Whilst in Luanda, Bruno and Wolfram had very kindly helped me plan a route through Angola. They've travelled Angola extensively so they know the best places!
First stop was Kalandula Falls. The East side of the waterfall has a hotel with a fantastic view. The hotel was closed with some construction going on, but my interest was in camping. A builder gave me the number to the hotel owner. A quick phone call and I was allowed to camp at the hotel! The view was truly stunning.
Camping at a waterfall sounds awesome, but the reality was wet and noisy! The experience was great despite that.
The next morning, a rainbow had formed straight into the base of the waterfall. A beautiful start to the day!
My motorcycle was soaked from the mist, but hitting the road again gave the bike a chance to dry.
Heading to Pedras Negras, I could see it on the horizon and it was intriguing.
The place felt like a ghost town. I arrived to a very peculiar welcome. The policeman asked me a few questions, which I actually understood in Portuguese! Another guy in casual clothes showed me his ID (not police), said he was police and that the other policemen needs to write down my details. This is standard practise at checkpoints; however, the policemen who I'd spoken to never asked for this. Alas, it fizzled out.
Continuing South, a detour from the main road led to Calulo. The road conditions changed from smooth road to heavily eroded road and then to slightly sandy track. Good fun to ride!
Passed over River Nhia.
Next stop: a hot spring. The roads there from Gabela to Tocota ran through the hills and villages. Beautiful scenery and good fun to ride.
The hot spring had a relaxed atmosphere with locals sitting around in the baths and chatting. It felt so good to take of my sweaty boots and socks to plunge my feet in the water. The water was hot! A bit like getting into a hot bath at home where you need to acclimatise to the temperature. A guy said the second bath was even hotter!
Many villages farming near the rivers. Idyllic places to live!
The next stretch was from Benguela to Namibe. Roughly 300 miles, which just so happens to be my maximum range with auxiliary fuel containers filled. This was my favourite place to ride because it was very barren. There were several nice beach camps en route, but I was in between two when I stopped riding for the day, so I resorted to a sandy desert camp instead.
Carrying extra fuel was essential. I don't like the weight that the auxiliary fuel supply adds to the back of the motorcycle, so I fill up the tank as soon as I can.
I was relieved to find a fuel station in Namibe. But, the station had no fuel ! Waited for an hour, and a tanker arrived. Not too long a wait this time.
Riding to Lubango, I experienced another episode of the engine sputtering. This time, I was in the middle of nowhere. Over a few miles, the motorcycle went from a healthy ride to a limp. I was gutted. I knew I needed to clean the tank. The day before, I'd purchased a brush with bristles to clean the tank.
Dirt had hardened on inside of tank, some bits were loose in the pump, and the filter was dirty, again.
The motorcycle started first time the next morning and did not sputter again.
I was curious as to how much dirt was getting into the tank, so I placed toilet paper in the fuel funnel. The fuel was clearly dirty!
With only just enough fuel to reach Lubango, I skipped Tundavala, which has a spectacular view point. The awesome roads that snaked up the mountains gave me some condolences.
Thought I'd found a camp spot but I was too close to a village and was moved on just as the sun had set.
Finally, I camped at a catholic mission before the Angola-Namibia border crossing.