Friday, August 27, 2010

22 - Geological Mystery

Black rocks of Pungo N'Dongo

 From a distance they look like huge humps sticking out of the flat savanna, mammoth outcroppings. Called the Black Rocks of Pungo N'Dongo, although they are grey, they soar up to 650 feet above the plain. No one can explain how they got there since they are so out of whack with the surrounding geology. One looks like a lion with drooping eyes, another like an enormous circumcised penis; they come in all shapes and sizes. There are a dozen or so groups of them on a 10-mile frontage.
Pungo N'Dongo ravine

 Inside one group ravines gouge their way between the crags, the slopes and summits covered with light green grass and darker trees; a school and sports facility nestle in the bowl at the bottom. King N'Gola and Queen Ginga are said to have sought refuge here as they battled the invading Portuguese in the 17th century, and their purported footsteps in the rock are preserved as a shrine under a shelter.

One massive outcrop serves as a backdrop for the dirt poor village of Carima – a collection of mud huts with several TV antennae and a couple of satellite dishes on the straw roofs; the black and red flag of the ruling MPLA party with a gold star flaps outside. The red and green flag of the former rebel UNITA, now a political party, is less common here.
More rocks
Nearby a Brazilian company is helping to start a sugar plantation to produce ethanol. And in the neighbouring town of Cacuso yet another mine victim hobbles along on crutches, one more Angolan who survived the war only to be caught in the maze of booby-trapped fields sown by the three decades of conflict.

Queen Ginga's footprint

Carima village in the shadow of the rocks

Oh yes, and the geological mystery? Muggins discovers the answer: elementary, my dear Watson, New Age giants put them there, it's their leggo.

No comments:

Post a Comment