My chain was in need of a good clean, so I sprayed WD40 and lightly brushed off the grime, before applying chain oil.
Seeking refuge from the sun, I noticed my motorcycle cast a small area of shade. Awesome! I used this to shelter from the sun.
I'd made it to Luanda without motorcycle insurance for Angola. Most police checkpoints didn't stop me. The few that did stop me, didn't ask to see insurance. Uncomfortable with pushing my luck, I purchased insurance as soon as I arrived I Luanda.
After leaving the insurance office, my front wheel felt light and unstable after 20 metres. After 60 metres, it was very bad, so I pulled in slowly and cautiously. The front tyre was flat. Thankfully, I had only reached 15 mph. Flat front tyres at speed can be extremely dangerous, so I considered myself lucky! An hour later, the wheel was back on with a fresh inner tube, and I had some very grubby hands!
I was packing away my tools when a biker pulls up next to me. He was from the Amigos da Picada motorcycle club. Then, another member turns up in a pickup truck. They invited me to their club house/garage, just around the corner. They offered support in case I needed anything whilst in Angola. Awesome guys!
My search for a cheap place to stay in Luanda yielded no hotels/hostels for a reasonable price. The city is expensive! However, there is a yacht club that was known for welcoming overlanders. The view of Luanda was spectacular from my camping spot! I could see the towers at night spread across the city.
The fuel I purchased from bottles in Dolisie (Republic of Congo), when all fuel stations were empty, had left dirt swilling around the bottom of my fuel tank. The engine had started to sputter again when fuel was low. I removed and cleaned the tank again.
Whilst working on my motorcycle, I met Bruno, Ana, and Kelse. Avid Angolan 4x4 overlanders. We spent all evening in one of the bars at the yacht club and I met many of their friends and partners. They invited me to their Mum's place for Mother's Day lunch the following day. I was absolutely thrilled! Their Mum's house backed on to the beach and had a fantastic view. Barbequed meats, crab, prawns, salad, desert; these are foods I now rarely have the opportunity to eat.
Over a few beers, Bruno and Wolfram planned a route through Angola based on their travel experiences. Bruno kindly wrote down every detail, including the home made wines to try and not to try! Great company and great food and drink!
I'd put my motorcycle back together, stocked up on water and food, and was ready to ride to Candula waterfalls. Leaving the yacht club at 09:00, there was a queue in one lane of traffic. The queue continued for 1 mile to the nearest fuel station. I'd heard there was a fuel shortage in Luanda, but I wasn't expecting a huge queue like this.
Several security guards, police, army, and Gendarmerie were at the fuel station. I queued behind the other bikes in the forecourt. My shiny foreign bike drew lots of interest from the locals. Most were stunned that I'd ridden from England!
A Portuguese lady invited me to park up and wait with them. She had arrived with her husband at 04:00 to get fuel so they could go to work that day. A fuel tanker was due to arrive at 13:00. We had coffee and chatted. I strolled along the sandy beach watching crabs dive down their holes, which was the other side of the road.
To my surprise, the fuel tanker arrived at 13:00! I had expected a much longer wait.
An Amigos da Picada biker on a Honda Transalp, Luis, nudged me to follow him and fill up. A huge queue of yellow plastic containers were lined back to back all the way to one of the petrol pumps. I wanted to take a photo, but a friend had been told off for doing so.
Luis joined the front of the queue. I sheepishly joined after him.
People with containers were now swarming around the fuel pump. You could smell the tension.
Another biker from a different motorcycle club riding a Honda NC750X, grabbed my bike and started walking it into the crowd. He pushed my bike right up to the pump, so I would be served next. Both these guys are taller than 6 foot. No one questioned it.
I refueled my tank, 1L auxiliary bottle, and 5L plastic container. My range was now over 300 miles :D
Afterwards, Luis offered to help locate a motorcycle parts shop, so I could replace my front inner tube. A bit tricky to find but he was very patient.
With only a few hours of sunlight remaining, Luis invited me to stay at his place. That night we watched the football in a local bar, drank lots of dark beer, and washed it down with whisky. I was hammered by the end of the night! The following day, I found this photo on my camera.
Here's Luis and I before I left. He was incredibly kind and generous to me. A good guy.