I've found a bike for training on in Johannesburg. It's nothing fancy. It's scratched and scraped but everything is where it should be - mostly! - and works. It's got V-brakes, front shocks (lockable) and it's got the little holes needed to fit a carrier. It doesn't have a steel frame but I'm giving up on that requirement for now.
In short, it's a perfect bike for my Jo'burg training and if it feels right, I might use it for Angola. It was also very cheap - is that the catch?
There's one small snag - currently being sorted out by the bike shop - which I found out when I test rode the bike and nearly flew over the handle-bars: the brake levers on many mountain bikes these days are the opposite way around to the way I'm used to. So when I pulled the left hand lever I was engaging the front, not the rear brake. Glad I figured this out in the courtyard behind the bike shop and not hurtling down a mountain!
Who's bright idea was this anyway? I've been cycling for about 36 years and I've never come across a bike with brakes set up this way. I must be getting old. When I pick it up this afternoon the old order will have been restored!