Day 85… Sunday 25th June
285 miles covered today from Benguela to Lubango. Greta’s woes continue. She has developed a loud rattle but continues to amaze us and limp on. Her gear box is in serious trouble but we took the decision/risk to carry on and get it sorted in Namibia where it will be cheaper and easier with English being the language. Only 2 more long days of driving until Namibia if Greta can get us there. Having reviewed the options, the worst-case scenario was being stuck at the side of the road (again) in-between towns and having to flag down help and communicate in Portuguese. Not a scenario I wanted to experience again! The road was wonderfully smooth for 4 hours which was a blessing for minimum gear changes and where the rear suspension is shot to pieces. However, deep potholes started to appear towards the end of the day which was a challenge. On the plus side, fuel is so cheap in Angola (13p a litre) that we have filled up at every available opportunity. 40 litres half a tank is 6,500 kwanza/£6.50. Arrived at Lubango after a 6 hour drive. Very developed town with good roads, pavements, kerbing, signage, trees, no litter, shops, restaurants and hotels. The most developed town we have seen in weeks. Our campsite for the night was up a windy hill with views across the city. Altitude of 2065m. A large garden laid to grass within a secure compound. Run by a South African family (Afrikaners) who invited us to join them for a braai. Happily accepted and had steak and burri. Although there are no mosquitoes at this altitude, it was a very cold night.
By Lubango we had covered almost 1,000 miles across Angola was a bad clutch. The car performed well today, although slowly losing power, and the noise today, whilst intermittent, was similar to an iPad in a blender. All very healthy. Besides the potholes we managed to limp onto Lubango without any major problems.
Thankfully the South Africans are big Toyota fans and have a mechanic they use on all of their vehicles. He’ll be coming out tomorrow to check out the car and give us his assessment, but I reassured it will be fixed properly here.