Tag Archives: Ilha

The National Public Holiday – Luanda

So yesterday Wednesday was a National Public Holiday. No one however knew about it. The entire country was only informed of this decision at 18h on Tuesday evening on national TV. Classic.

2008-09 - Elections 01

The Elections are Coming! Both MPLA and Unita flags proudly displayed in the capital. The pic is a bit out of focus. 🙁

We were sent an email about it, well I wasn’t, but the BP guys were, and they forwarded it on to me. I then called Maria who would be in the know. It was 22h15, and not too late I thought. Well, I woke her up. I apologised and asked her about the public holiday.

“Yes, it is a National public holiday!” she exclaimed. This as opposed to a normal public holiday?

Well, I landed up going to work as I was in town in the morning to get my work permit sorted out at SRC – that is turning into an even bigger nightmare, but more on that later – and then I had a telecon in the afternoon for another issue, so just decided to do the work thing and catchup with documentation and emails.

Crap, but I got through a lot, so it was good.

The evening was spent at Cais de Quatro, a restaurant on the Ilha on the bay side, which was nice. I ordered the 2400Kz Garoupa fillet with chips. It was pretty good. The entire bill came to 15 300Kz for 3 of us. Bradley (the architect), Steven (the techie) and myself. Yip R 1 500 for 2 guys and that is pretty much the norm. Madness huh!

Well Elections tomorrow, on Friday the 5th. Gonna be interesting.

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Living Life

Having a Whale of a Time Fishing – Luanda

I managed to get to go Deep Sea Fishing today with a few of the BP guys, and it was pretty cool. We didn’t get any fish, but we did see a pod of 3 whales! Nice!

2008-07 - 01 Shipwreck Ilha 2008-07 - 02 Shipwreck Ilha

Shipwrecks – Ilha – On the Beach, and in the Bay!

The Angolan coastline, and ironically enough the inner bay, is absolutely littered with wrecks of all kinds. The trip from the Club Nautico – the “yacht club” is an interesting one. You motor past wrecks of all shapes and sizes, in various different locations. Some in the middle of the bay, others tucked up against the beach, some just left to sink where they are moored.

The swell as we rounded the point out of the bay was a tiny bit compressed and we got a few good jumps travelling at the speed we were, considering we had 2 x 200HP motors on the back, it wasn’t surprising. 🙂 We headed out past the various cargo vessels, 20 in all, all at anchor just outside the bay, and went directly west for a few miles. The swell was very flat and long out here and if there was a meter difference it was a freak swell. Talk about the fish pond effect.

The weather was overcast and pretty nippy and we were all wearing jumpers. That extra bit colder here out on the water. Luanda is definitely not as warm as it is supposed to be this winter. But hey, still warmer than Cape Town! 🙂 After having trawled for around 2 hours or so, with not even a strike, we came across a baleia (whale) just off a car carrier vessel in fairly deep water. We slowed down and tried to get closer. It dipped back down after we saw it, but then surfaced again off our starboard bow. A minute or 2 passed when suddenly 2 surfaced just behind us, literally 15 meters off our stern. They majestically rose, blew out and slowly arched over back into the water. On the next surface, there were the 2 on our port side when suddenly a 3rd surfaced on our starboard. They were together on the surface and we in pursuit from there.

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A Pod of Angolan Whales! 🙂

We followed them for about an hour or so, keeping a fairly manageable distance, and I must say they seems pretty un-phased by us. They went under the boat twice, and even surfaced really close, like less than 10 metres, running parallel to us on the one time. It was quite amazing how majestic and graceful they moved, and on a few occasions we got the “tail” as they disappeared below the water.

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Angolan Whale Tail!

Around 12h30 we made the decision to head back in. This after we had passed about 5 local fishing “boats” who all reported no catches, apart from one little fish the size of my forearm.

The rest of the day spent watching the Tennis!

Yes NADAL! 🙂

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Loving Life

A Brave New World – Luanda – Day 3!!

So, today I started my new job in earnest. Man, weird to be back in it. Thrown straight into an operational issue that morning, that was interesting considering I was now responsible for managing the issues, as opposed to being responsible for solving them. So quite tough in a way to have to hold back, but I am getting used to it. 🙂

Loads to do here so I am going to be kept very busy for a long time to come, which is great. Means I won’ have to get bored, or restless . . . I hope! So far the first impression is that we are on top of things, which is good.

Day 3 - Neighbours

Our neighbours, literally right on top of us.

