Okay, so as many of you know my last trip into Angola was a complete disaster the last week I was there. Things had just been getting progressively worse as the month progressed.
Cape Town from the Tampon Towers 🙂
Luckily I managed to get back to Cape Town just in time for the 2 day week. 3 public holidays almost in a row led to some serious debauchery and over-indulgence on my side. This was well timed, as I was in serious need of a break after my last week in Luanda. Well, I took serious advantage of it!
We: The Pharmacist, Bokkie and myself, hit Oblivion on the Friday night which was pretty good. I landed up at Tiger on Sat after rugby with Borat, and that was once again a late night. Can’t remember much about the night to be honest, but it was a good one, and I got pretty drunk, and landed up getting some chicks blood all over my jeans, which apparently I had caused when she fell off her chair, but I very much doubt it. Well, Johnny Walker doubts it! 😮
It landed up being a week of complete excess – the public holidays very well timed for me!
I got a dive in on the Wednesday afternoon with The Advertiser and a college friend of his, and we did A-Frame which was chilled. Not too cold and good to be back in the water, especially with my new mask, a Mares X-Vision, which was just great. I had borrowed one briefly in Sharm when I was there back in 2004, and as my Cressi had now given up the ghost, it was a good purchase. Very happy with it indeed. Vis wasn’t bad for A-Frame, but the wind was absolutely howling, so it was cool to get under the water. The Advertiser found us an Octo, which was always cool to see and there were the usual “strepies” (fish) hanging around the A-Frame itself, with loads of starfish, with the big legs.
Borat and I hit Tiger again on the Wednesday night as Thurs was a public holiday and it landed up being an absolute ripper. I actually started off at Jade bar in Green Point with the Sales Man, and a few of his mates. From there we went to Karma in Camps Bay, which was okayish. Borat pulled through and then very aptly called it a “Coloured Jol”, which it seriously was. haha
From there we HIT Tiger . . . and . . . I can’t actually remember what happened next. I do remember running around Harfield Village at about 04h30 trying to wake people up to help me with my car, as I had run out of fuel – not immediately obvious to me at the time – something to do with dicing Borat back from Camps Bay and burning the rest of the half a reserve tank, and then forgetting to fill-up when I left Tiger . . . oi vey the Sales Man comments! 🙂 The funny thing is the cops drove past me twice. Anyway, I called Borat and he said he would pull through. 30 mins later, he hadn’t arrived, and I had finally sobered up enough to realise that I was actually covered by the AA, a company thing, a good thing, and I called them and made it their problem. The guys arrived about an hour later, now around 06h and had to knock on my window, I had fallen asleep again, whilst listening to Harry Potter on my iPod, and was now completely lost in the story too. The AA dude found a 500ml bottle in the road, which he took off to get fuel in, luckily for that, as they don’t carry with them, and I waited another while for him to return. He did manage to get me going, and I headed off home to sleep big time! And still with no word from Borat. I called him a few times, to no avail. Think it went straight to voicemail, and texted a few times too, but they never got delivered
I got a text from him at around 11h30 that morning saying: Got busted by the pigs on my way to you, just got home now. And that was it. I didn’t hear from Borat for the next 4 days, and I reckoned it was cause he was miffed with me.
Thursday afternoon I got out a bit and went up Lion’s Head, as it was great weather. The lack of gym showed very quickly though with me being completely stuffed, without my pump halfway up the path, just past the paraglider’s launch point. It was also probably due to the fact that I had hammered it getting up there, and that wasn’t very clever either.
My phone decided to give up the ghost around about that time, and the sim card just died! Little did I know what fun I was about to have trying to get it replaced.
Saturday I decided to go diving in the morning after the relaxing dive I had had the Wednesday. So pulled through to Hout Bay to head for a dive from there. Met up with the dive crew from ProDivers. We heard reports from the guys coming in that the vis was amazing, like up to 20m at parts. Hmmm, that was ringing bells in the back of my head, but I couldn’t remember why . . . I got my kit ready and we launched from there. We were supposed to do some site or other but the swell was pushing a bit so we landed up doing Vulcan rock instead. The boat stopped, we all kitted up and dropped in, and BANG it hit me what great vis in Cape Town meant. BLOODY FREEZING WATER!!! 🙁
Like 8 degrees freezing!!! Man it was cold. My head got serious “ice freeze” on the way down,and I just remember my body going f#ck this is cold! The dive lasted about 25 mins max I think – I didn’t have my computer on, the strap was broken – and we all agreed unanimously when the DM said time to surface! It was a great dive though, and the vis was truly amazing. Probably about 15m there even with the effects of the surge around the rock. Saw loads of urchins and some really large starfish. We were also joined by a few seals at the end of the dive, and they were rather playful, which is always cool to have with.
