Riding around Angolan bureaucracy
“Riding my Yamaha TTR250 solo from London to Cape Town was never going to be a breeze, but that after all, was the whole point. I quickly realized that my usual tactic of smiling patiently and being extra polite would have no currency in this situation, and I’d long since discovered that damsel-in-distress mode doesn’t work in this part of the world. Chivalry is a rare commodity in Africa, and the women are as tough as the men.
…After three hours I was eventually granted a transit visa, which gave me just five-days to ride the length of Angola. It was a 1200 mile journey through a country littered with landmines and with no ‘proper’ roads, thanks to twenty-five years of civil war that had seen the infrastructure completely destroyed. To make matters worse, Angola was currently in the grip of some of the worst flash floods in recent history. It was going to be tough and the clock was already ticking – my visa had started the minute my passport was stamped by the consul. It was time to get moving.”