Day 125: Cabinda at last

Soutpiel Safari
John & Jenny
Wed 9 Mar 2011 17:36
Day 125: Wednesday 9 March 2011. Catholic Mission garden, Cabinda. S05 33.736 E012 10.679 Distance driven 103 km
It was a long, hot, sticky night and we were troubled by mosquitoes.  we had to have the car windows open for ventilation, but that let the mossies in.  we covered ourselves in Tabard and burnt coils inside the car.  We were up at 0500 in order to have a sluice down and change our clothes in the privacy of darkness.  The border guard came over once or twice to check that we were alright and apart from that all was quiet.
We were outside Immigration at 0800 when they opened but it was 1000 before the bolshie little chief came out with our passports with the entry stamps.  We were through and gone 5 minutes later! What it was all about we shall never know, but the incident has not encouraged us to linger in Cabinda.
The drive into Cabinda was uneventful and ran along the shore most of the way.  We rocked up at the Catholic Mission because it was the only place we knew that allowed camping.  It is a pretty run-down place but friendly.  I suspect they are not really used to campers as there is one filthy public toilet and no shower. One of the staff has kindly allowed us to use his bathroom but it is a rather awkward arrangement.
We decided to treat ourselves to lunch out once we had showered and found that we could walk to a nearby hotel, However, the meal was mediocre, the price astronomic and we had a row about payment!  They advertised that they took Visa cards but couldn't make the machine work, the bill was printed in both Kwanza and US dollars but when i went to pay in dollars they didn't want to accept them as they suspected that they were counterfeit! All in all, not a very successful lunch!  However, the hotel toilets are magnificent so i may call in tomorrow to get my money's worth.
We had a small commission here for a British overland friend, Peter Crichton, who had asked us to try to trace a priest whom he had befriended 3 years ago when he passed through Cabinda.  We soon managed to find Padre Carlos Gime and he came round for a chat and to proudly show us the school he has been building for the last 10 years - an enormous and impressive project.  Carlos was amazed when I called him that a friend of Peter's was here in Cabinda.
Jenny is feeling quite ill and I am very tired after last night, so we will have an early night and may stay over tomorrow as we have masses of email to catch up with.