Fish and Soft Corals
Starfish and Urchins
Seal and Diver
When we got back to the boat the one diver was already there. She told us she got about 5m deep and decided no way it was too cold, so cancelled her dive. Clever girl. Once back no land I decided I was only doing one dive, that was cold enough for me that was. My hands were burning the entire way home due to the senses finally returning to them from the sheer cold of the dive. Our Instructor Exam had been done in 11 degrees, but this took the cake! Won’t be doing that again in a hurry! And will definitely remember what great vis means next time round!
Headethrough to Tiger that evening, once again, and who did I see at the one counter on the far side?? Borat. Hmm, he hadn’t beein in touch sine Wednesday, and to be honest, my phone hadn’t been in operation since Thursday afternoon, so I wasn’t actually sure if he was pissed with me, or just hadn’t been in touch. I went over and said Hi. Well,to cut a long story short,he had been pissed with me at first, then got over it, and then said that if it happened again, he would call me a taxi! Now that’s a mate. He had also been trying to get in touch, but my phone was off,so once again we were on the lash! 🙂 It was a good sat night and fun was had by all.
Monday morning early I nipped through to Malmesbury to get my new Jumbo Passport I had ordered, as mine was due to expire in March of 2009,and judging by the amount of time I was due to be spending out of the country, I decided to organise a new one 2 months back. I had already been informed that it was waiting for me. The reason I couldn’t have it posted was due to the fact that I still required my current one for travel, so had to go get the new one in person. Why Malmesbury? It is a little trick for Capetonians. It is only about 40 mins out by car,and is a fairly pleasant drive. You get there at 08h45, and there is literally no queue. You land up being first, second or third in the queue, and are pretty much done within half and hour. Not like having to wait 4 hours in a queue at Home Affairs in Cape Town somewhere,only to be told you have to wait again for the form, etc. Absolute disaster that place. I believe you can also get your drivers done in Malmesbury. That’s on the cards soon too, so I think I’ll be taking another trip soon enough. Plus there is also the Engen where you can stop off at for a decent Wimpy breakfast on the way back. 🙂
From Malmesbury I headed straight through to the Angolan Embassy to get my Visa sorted. I arrived around 10h30, and it was an absolute disaster. The queue was at about 47, but I managed to get in fairly quickly,for once,only to be told my LoI (Letter of Invitation) had not yet been received. In order to travel to Angola, you require a Letter of Invitation from an individual there. Our representation company usually sorts this out for us, and I had organised mine way in advance. To be told it wasn’t here, meant that I would have to request a new one and come back tomorrow. This would also mean my 5 day ordinary visa would now have to be treated as an Emergency Visa, and cost an additional R250! Which it did. I landed up returning every day for the next 2 days, as when it did arrive it was then missing some sort of contract number, which we had NEVER included in the past, and had never had a problem, but now we required it to do on there for them to process. Why was I not surprised. So I eventually got my application in on Thursday, which left 1 day to get a visa, as I required to have it by Friday afternoon, to fly out on Sunday morning. This is pretty much unheard of, getting a visa in 1 day, but I managed to wrangle it,and I collected it Friday afternoon. Why do we have issues every time we go to the embassy? It is crazy man.
I also put my car up for sale, as if I realistically only going to be spending approx 4 more weeks in the country,it didn’t make sense to keep it, especially since it was still be paid off. So I advertised it on AutoTrader and literally got a call the very next day by a guy who really wanted it. He took it for a test drive a few days later, and job done, he took it. We had to get a few minor issues sorted,which dragged on, once again Cape Town service :(, and then eventually he got the vehicle. I was sad to have let it go,as I absolutely lvoed my little Jetta V5, but at the end of the day, at least he will get pleasure from it, and it removes one more burden from my life, especially since I know that my sister had been driving it whilst I was away!! 😮
I got one hell of a Tummy Bug on the Saturday, the day before I was due to fly out, and was literally man down the entire day. Cramps and the the good old toilet tap scenario! Not cool,especially when you literally have to t spend a whole day flying the next day! It didn’t help either that I only got 2 hours sleep on sunday morning before getting up to go to the airport. My eyes were burning whilst I was showering I was sooo tired, and I almost fell asleep in the shower from exhaustion.
Next thing I knew . . . I was back in Luanda, for another tour of duty!
Easy Going Guy 😉