We went for lunch down the road, and the around the corner, and it was my first true experience of being on the ground in Luanda, as we walked. Man, I have already talked about the heat, but unless you have ever been to an equatorial or mid tropical country, you really can’t understand it. I believe Bangkok is apparently very similar, if not in fact worse. But the heat and humidity here is intense. I think the problem is compounded by the fact that everywhere you you are in air conditioned rooms, offices, vehicles, restaurants, etc. So when you do venture out you go from a fairly cooled environment, typically in the region of about 20 degrees, or sometimes less, straight into about 32-34 degrees. Man, it is seriously intense. And the humidity just sits. So it is not like being in Cape Town in 32 Degrees, but rather think of sitting in a steam room at 32 degrees. Okay it is not that bad that you break out in a sweat every time you go outside, but it can be uncomfortable if you are in heavy clothing or wearing trousers. It’s also not as bad as when I did my Sailing trip, which I will actually blog after my first trip home, as I left my “diary” at home on this trip. Part of the 32Kilo constraints!

Personally I enjoy the temperature, and the climate. I enjoy being outdoors and it’s great to be able to get out and enjoy the sun and warmth. The only problem though is that you don’t actually see the sun, or feel the rays of it . . . EVER! Everyday is overcast, or cloudy, but not like dark cloudy, but just hazy cloudy. There is glare from the sun everywhere, but no actual rays.

Costs are MENTAL!! I was warned that it was expensive, but man, this is ridiculous! A main meal, just the course itself, well the lunch venue we go to, will cost you about R90! Plus R15 for the soft drink! So you are looking at around R105 for the entire meal. And that’s just a plate of rice and beef stew, or a large pizza slice with salad, pretty much any “Pratos do dia”, the Dish of the day. I will definitely be blogging more on the costs as they occur, and trying to get my head around it as things go on.

Dinner that day was at Portugalia down near Ilha de Luanda, or commonly known as Ilha. Basically Island, which is actually the Peninsula. It is right next to the BP Staff housing, and it is pretty sparsely arranged with a few outside tables and then big screen/blank wall for watching the football, which I was going to find out is quite a big thing in Luanda. I was really tired by the time we finished, and I think that might be due to a combination of the Malaria Pill and the Beers I keep on drinking. And that was all before dinner! Dinner was ok, not fantastic, and once again, really expensive for what you get. Like R 150 for the main course alone, and the portions would be the equivalent of a R60/70 meal in Cape Town, if that.

Anyway, I was virtually passed out by the time we got home, and am going to sleep like a log now!

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉

Bom Dia Luanda – Day 2!!

So, last night actually got really wild, and even though I was in bed by 21h, I was wrecked! Barrie finished a whole bottle of Brandy, pretty much on his own, and Ashton got hammered! haha I woke up a few times during the night, due to being seriously hot, before I realised that I had an aircon unit in my room, which I then turned on to find out that this one is the shit! It works like you will not believe!! Great stuff. The next time, cause I had takkie mouth and had to get some water as I was tickets after the night before!

View from the house of a very entertaining Crossroads! 🙂

Day 2 - Morning

Today was tough . . . not really. I had a nice relaxed intro everything. 🙂

It started with the future handyman coming around to the house to see what needed to be done. From there it was off to BP premises at the De Beers Building which was interesting. I met all the players in one go, and was finally introduced to what I’ll really be doing. I must admit . . . quite intimidating actually. To see the relationships and understanding people already have with each other. To be coming in as the outsider, and having to take over. Well, the challenge is huge. The landscape is massive and the potential for growth is awesome, but so is the room for mistakes. But, I’ll take it as it comes, do my best, and then some. A very exciting time for both DD and myself.

After De Beers we cruised to a hardware store, got a few necessary items for the house, like a shower head and more, and then off to the “peninsula”, not too sure what it is called in Porra, but it was cool. We had lunch at a place Miami, just next to Cafe Del Mar, and judging by the pic, it was close enough! 🙂

A view from Miami:

Day 2 - Miami

After lunch we went shopping at Casa de Fresca, I think , and that was surreal. Think Woolworths in Luanda. Really! It is virtually the same. Just these prices are way off the scale. Some things are childishly expensive. A small box of Jungle Oats . . . . R70. Yes! R70 for a small box of Jungle Oats. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, about R80. And that’s the normal size! Not the big one you get back home. Just stupid really. Yet a bottle of Johnny Black will put you back R250, which is virtually the same as in CPT, just about R30 more. So some things, quite close, others way off the mark!!

Then is it was home, and chilled for the rest of the day.

Then off to Restaurant Venezia. Man, the Steak on Rock, which is like a hotrock steak was awesome. About 600-800g of quality, seriously quality steak!! Man I was stuffed, and took home plenty still.

Well, another day done.

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Nunnsby

Easy Going Guy 😉