Day 81… Wednesday 21st June
What a day! No luck getting a sim card and data and the only 2 fuel stations in town had no diesel (gasoleo in Portuguese). However we had enough fuel to get to the coastal town where we planned to stay. Our road to the coast had very bad potholes. Saw monkey bush meat for sale. Greta’s gear box started to play up and we could no further. Sat at the side of the road and joined by 2 young children watching our woes. They spoke no Portuguese. 2 red tringles were put out. Pondering options, it was a walk to the nearest village to find a mechanic or flag down help. The second option worked a treat as the car that stopped had a mechanic!! Greta was driven slowly to the next village and the chap got out his tools. The village kids took great interest. Went for a test drive and Greta seemed better. The next 70 miles to our destination was a slow limp as Greta still struggled to find gear. Managed to find diesel – another relief! Cheapest fuel in Africa so far – 60 litres cost 8,000 Kwanza/£8. Our campsite on the beach was lovely. Part of a resort that was closed for the season but the 2 security guards let us camp for free on the beach and use the WC. Watched a beautiful sunset while eating a hot meal.
I was properly grumpy this morning, a precursor perhaps of things to come. Positive take, our mini breakdown resulted in the first use of the red triangles, something which many Police officers have asked to see, and I always got to display with glee.
Our mechanical woes are a little annoying. It is a constant problem with the clutch and has been since the Nigeria/Cameroon border. This time the problem is making gear changes a blimin nightmare. Although we had the mechanic chap help us, it only seemed to last 5 minutes before the car was back to being stuffed. Thankfully by then I had worked out that I needed to start the car in gear, and then changing gears requires some force. At least the engine is running smoothly.