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> Blessing in disguise?

Saturday, 27 March 2010 - 00:58

Day 177 – Fri 27 - 15,120km, Luanda, Angola

The frustrating visa delays that have halted my progress southwards throughout March are continuing as I await a decision on my application for a visa extension from the director of immigration who, I have just been informed by our inside man, only returns from holiday on Monday! The great news is that Helen (Happy Birthday old girl!) has finally received her Angola visa, 1 month after applying and just in the nick of time to catch her flight to Luanda tomorrow. The visa delays may therefore be a blessing in disguise, let’s just hope the director feels like letting some others enjoy some holiday time!
 
In the meantime I've had a very chilled week in the company of Stu's family and friends and been treated to countless delicious free meals, which is a good job because Luanda definitely lives up to its reputation as the most expensive city in Africa. The lack of green space and horrendous traffic in the centre of town, where I'm staying, makes training for comrades a real chore although, with 8 floors up to the flat, my legs aren't short of stair conditioning. The centre of town is somewhat lifeless thanks to street commerce being actively discouraged, although there are plenty of shady characters hanging out on street corners who would no doubt happily take your money! The area is a mosaic of Western investment with high rise flats, hotels and offices going up at an incredible rate. Indeed the Gibraltar-Strait-like gulf between poverty and wealth is worse here than any country I've passed through thanks to the immense oil wealth and the flocking of millions of people to the city's slums following the years of civil war. Let’s hope I don't join the list of illegal immigrants and can get back on course for the World Cup with Helen on Monday or Tuesday!

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Where Am I?

England!

Triathlon Completion: Day 255 - Sat 12 June
-20,293km Rustenburg, SA

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