Grand Africa, voyage day, 52, Luanda, Angola


30 November 2022   Luanda, Angola

Good morning all.  Today will be different.  First, BBC News has reported a new drug to help early Ahlzimers.  Wonderful news.

Second, my plans for Luanda, Angola have been turned upside down.  My research showed us docked near the fort and within walking distance of the Old Town.  Tours were far too expensive for me to consider.  Luanda has been the most expensive city in the world.
Jeremy showed us docking far away from that area.  But there will be a shuttle bus to a market.  I would enjoy that, but he also stressed safety here, where there is a high crime rate.

Yesterday each passenger received a full page “Important Safety Advisory” warning us in vivid detail about the prevalence of theft here.
I reconsidered tours.  The $149 two-hour tour visits the fort and the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum (his daughter has flown to Portugal, where she has been charged with stealing billions of dollars from Angola) and drives by a church and along Marginal Bay.  No thank you. There is so much more to see.
My four tablemates have planned tours.  My heart wants to explore.  It might be through the windows of the shuttle bus.

We docked about 7am.  The TV bow camera shows a container port in the rain.  At 7:50am Erika announced that we have not yet been cleared by the port.

I am going to have an elegant breakfast in the Main Dining Room.
I did set out a bag of dirty laundry.
I enjoyed the Full English Breakfast of eggs, fried bread, pork banger, English back bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, grilled tomato, orange juice, and coffee — with a view of the rainy port.

At 9am the ship was cleared by local authorities for passengers to go ashore.
I went up to the Lido aft deck to feel the weather and to take photos.  The rain has let up.  I think I hear welcome music by the gangway.

It was close to 10am when I left the ship.  A local musical group welcomed us at the foot of the gangway.  I took lots of photos and boarded the large luxury shuttle bus.  Good window seat in front of the TV.  Man sitting next to me has friends whose wives refused to leave the ship, so they also stayed onboard.  We had barely left the port when we stopped at Praca 17 de Septembro square.  Our destination.
I stayed on the bus and listened to the people who boarded to return to the ship.  Some said, “There is nothing there.”  “Only two stalls.”  And “I bought some beautiful fabric.”
I stayed on the shuttle bus until it had returned to the ship and gone again to the shopping square.

There were a few stalls.  A pile of bright fabrics was being swarmed over by the early bird fabric lovers.  I bided my time and returned to the fabric leftovers.  The sweet sales lady was so good about lifting the fabrics up that I wanted to examine.  Finally, I decided on five 6-yard lengths for 50 Euros. The local ladies were concerned that the bag was too heavy for me to carry, but I managed. They speak Portuguese here, a few speak English.  All had cell phones or calculators to establish prices in dollars or Euros.
Satisfied, I looked at the wood carvings, colorful clothing, and intricate bead work.  I really liked a smaller red & silver beaded collar, so I bought it for ten Euros.  The salesmen were thrilled.

New pieces of fabric arrived and were being laid out on the ground.  I had to admire these beauties and traded two that I had bought for new ones.  No haggling here.  Strict $10.  She knew that we loved her treasures.
It was turning steamy hot, and my red 2007 Grand Asia windbreaker was feeling hot.  It was time to haul my treasures to the shuttle bus and return to the ship.  There was now a lady to help me climb the high steps into the bus.

It was nearly noon, so I ate lunch in the Lido — Cactus Ice Cream with Pineapple Sorbet.

Left the ship again, traveling light, to board the shuttle bus again to the market at Praca 17 de Septembro square in downtown.  Police stopped traffic, so that we could cross the street.  More stalls had been added to the market.  The fabrics had been moved to a table with shade from the sun.  We felt very welcome here.  There were also choices of food and drink for the really brave.

I crossed another street to visit Hotel Presidente.  I tried to change a 50 Euro bill for smaller bills, but they had none.  Their money is the Angolan Kwanza.  I did enjoy the artwork in this luxury hotel, especially “Pensador” (the Thinker).

I returned to the shopping stalls.  A group of curious boys were glad to hear “Bom Dia” and posed for a photo.
The marketplace even had an information booth now.  No brochures, but they had a collection of postcards set out to show.
Nearby a man was setting out carved statues of the Thinker.  He was not sure how many dollars he wanted.  Then he asked for $10.  I offered $5, and he was very happy.
It was getting hot and humid, so I returned to the luxurious shuttle bus.

Quick ride to the ship, back in my room about 2pm.  Beautiful fabrics.  Nice “Pensador” wood carving.  I wore my beaded collar / necklace to dinner.

Captain Smit announced that we would not be sailing at 5pm after all.  Lots of stores / supplies needed to be loaded, but something went wrong, delaying the loading until 3pm.  There was much work still to do.

At dinner Charlotte described what she had seen.  One truck had a flat tire.  It was an interesting loading process.
We all survived our day in Luanda.  Jan & David’s AAT tour with Mary Anne was great.  They especially enjoyed the Viewpoint of the Moon.
My dinner was the Seafood Spring Roll, Beef Bourguignon, Raspberry Mousse Torte, the Zinfandel Rose wine, and decaf coffee.
It was 6:40pm when it sounded like the ship was leaving port.

Jeremy introduced tonight’s entertainer.  Jeremy is now free from Covid isolation.
“On World Stage:  Pianist Ian Von Memerty in Prince of the Piano.  Enjoy his piano virtuosity and powerhouse vocals as he takes you on a tour of some of the greatest pianists. . . Including Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Freddy Mercury, and Nat King Cole.”  
I enjoyed the Ragtime of Scott Joplin.
Two chocolates, etc. were waiting in my room along with my morning laundry.

Quote of the Day: “I travel because life is short and the world is huge.”  Stephanie B.

About this port

Luanda (/luˈændə, -ˈɑːn-/)[4] is the capital and largest city in Angola. It is Angola’s primary port, and its major industrialcultural and urban centre. Located on Angola’s northern Atlantic coast, Luanda is Angola’s administrative centre, its chief seaport, and also the capital of the Luanda Province. Luanda and its metropolitan area is the most populous Portuguese-speaking capital city in the world and the most populous Lusophone city outside Brazil, with over 8.3 million inhabitants in 2020 (a third of Angola’s population). (Source: Wikipedia


The markets and people

Photo by aboodi vesakaran on

2 thoughts on “Grand Africa, voyage day, 52, Luanda, Angola

  1. You were very brave to venture ashore alone. So many robberies, kidnapping, and pirates in that area. More and more ships being boarded to steal oil according to Ray’s maritime magazine. I like all of your fabric purchases and your necklace is very becoming.
    Keep spending to help those economies. 😄
    Stay safe and healthy.

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