Wednesday, 03 August 2011

Lingering in Lubango

When Jolandie arrived in Lubango on Sunday, she’d been cycling for an amazing 16 days solid. With no rest days inbetween!! In this time she crossed the border into Angola, covered nearly 1,200 km at an astonishing average of 74 km per day!!! Good going, Jolandie!! That’s awesome!!

She’s taken some time out in Lubango to rest her weary body, take in some sights and to work on raising some funds for the remainder of the trip.

And our Wonder Woman has also managed to get her Whatsapp to work again!! Whatsapp has been our primary source of communication, primarily because it is FREE and money is the one thing Jolandie has very little of! Since crossing into Angola, her Whatsapp hasn’t been working, which has meant that I’ve had one meagre SMS update per day! Now we’re back to chatting, I’m getting plenty gorgeous photographs again (visit her Facebook page for ALL the Angola pics) and I can pinpoint her location daily again!! YAY!!

Chatting to her last night, she said she was really eager to get into the DRC. Physically she is taking some strain. She has saddle sores that are healing very slowly and are rather uncomfortable and painful. Ouch!! Mentally she is quite frustrated with the time constraints the pending expiry of her Angola visa is putting on her (she has until 24 Aug to cover the rest of Angola) and the lack of funding to have this extended for a week or so. But, as we have come to expect from our brave trouper, she is emotionally strong and fine – as long as she doesn’t think about home to often!!

I’ve done some reading up on Lubango, just because I know so little about where Jolandie is at the moment and I have a sense that this place is a well-kept secret of some true African beauty. It would appear that Lubango, the capital of the Angolan province of Huila, was largely unaffected by the terrible civil war that devastated most of Angola. It is said to be a unique, tranquil and picturesque city, nestled in a lush tropical valley and surrounded by mountains.

Towering over the town is a dazzling white marble statue of Cristo Rei (Christ the King). It is a replica of the one in Rio de Janeiro and one of only three of these statues in the world. Just outside Lubango is the Tunda Vala volcanic fissure where you can climb to 2,600 meters above sea level and enjoy the spectacular view of the sheer drop to sea level (some photos below). And then for me, an avid Tour de France follower, the most amazing sight I ever expected to see in Africa – the Leba Mountain Road! This reminds me so much of Alpe-d’Huez, one of the hallowed climbs of the Tour de France and the mountain that decided this year’s race. The Leba Mountain Road winds its way up the mountain through a succession of precipitous switchbacks – it simply looks spectacular!!!

A reminder that a Paypal button is now available for donations or sponsoring a country – check out the SPONSOR A COUNTRY page!! So, if you, your friends or your company want to sponsor her for one of the countries on her journey, check it out. Otherwise, mail Jolandie or myself!!

The incredible statue of Cristo Rei

A view over Lubango

Sitting on top of the world!!

Awesome views!

The amazing Leba Mountain Road! Now those are switchbacks!!

Created and posted by La Domestique

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