Monday, June 16, 2008

Trek Through Africa: ZAMBIA - ZIMBABWE - BOTSWANA (Day 151-155)

Thursday 22nd April - Lusaka

Up early to make alpine out of porrage oats and raisins. Filled in the usual forms to get out of a country, only took 1 1/2 hours this time. Filled in a load more to get into Zambia. Took the main road ( actual tarmac ) to Kitwe, though truck not sounding very good again. Everything looks a lot nicer, from the buildings and gardens to the people's dress. Glad to hear English being spoken again and to see familiar brands and adverts. What a massive relief to get out of Zaire ! Changed some money for the food kitty at Barclays bank, then went for a burger and chips. Junk food has never tasted so good. Went food shopping in a supermarket, met some Yanks that had come up from South Africa and were complaining about this and that. Told them to go and spend a month in the jungle for something to complain about. Went back to the bank and used my card to get $100 in Zambian Kwatcha. Sat in the dog box feeling well pleased untill we camped at 7:30pm. Cooked a stew of 5 whole chickens as a celebration. Had a meeting where a few people, especially Mike are getting pissed off, but it could just be the beer going to their heads after having none for a month. Slept on the truck at midnight.

Friday 23rd April - Lusaka

Up at 4:50 to make tea and cornflakes. Left at 6:30am, sold Esther 8000 Kwatcha for ?10. Sat in the dog box again all the way to the main post office in Lusaka. Posted a letter to Paul Spires and picked on up from Mum and Victoria. Changed another $100 in Kwatcha from Barclays, sold a lot to Ian for French Francs. Did a stint of truck garding with Julia then went for a meal of steak and chips in a cafe. Eat 5 bars of chocolait untill I felt sick. Driving out of town at 3:30, the differential went good style and we crashed off the road. Ian and Patric worked to fix the truck but cant get it going for today. Some Zambian soldiers came to guard us as we stood out like a sore thumb in the middle of a township. Made them a meal and gave then cigs and some beer to keep them happy. Cold and noisy all night, sleeping bag is still very damp from the night before.

Saturday 24th April - Lusaka

Had an good breakfast of different cerials. Kenny, Marion, Andy, Kirstan, Mark, Charlotte and Claire have decided to leave for a few days on their own. Mike has gone his own way. Still feeling pleased that we are in civilisation with enough food and money available. Paid Julia 420 French Francs back for the Zaire transit visa. Crossed a silver suspension bridge over the river zambizi into Zimbabwe.

Sunday 25th April - Bulawayo

Good breakfast again, then went straight into the dog box at 7:00am with Charlie. Truck is about to give up. Stopped in a town while Ian phoned around for spare parts. Were told that a white farmer had some only 10km away. Drove back to his farm and they came out to meet us. They actually had a pet lion 7 months old with them. I jumped down to play with it but ended up getting scratched and bitten. The bloke had to beat it off with a bullwhip when it jumped on top of me. The I had to spend the next half hour cleaning myself up with antiseptic. Took a video of the lion playing in the house, then left with a gearbox from one of his old trucks. Stopped in town for lunch of meat pies and ice-cream. We are still finding the novelty of western food very pleasurable. Bought three beeers and drank them riding in the dox box untill dark. Got to a campsite in Bulawayo and then cut some wood for the fire. Gave the truck a quick clean then had a cold shower. Got dirty straight away helping Ian and Patric putting the new gearbox till well gone mid-night.

Monday 26th April - Bulawayo - Plumbtree

Walked into town with Bobbie to buy some fresh English style brown bread, also eat a cream doughnut from the bakery myself. Had another nice breakfast of bread and real butter. Washed some clothes in the toilet block, then felt very sick. Was ill all morning through over eating rich foods for the last few days. We had agreed to meet with the others today but they did not turn up so we left without them at 12:00. Drove to Rhodesmetropolis, but I was fast asleep by this time. Dove on again in the afternoon to Plumbtree to cross into Botswana. Whole process was easy and soon over, what a difference there is between the English efficiency and the French corruption. Drove a couple of miles down the road and camped on a hard track. Still feeling ill so I missed cooking to sleep on the truck.

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