Several factors have resulted in my decision to postpone the expedition until next year. The most significant is that I have yet to receive an approved letter of invitation from Luanda. With the Angolan Consulate closing at 11.30am on a Friday, I’m left with about a day and a half to get them to issue my visa. That’s if the invitation letter arrives in my inbox in the next few minutes. Given my last experience, even a neatly pressed pair of trousers is unlikely to hurry them up (for those who don’t know, I was refused entry to the consulate because I was wearing shorts!).
Perhaps it is fortunate that the visa issue takes the decision out of my hands. The weather in Angola is rapidly turning to summer. Temperatures are scraping 40 degrees and it won’t be long before the rains start. My original plan was to go in September while the weather was still cool. To land in Angola from a relatively cool South Africa and then to ride 70km’s a day or more in that heat would be a big ask for this old body. Especially if I need energy to make a video and to write.
Finally, my knee injury resurfaced after Sunday’s training ride.
I’m very disappointed. April seems an awful long way off. I’ve expended huge amounts of energy in organising and training. My spare bedroom is littered with bike touring kit (sorry Jen!).
In the interim I’d like to do a long ride in South Africa. I was going to try for Port Elizabeth to Cape Town via the Baviaanskloof and Route 62. A distance of over 800 kms. But good sense suggests that I wait for my knee to heal properly first.
I’m bouncing off the walls with energy to burn. As soon as my knee is sorted out I’ll be on the road. I’m looking forward to the opportunity of testing kit and myself. A local ride will be more forgiving if something breaks, including me! It will take some of the pressure off for when I do eventually hit the road in Angola. And hopefully, it’ll take the edge off the disappointment I feel at not being able to go to Angola next week.
*An invitation: If you feel like joining me for some of my SA ride let me know. The company would be good!