There’s something about an old battered Land Rover that epitomises adventure more than any other vehicle. When I lent on the bonnet to sign the visa form, I could smell the dust, the diesel and the sharpness of old rubber from the worn tyres. I had a good feeling that the expedition would finally happen. And it is.
Now the visa is approved, my spare room is full of kit and the butterflies play merrily in my guts. I do the usual balancing act of the independent traveller: planning for the worst while not freaking myself out at horror scenarios. I’ve been here before and I know the process. What keeps me focussed is knowing that once the rubber starts rolling along the dusty roads of Angola my anxiety will melt into the excitement of taking every moment as it comes. Difficult situations are usually easier to deal with in reality than they are in fantasy. I’ve been smacked around the ear during an attempted mugging in Windhoek, been conned out of cash in Haifa and had my pack, passport, money and airticket stolen on a Greek beach. It was shit. But I’m still here and in one piece.
What I love most about independent travel is this excitement and unpredictability. I feel alive.
This is likely to be my last post for a while. I don’t expect to be able to access the internet while I’m in Angola and I’m certainly not lugging a laptop with me. If I find an internet café in one of the bigger towns and I have some time, I’ll try to post a quick update. I may manage the occasional tweet so follow me on @Afriwheels.
Thanks to all of you who have offered support and advice over the past year or more.
‘Bye for now! See you in a month!