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> Inside man

Monday, 22 March 2010 - 23:20

Day 173 - Mon 22nd - 15,083km, Luanda, Angola

Arriving in the suburbs of Luanda yesterday morning, I was greeted through the cloud of dust and pollution by my current host and the cities sole cyclist, lycra- clad Stuart Mcmahon, who then gracefully guided me through the traffic mayhem and slums towards an unbelievable mouth watering fried eggs and bacon at his family pad. Smelling worse than the city's refuse tip after 6 torturous days primarily riding dirt, sleep deprived and covered in itchy red blotches from the tsetse fly attacks, I’m just grateful he didn’t see me as a health hazard to his kids and cruise off on his road bike leaving me to battle it out with the feral cats and dogs in the slums! Washed, cleanly clothed, over fed and watered I was soon made to feel like a new man and was treated to a premiership football fix and South African braai in the afternoon. After a few beers even sitting down became less of a sensitive issue and following a good night’s kip I was ready to face Angolan immigration today to try and secure my extension.

Selflessly sacrificing his whole day to help me negotiate the bureaucratic nightmare of the immigration office, Stuart’s Portuguese and inside contact was priceless. Although after 6 hours of form filling and waiting I was given a flat rejection and it was only with a lightening of my wallet and some Rooney like foot work from our inside man that my papers went to the right people for special consideration. Faint hope therefore still remains for a significant enough extension to allow Helen to fly out and join me for a couple of weeks mine dodging down the coast. 

While I anxiously wait to find out my fate, I couldn’t be in safer hands for a bit of rest, relaxation and running. Stuart, Rosa, Anne and Alex have taken it upon themselves to fatten me up and I’m certainly making the most of it. Special thanks to them for making me feel so at home and also their friend Steve who has kindly let me sleep in his spare room in the flat below when I'm taking breaks from the feasting!  

Comment Count: 5 Comments



All good news!

Greetings from an autumnal North Shore.  Hope your visa extension & joint adventure with Helen progress without any glitches.  

Don't get soft!

Hello Rob, Great to hear about your superior accommodation in Luanda. I hope the strings work and the visa gets sorted speedily. Bertha won't want you putting on too much weight! I thought you were heading Angola/Namibia/RSA but I see it's Angola/Namibia/Botswana/RSA - still some pretty rugged stuff ahead! You get fairly close to Torchwood - what about a short detour? Go well.



We still check your progress regularly and really enjoy the blog.

Great going!


Hi Bob

I'm keeping everything crossed for you - though you probably know by now (11 am on Tues). You really have some great support there by the sounds of it. Lots of love and luck,

Suse xx


Wow you've hit the jackpot with bumping into Stuart and his lovely family! All this visa malarkey has been just so frustrating to hear, I can just imagine how annoying it must be having to sort them out every so often!

It’s great to hear you have had some nutritious and tasty bacon and eggs-you’re looking unrecognisable to the usually healthy and mischievous Bert that we know, on a more selfish and guilty matter, I don’t feel so bad now about having a massive fry up this weekend (on two occasions). More and more recently when I’ve been indulging into mum’s cooking, or eating out, or just even having a nice ice cold glass of water I have thought of you ploughing away.....I’m sure on your return there will be feast after feast heading in your direction!

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

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