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Zambezi Zone

Lilongwe - Livingstone

11 April - 19 April

1 181 km

 

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We left Lilongwe on 11 April, en route to Zambia (6 down and 4 to go!).  The 150 km of cycling was excellent, down hill and with a slight tail wind.  We crossed the border into Zambia, which appeared to be a very nice and friendly country.  That evening we camped at a proper campsite with showers and toilets.  It was a treat to have a shower after a long day of cycling.  I felt really sorry for Henning, as he was miserable for having to ride on the truck again (he had not yet recovered from the infection in his leg after falling a few days previously).

 

On 12 April we cycled 195 km on a tarred road.  It was a long day, but the going was good and not too hilly.  Most people enjoyed the ride and made it in good time.  We even had 2 lunch stops to replenish our drinks. During the day I had a flat tyre after leaving the road to avoid a truck.  In the process I broke a spoke which Henning replaced, and I was ready to roll again.  The evening was spent at a bush camp.

 

On 13 April it was very hot, and we cycled 135 km on a very hilly route.  However, I went well and enjoyed the day. It went so well that I nearly ran out of water, and just reached the camp in time.  We camped right on the river at the Luwanga River Bridge Camp, which had a swimming pool, restaurant, and a bar.  It was a nice peaceful place with excellent views.    On top of that the beers were ice cold, and we all had a good time overlooking the river.  Some of the cyclists went on a river cruise and came back very happy (I think they drank up all the booze on the boat).

 

On 14 April we cycled 120 km.  It was very hilly and very hot, and I went really slow as I was quite tired.  I never knew Zambia was that hilly, just hill after hill with no end in sight. The day was a bit shorter than expected, and I was very pleased when I met "Sokkies" at the Coke stop, who informed me that the camp was just another 500 m.  We camped along the road at a Jehova Witness church, where the facilities consisted of 2 long drops.  There was also a well, and we could have a wash.  The heat was getting to most of the riders, and everyone was tired that night.

 

On 15 April we cycled 105 km to Lusaka, a nice easy (and what we by now considered a short) ride.  The day passed quickly as we had a good tail wind, which felt great after the previous hard days.  That evening there was a press conference (with lots of food!), where we handed over 10 bikes.  We also met the SA high commissioner.  We camped at the Chainama Hotel, where I took a room (as usual).  I lay in bed and read until about 12, what a treat (nice to do things we usually can’t do).

 

We had a rest day in Lusaka on 16 April.  I slept late and had a nice bath before breakfast.  I went to the local shopping centre, but couldn’t do my diary updates (“Betsie” had gone off with my red box and diary).  I was surprised how modern the city was, with all the South African franchises (Ocean Basket, Super Spar, Shopright, etc.)  We even had lunch at O’Hagans.  The rest of the day I just sat around and read my book.  That evening we went to another restaurant for a great meal, and I only got back at 12 (the following day was going to be really hard).  In Lusaka we were joined by Russell from New Zealand and Shanny from the TDA office in Canada (both going as far as Windhoek).

 

On 17 April I left Lusaka at 06h45, and I arrived at our camp site at 13h25.  The 160 km ride was very nice, with a tail wind all the way.  At camp it was still quite hot, and we sat in the shade eating soup and bread.  The days of cycling were becoming very long, and this was taking its toll on the riders.

 

We had another long day on 18 April, cycling 180 km to a bush camp.  The camp was just in an open mielie field, not very level for camping. We survived in the knowledge that it was just one more day of cycling before another rest day.

 

On 19 April we cycled 160 km to Livingstone.  It was another long day on the bike, but with a little tail wind we arrived at the Livingstone Safari Lodge in good time.  My sister, Amanda (who had flown up from CT), was waiting for me there, how nice to see someone from the outside!  She had brought some slick tyres with her, to replace mine which had disappeared before Nairobi.

 

On 20 April we had a rest day in Livingstone.  We had the opportunity to view the Victoria Falls, do bungi jumping, white water rafting, or whatever was on offer.

 

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