Sunny Cabinda,Angola's main oil producing province,was the next stop on the journey southwards.Driving from Point Noire to the border with Cabinda was uneventful apart from the rather large storm that was threatening to blow the truck over.That it only succeded in blowing Debs favourite hat off her head and out the window as we were driving towards the border post and nothing worse than that was a miracle.
Crossing the border into Cabinda was hassle free with the only problem being the torrential rain which had now set in for the day.By now we are used to it although it turns the sh1t roads into utter sh1t roads.There was a bit of excitement about,well for me anyway as when we crossed into Angolan territory.Mainly from not knowing what to expect.
Cabinda province itself was much the same as the rest of Central Africa,luscious green thick rainforest and no infrastructure at all except in the main population centres.So once again it was slow going on the raods south although there was some tarmac most of this was pot hole ridden to the point that it was easier driving through the muddy tracks than trying to manouver our way around gaping holes in the road...
We entered Cabinda town itself in darkness but this provided a visual spectacle which wouldn't have been apparent during daylight hours.For almost the whole stretch of coastline there is a thriving oil industry and everything that goes with it.The amount of oil rigs and refineries is unbelievable.It resembled a whole new city just offshore.
In Cabinda we camped at one of our strangest places yet.Now we've bushcamped in so many different places up til now that everywhere is just about a suitable place to camp but this was the first time we camped in a nunnery.I think the good sisters were as shocked to see us pull in and start pitching tents as we were to be doing it.
Kindly they let us have use of a real bathroom and to replenish all our truck water supplies.How they didn't turn up their noses in disgust when we all did our clothes washing must have been a struggle for them,must've had god on their side for that one.
As most of the nuns spoke french as well as portuguese I managed to have a few conversations with them.Much like everyone else we had met so far,explaining where we had come from and where we were going,they were intrigued why we would do such a thing.By this stage I was just as intrigued as it had been a hard slog in the last few weeks and no doubt there was a harder slog to come.
A venture into Cabinda town for supplies was undertaken.All the essentials were obtained although at a higher price than what we'd been used to.Apparently most of the food is imported which explains the prices.
There's also a lovely stretch of beach where we sat for a while and had lunch.As per usual we attracted hangers on,watching our every move but not saying anything.This is starting to annoy the sh1t out of a few of us.Just imagine everything you do being viewed by at least 20 people.After months of this you soon get a bit sick of it.
After 2 nights of relatively serene hospitality and filling up with food,water and diesel it was time to bid the nuns goodbye.Certainly gave me a new look on religion although I still view it with a cynical eye,my cynical eye has been softened somewhat.......
Now the D.R.Congo beckons.I think we'll need a higher beings help to get us through there without any problems.Especially as the wet season is in full swing in this part of the world....