Ambriz and the Italian connection

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We traveled for 4 ½ hrs and then realized we would not make the secret bush camp south of Nzeto, as once again the roads were worse than we thought, and it was getting dark earlier and earlier as we traveled north. Fate was on our side; however, as we decided to take the turnoff to Ambriz, as someone at some stage mentioned that it was a nice coastal town. The little side road, needless to say, also quickly deteriorated, but we made the 22kms to the coast in good time (just over ½ an hour!). As we were driving around to try and find a camp spot before dark, we saw 3 guys sitting at a building site right on the beach and promptly asked them if we could camp there. They readily agreed.

Our camp at Ambriz Loo with a view, just a steep hill if you have                                                                                                                                     to go fast!!!

This was one of our best decisions thus far, as we proceeded to spend some of the best days we’ve had in Angola with Maurizio, Gigi and Massimo. All of them hail from Italy, and are working on a huge project for an Italian Oil Company building “plastic houses” for the contract workers. Gigi and Massimo (who does all the cooking) hail from Sicily and Maurizio, who is 64, is from Rome. He has a Moroccan wife of 36 and a son of 8 as wel as a son of 36 and a daughter of 30!! A jolly man, who saved the day as he could speak

English very well. They all took us in and wined and dined us on crayfish, freshly caught fish, oysters etc etc, Their kindness exceeded all expectations and we have no way to ever repay them. We could only contribute in a small way by offering them some South African wine and beer. Despite the fact that they have been living in their caravan for over a year now with limited resources and no internet facility, their greatness of spirit override everything and we had a truly joyous time with them. We wish them luck and a speedy finish to the project to enable them to go home for a while.

Part of the Stew the hairdresser Fish braai

Italian connection 

We had some bad luck whilst we were there in that a bag with all our essential medication was stolen, but by this stage we have realized that things like that happens and that life goes on. We had a great break here, did a lot of washing , cleaned Stan properly and were ready for the last stretch in Angola when we left early on Wednesday morning.

Massimo the chefOysters for AfricaArturo

Arturo was named by the 3 guys. The story goes that one day whilst the town was celebrating "Ambriz Day" this body with no head or legs washed up on the beach. They finally got hold of the police but as they were so busy celebrating, they took one look at the body and decided it it actually a TURTLE!! Mauritzio and gang then decided to give it a proper funeral and named the body Arturo. This is his grave! 

Best of all about our stay here though was…….wait for it…..STEW DID MY FOIL HIGHLIGHTS !!!!! Is that not brilliant…..watch out Nikki, you might have to employ Stew as an assistant when we get back!