South African. I felt so proud having my country's flag wave behind me. Announcing my arrival!

It was a little overwhelming at first. The traffic, people calling out at me from all directions, my 'entourage'! That night I had a live interview on Angola's biggest chat show. 'Hora Quenta', with Pedro N'zaji.

Afterwards we had supper at Rialto restaurant. Food, song and dance in my honor. A huge sign with photos of me at the entrance.

I even sang a song in French. And they sang Miriam Makeba songs! The whole of Africa came together in that restaurant. People from as far as Cape Verde were there. It was a very special evening!
Afterwards I got to experience 'Luanda by night' and partied at a club called Lookal, right on the beach, till 4 in the morning!

Up at 7 the next morning with a radio interview on 'Bom dia, bom dia'. Afterwards a group of cyclists cycled with me through Luanda. I was also given 2 cases of Red Bull (much needed, but I can't carry it all with me! LoL).

And then, finally, I got to just laze on the beach! Bliss!

From Luanda, I head to Barro do Dande. I will have the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Candido and Linda with me all the way there. Here, we will all stay in a lodge. And then from there, it's just Luna and I ... and the open road toward the DRC!

Before signing off, thanks again to Hoteis Angola for their incredibly generous sponsorship!! Without you guys, making it through Angola would have been so much more difficult!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Donations or country sponsorships can be done through Paypal – visit the SPONSOR A COUNTRY page for more details!! Otherwise, send Jolandie or La Domestique a mail.

Please drop by and visit my Facebook Group or my Facebook Page. Click on a country to see many more photographs of my incredible journey around Africa! Angola Namibia South Africa

Lovingly maintained and updated by La Domestique.

1 comment:

karin brynard said...

Bonita - we are fiercely proud of you! You are a great ambassador for our great country!