Sunday, July 3, 2011

Angolan Beauty: Serra da Leba Pass

Situated some 20 miles west of the city of Lubango, is the Serra da Leba Pass, a national landmark in Angola.  This breathtaking mountain road built in the 1970s, spirals down from the 'plano alto' (high plateau) elevation of 1845 meters to almost sea level in just over 10 kilometers; literally transversing 3 or 4 different climate zones during any ascent or descent. 
Being one of the country's postcard images for decades, the road is a marvel of engineering given the era of its construction.  In spite of its beauty, the road offers little guard-rail protection and has been the venue of many road fatalities; thus bearing the long assigned name 'the beautiful precipice'.   
Legend has it that the Serra da Leba pass is named after a Portuguese woman who designed and built the road, who died after she viewed it on the very day the project was finished. 

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