After 4 eventful days in Luanda we headed off along the coast towards Lubango.Like the rest of Angola this part of the country is very sceinic.angola has been one of the more pleasant on the eyes countries scenery wise that we have been through.South of Luanda was no exception.We travelled along a winding tarmac road that hugged the coast.Passing by various islands,lagoons and white sandy beaches it's hard to believe that we weren't back in West Africa.
Our first destination after leaving Luanda was a place called "Quedas de Agua da Binga".It was a series of fairly large waterfalls which had an area next to it where we could camp.This was a very beautiful area as we had to wind our way up through a lush green river valley to get here.Of course with access to all that running fresh water we took the opportunity to bathe and wash some clothes.
Heading southwards through Lobito and Benguela the scenery changed dramatically.We were now heading back long the coast with the road meandering along steep hills and cliffs.The coastline along here was littered with shipwrecks of what mostly appeared to be fishing trawlers.On one occasion there was a ship washed up in someones backyard which by looking at it had been there for a few years.
After passing through the large cities of Lobito and Benguela,we started to wind our way up through the mountains to Lubango.We thought we were going to get there in no time as the road was actually quite good tarmac.Sure enough that quickly changed and it was back to the potholed strewn sh1te we had become accustomed to.We had plenty of time to admire the surroundings though as we were only travellling about 20kmh.It started to bucket down with rain also which made the potholes even more fun to manouvere through.
We did actually mange to camp at a hotel on one of the nights.Well when I say hotel,it was the ruins of a hotel from the colonial era but it served its purpose as far as we were concerned.It was also the backdrop for one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.Now that is a big statement because so far on this trip there has been countless numbers of amazing sunsets.Some would say theres one everyday.This one though was by far the best.The colour changes from minute to minute were spectacular.We all took photos but I'm not sure the photos would do justice to beauty of it.
Finally after 5 days we entered Lubango and were grateful to be off the truck for a few days.Our campsite this time was very luxurious,for us that means a place where we don't have to dig our own toilet and wash in a bucket.Hot showers were the order of the day as none of us had had a hot shower since Nigeria 3 months earlier.I almost felt human again although it took more than 1 hot shower to get that feeling.
There was a fantastic restaurant attached to the resort where we camped which we parked ourselves every night we were there.The bloke who run the place,Tony,did most of the cooking which was basically chucking a big slab of meat on a grill plate.Tony engaged us in many a conversation about what we've been doing up to now and also more interestingly on what he'd been doing and how Angola had changed since he was a young fella.Tony was born to Portuguese parents and fought during the civil war.Some of his exploits made for harrowing listening none more so than the story of the 2 blokes who had killed his favourite horse.He proceeded to tell us about how he had tracked them down and killed them both in graphic detail all the while with tears welling in his eyes.all of us sat there stunned listening to his story and when he left we all made a remark similar to "Farking hell,that was freaky".....
Lubango is famous for the statue of jesus that sits upon the escarpment that surrounds the town.Called the "Cristo Rei" it has a very intersting history.Supposedly the statue is part of a set of 3 with the most famous being the statue that everyone knows of Christ the Redeemer,which overlooks Rio de Janeiro.The second statue is in Lisbon with the 3rd of the set being right here in Lubango.Apparently the 3 statues all line up at a given point out in the Atlantic Ocean.This was to signify the place where the bloke who designed or built the statues wife and child had drowned in a shipwreck.So the 3 statues are supposed to signify him(Christ the Redeemer in Rio),his wife(Cristo Rei in Lisbon) and finally the smallest of the 3 in Lubango his child.Now I say this alledgedly as I have tried to find the history behind this Cristo Rei statue in Lubango on the internet but have had no luck so far.Nevertheless I think its a great story,true or not.
It was well worth an afternoon visiting the statue and taking in the views of Lubango and the surrounding areas from the escarpment.
After countless hot showers,big feeds of meat(I think I had 4 t-bones in 3 days,bunged me up for days) and restocking of essential items of food and drink it was time to hit the road again for the civilisation of Namibia.