Wako Kungo Adventure

30/08/2019

It's evening and I, together with my friend Jarmila, who is with us on my holiday stay, are preparing provisions for our long journey. Together with my friend Dana, her neighbor Grace and my husband, we will leave early for a great adventure. Our trip will lead to Kwanza Sul Province to Wako Kungo, where Grace has her own farm. We have packed backpacks with warm clothes, according to Grace's advice, blankets, food and drink for the trip, but also for a two-day stay in the jungle. The cameras are set up on the table so that we don't forget them in our delight, and I leave with Jarmila to play cards on our balcony. It's four o'clock in the morning and we get in the car in front of the house and load our luggage and rush out of the housing estate down a dark street. Around five o'clock we are already in front of Dana and Grace's house, who are joining us. Grace and her brother still handle the rest of the things they need to move to the farm on the back of their car. Dana is already unloading in the car with Jarmila and we can go. Luanda is still shrouded in darkness, only here and there the road is illuminated and we know that we are still in the city. After thirty minutes we are driving in real black darkness, without a single lamp, and it is clear to us that we are out of town. The road is full of holes, so we drive very slowly and the road resembles a slalom track. After another hour of driving, it begins to dawn and we can begin to observe the surrounding nature. Majestic baobabs, banana plantations, sugar cane and small colonies of clay houses around which children are already running. People heading to the field or to work are already appearing on the way. We stop in the city in the province of Kwanza Norte, we have two hours in a row, on the banks of the river Kwanza, which flows through it. Grace and her brother come to us and we agree to take a break here, eat and get some gas before we set off again. I have a prepared baguette, drink coffee from a thermos and watch the mumraj on the opposite bank of the river. In front of us will be a long section of terra batida-clay and dusty road, where there will not be many opportunities to stop. I'm really looking forward to it, I don't care what way I go and how long I go, especially if I go. During the trip we pass a large power plant, a beautiful hotel, many other interesting places. We make stops at some of them, and Grace gives us an explanation. Around two o'clock in the afternoon, we arrive in Wako Kungo, where we stop at a store so Grace can buy groceries for the people who help her on the farm and live in the village they built on her property. After another twenty minutes of driving, we turn off the asphalt road and descend onto a dirt trail. Grace stops in front of us and comes to our car with information and a warning that we must not go around anything, but we must go directly behind her. I don't understand and I'm a little surprised, but I'm silent and don't comment. Along the way, I see men in suits with shields walking and enthusiastically showing them to others, saying that they are probably looking for a swarm of bees. A little further on, I see a sign, but I can't read what's on it. After, I ask Ika, I understand that these people are not looking for bees, but for mines. I don't even know how long we drove this way through the tall stands, dry grass and a pile of dust before we got to our Grace's house. Her farm is surrounded by mountains, stony mountains on which not a single small shrub grows. All around her house are vast plains full of trees, and they reach as far as the mountains mentioned. It's getting dark and I'm starting to shiver. Suddenly the temperature dropped from forty to five degrees, and I now understand why Grace insisted we wear warm clothes. In the morning we were awakened by the cold, the rising sun and the murmur of the goats that Grace keeps on the farm. Right after a hearty breakfast, we put on our hats and went on a big tour of the farm and also to the village that Grace has on her property. Along the way we met a herd of cows with huge horns, I tore up countless plants, shrubs and who knows what. We walked through a mandarin orchard, buried kids and lambs, drank local spirits, and climbed the nearest mountain to catch a signal and send a message home that we were fine. The next morning we had to return to Luanda. Grace stayed on the farm and we, with the car fully loaded with natural materials such as bamboo and succulents, were returning home.