(Day 9) Lusaka to Chipata 8 April 2011
Distance for the day – 579 km Odometer – 4 529 km
Hours on the Bike – 06:49
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00
We had a fresh and clean start this morning after a good night’s rest at The Protea Hotel in Lusaka. Then we had a lovely ride with a change in scenery from the previous few days. The landscape became hilly with less bush and more open plains and in some areas big trees.
The travels took us through a number of small villages with lots of different shops alongside the main road. You can see that the people are very poor and all try to make a living in trading with charcoal, meat, vegetables and all other necessities that we, back home, take for granted.
Along the road you often see a woman with a small child and a bowl with only a few tomatoes in it, eager to sell it to a customer. Bicycles are a popular means of travel and transport. We continuously passed people on bicycles travelling from the rural areas with a huge load of charcoal tied on to the bicycle or even a pig tied on the carrier on the back. If you know how to pack some guys load up to seventeen crates of Beer per bicycle. The people are friendly and inquisitive. The children would quickly run up to you when you stop alongside the road, hoping to get some sweets. We stopped at one of the little towns to buy a cool drink at a General dealer and also bought the kids some sweets. It was heart warming to see their appreciation for something so small.
We also had to be much more alert because of lots of potholes and roads that were windier. We realized that fuel might be a problem, so we decided to stop at Luangwa village to buy fuel from the black market.
A few km’s past the Luangwa Bridge we met with the Tour d’Afrique group of cyclists. Now these guys have a problem! They started three months ago in Cairo and are cycling to Cape Town, hoping to reach it by mid May, all on a bicycle with no engine? It was a highlight for the day to meet the group of South Africans and we had a lovely few minutes to exchange stories and take photos, before they headed down and us up.
We continued through some areas where large areas of bush have been removed for agricultural purposes. Clouds started building up and before we reached Chipata, our destination for the night, we got soaked. After we fuelled up the motorcycles we took off to the night stop, but Stelios was missing. He got left behind at the Filling Station and headed off in the wrong direction. Guess were he was found ? – The SPAR of Chipata.
Richard is still looking for a back shock for his 2006 KLR 650 motorbike and Christan, who works for Peter Twissel had the world on fire to try and source him one.
We decided to leave our tents on the bikes and rather take a room at Mamma Rula’s Camping ground. The first thing on the priority list after we stopped was to have a few Mosi’s, the local beer.
Sorry for the delay with the post but we unfortunately had no Internet connection.