First city visit …..

Day 33 –

L: It was a slow to get moving day this morning…….
We have quite a lot that we need to get done in Lusaka since there are shopping centres, auto-part centres and the like. Steve had asked at reception to get the lay of the land while I was in the shower.

We said goodbye to Marie, as she was flying back to Oslo, leaving Bjorn, her son to continue up Africa on his trip overland. We had met them in Livingstone a few days ago.

L: We drove through so much traffic to get to Afrox, to refill our gas cylinder, only to discover that they were closed. We set off back to the shopping centre, Manda Hill. We have always been advised not to leave too much in the car and since we wanted to go in to the centre together, we had to carry our “go bags” with us. Each of us have all our passports, identity documents, bank cards etc as well as Steve carrying the laptop, the GPS and the camera. When we arrived at Shoprite, you have to put your bags in at the parcel counter. Not going to happen so Steve stayed at the entrance with all our bags while I did the shop.

It was great to be in a nice clean centre with most things available, except for our cuppa noodles and an adapter plug that Steve “donated” to The Moorings campsite.

S: We stopped off for pizza and a coldrink. It was 2 months since we had had a pizza so that was a treat. The rest of our needs list was not fulfilled so we still have to sort a few things out while we can. As we left the centre, we were amazed at the amount of wrecked cars that are “parked” along the streets like a scrap yard so close to their smart shopping centre, how strange.

We filled up with diesel and came on “home”, funny how when we are in a place for longer than a day, it starts to feel like home especially the warm showers.

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We unpacked the shopping, sorted the crates and did the washing to hang in the sun and gentle breeze here on the top of the hill. Later we enjoyed the free Wi-Fi, coffee and lounge suite to sit and catch up on the blog and various other correspondence.

L: We are really missing the girls today as Nicole, Heather and Lyle are in Worcester with their Aunties – Sharon and Erica and cousin, Chantal and her hubby, Francois and we keep getting the photos sent by What’s App :-)))).

Day 34 –

L: So, it is back on the road again today, heading out of Lusaka. But, not before a cold shower to awaken those senses……!! Steve told me that his shower was luke warm and since the showers in the camp are all on the same donkey, suggested that I try the bathroom up at the entrance, which I did, with no luck. I met a lady that said that she had worked at the lodge for 6 months and had visited several times and this was only the second cold shower she had had. She must have told the manager, Paul, as he later came to apologise and took me back to the bathroom to show me which was the hot tap…….ha ha, yep, that was the one I used and now it was warm again, go figure!

L: Karen Key of SAfm radio had asked us a few days ago to do a second radio interview for her show “Time to Travel” so we were careful to stay on the road where we could get enough signal to chat. We pulled off the road in good time for her call and waited. While we were parked opposite a chicken farm, we saw the strangest sight. Four-and-twenty blackbirds, all flying overhead. They were huge and in truth about 10 or 12 only. I will have to get out the bird books to identify them, but they must be after the newly hatched chicks.

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Marabou Stork

I am not an “overboard” animal lover, but on this trip so far, I have been very saddened to see how cruel so many people are to animals. We have seen children, teenagers and older people throw rocks at crocodiles, stones at chickens, put up to a dozen poultry with a turkey in a wire mesh cage for sale – live, tie a goat to a bicycle rack, a cow lying in the back of a bakkie to name a few. So sad.

Anyway, at 11.30am, as promised, Karen called and we had a lovely chat about our progress on the road so far and how we were enjoying it (and still speaking to each other, ha ha). She said that the show will probably air between 9 and 10pm the following week, on Wednesday night. We will confirm. Thanks Karen.

While we were chatting to her, a man from the company that we had parked outside of, came to quiz me as to what I was taking photos of…….I am not sure what his business is or why it is of such a sensitive nature, but I reminded him that we were on the public side of the fence and that I was photographing birds in the open sky.

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A new sign for us. Wonder what it means?

S: Earlier we stopped at a little shopping centre, to try to fill one of the gas cylinders, but they only swop gas so that will not work as then the cylinder will not fit the bracket that I made to house it on the roof rack and I am a little fond of my cylinders. Lesley has already had a good laugh at me when a piece of wood from my crate on the roof fell down in front of her face this morning on our drive down the steep road out of camp.

I did meet an American in the store who turned out to be a missionary in the Chongwe area and we got to chatting. His name is Jeff Smith and he introduced us to his wife, Heidi, and their four children. We ended up leaving without the bible study literature that we had been given in Cape Town to take north as well as four of the donated blankets for which they were grateful. Thanks to Derek and Dalene for the books and blankets and to Ruth and Annari and Linda for wool and knitted squares, all gone to Give Life Mission.

The roads this side have not been too bad with only the occasional pothole which the busses in front of you, swerve to avoid. We have been amazed at how many children are in and around the area, to-ing and fro-ing to school. Other than that, there is not much to see.

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The modern and the traditional

We have been travelling through hilly country now and most of the area is forested with occasional glimpses of the local houses. Now and again you are introduced to speed bumps that force you to slow down for a village or school, of which there seem to be plenty.

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At times the grass on the side of the road has not been cut back from the edge and has grown higher than the vehicle, with it’s roof rack. It is a strange experience to be barreling down this channel when you cannot see around the corner when the road curves.

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We opted to break the distance of 575 km to Chipata into two days and to stay at a place called Bridge Camp on the Luangwa River about 250 km from Lusaka. The funny thing is that after turning off the main road and travelling for 3km along the river we actually have Mozambique across the river from us. If you look at a map you will see what I mean. Bridge Camp is run by guy by the name of Will who originally hails from Holland, but spent a lot of time in South Africa.

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The campsite is very basic and small, but we are assured that there is hot water. There are chalets, but they are rather primitive and perched at odd angles up on the hill.

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The words rustic, quaint and weird come to mind. The reception, pool and bar have a nice view over the river and we spotted a crocodile sunning itself on the river bank. I guess we will be sleeping in the roof top tent tonight even though that croc would have to make quite a trip to reach us. I keep getting told it is the croc you don’t see that is the problem, but surely if you don’t see it, it is not there? L: Something like the steak that was there……before it became dinner, Steve.

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One thought on “First city visit …..

  1. Hi Lesley, I left Lusaka to Addis Ababa and had to wait for the delayed plane to Istanbul for about 8 hours. After strømlinjeformet from one tourist both to the next for several hours I tried to sleep a little only to be waken by a chinese girl pushing my legs aside to make some room for herself on The same plastic chair!! The AirPort was crowded with Chinese and I hope they do a great job building roads. Of course my connecting flight was gone when I arrived in Istanbul and I Had to buy a Turkish visa in order to pass the passport control since the Turkish airlines sales office was on the ‘ wrong’ side of the airport building. I could not find the office and for 2 hours I was passing in and out Turkey. After one complete page full of inn and out stamps on one passportside I became a suspect!! I finally got a new boarding pass and they made me pay ( beside the visa!) 100 euro for a ticket change since I missed the flight ( after telling them that the plane missed ME I just got dirty looks). After 7 hours I was on my way to Oslo. Arriving at 6 pm with 25 cel and sun in the middle of the sky! Per even picked me up! I know Bjørn stayed another night and then he left continuing the Great East Road. Let me know if you see him again, he is on his way to Malawi. You blog is very informative and fun to read- I will continue “traveling” with you. Take care and have fun! Best regards from Maria

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