Monday, September 7, 2009

Beaches North and South

After a winter holiday in NZ, hitting the beach in Angola seemed very attractive. The last weekend of August we joined a group of others going to Cabo Ledo for the day. At the last minute Bill decided he would go by bike – with me in the van along with our picnic and beach chair etc. We made sure our phones were working (always an issue as they expire in only 2 weeks regardless of how much credit you have) and he set off just after I left. He caught us up just as we started to emerge from the traffic around the slavery museum & he followed us for a while. Then he went ahead as he wanted us behind him in case anything went wrong while he was crossing the bridge (with all the security checks there). However he wasn’t stopped so the next time we saw him was taking a photo of the Kissama National Park sign. He arrived at the beach about 10 minutes after we did – quite exhausted from the long trip. I was very glad to see him as I’d been quite worried about the traffic & how they tend to ignore motorcycles as if they don’t exist.

The beach was great – still not too hot to sit out in the sun during the day, but the water was freezing cold. The surfers were undeterred though – they had headed out several hours earlier than us beach bunnies. Around lunch time a group of dolphins came past – very close to shore. It was very cool! The surfers (who go almost every weekend) had never seen them so close. We went for a walk under the cliffs and saw lots of fossils. Bill left about 2 so that he wouldn’t hit bad traffic back in Luanda & we left about an hour later. Bill got home safely with minimal traffic jams, although we weren’t so lucky. He enjoyed taking the bike for a long run, but felt it was really just a bit too far in total.

The following weekend the two of us went to Shipwreck beach by ourselves. Despite leaving early, the driver took us through Luanda a different way – right through the middle of a market – and it took forever. The beach itself is always great – we decided to walk left instead of right as we usually do, although we had to back-track to find a nice place to sit and eat our picnic. We stopped by the war memorial on our way back – it is just as impressive the second time around. We noticed that bats are living behind the wall panels – they must be very small as we could only see small gaps. We returned the same way we’d come (we thought that maybe roadworks had closed the usual route) and it was terribly slow getting back. Slow enough even for me to read – something I can’t normally do in a moving car due to motion sickness. However, it had been a nice day out.