Friday, June 11, 2010

Africa is not for sissies!

Finally we have internet! J
It took a long time to leave SA and this I found frustrating! After spending a night a ZaZoe (really stunning place) we set off again…hoping to finally leave. Jen had a whole bag of oranges with her and was told by the boys to dispose of them if she wanted to carry on with the trip – apparently elephants like citrus fruit and will trample cars to get to them. She was very popular at the petrol station where she handed all the locals a dose of vitamin C. Upon arriving at Zanzibar order post we discovered it was closed and so we backtracked…for about the fifth time on that road. Eventually we crossed into Botswana. We stayed at a freezing Elephant Sands where I had a bad experience with Bushmans Insect Repellent – it took all my nail polish off! We met Gav and Jen at breakfast looking quite proud, they had arrived somewhere before the Austin’s. Their faces fell when they realised that we had packed and were ready to go – back to 2nd.
Things slowed down considerably once we arrived in Zambia, the official at the border was very methodical and took his sweet time. We found a stunning lodge called Shackletons, I think we all wanted to park off there for a few days, great hospitality and delicious food.
Travelling to Kafue we gave out lots of soccer balls to children on the side of the road. To hear their screams and see the pure joy in their smiles when they realised that we were giving them the balls was very humbling and emotional for me. Somewhere between Muluezi and Mulanga our SA flag snapped off the car, so Gav and Jen carried on with the patriotism and put SA ‘earwarmers’ on their mirrors. There was a lot of bundu bashing and tree bending, followed by a snacky lunch in the bush for some stamina. Amongst us there are 3 garmins and no two said the same thing whilst driving on the forgotten roads of the Kafue Park. Our vehicles were attacked by tsetse flies and so we all armed ourselves with repellent. However, when Jen and I had a roadside wee, we discovered that we needed to extend our area of ‘repellent coverage’ to our bums as well! Needless to say we are still scratching! We did 220kms in 9hours. In these parts, when asking how far something is, the answer only comes in hours rather than kilometres – understandable after this experience.
We were all looking forward to Kaingu, just to relax for a few days. What a nice surprise when it turned out to be a gem, with a beautiful location and great hosts. We went fishing on the Kafue, Echtbert did the steering, Jen and I relaxed and supplied the beer and the boys fished. Gav caught a lot of fish and dad…not so much. I kept everyone entertained by getting stuck in the mud and spending the next half hour trying to find a place to wash my hands, feet and hat without sinking again. We had a delicious bush lunch with cold beers – Africa is not for sissies! Gav commented that he enjoyed fishing ‘colonial style’ – not once did he have to touch the fish that he caught. Bright helped him out and was repaid by receiving the fish for dinner. After a serious night of ‘Jameson Raiding’, dad and I went fishing with Bright again – dad refusing to leave until he had caught a fish. Finally he reeled in a silver barbel and we were allowed to moor. When the sun had relented a bit, we took a trip to the iron smelter (very interesting) and then had sundowners and snacks on Shumba Rock. We were all sad to leave, after thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Having a drink with a very entertaining Andrew at Fringilla, he suddenly asked “Ok so who is the paedophile here?” This resulted in a roar of laughter and the explanation that we are related, both of us turning our heads ad showing our identical noses!
After Lusaka we experienced some hairy potholes! Jen’s theory proved to be very helpful – if you see skid marks, start breaking, some serious potholes will follow.
Currently we are at Kapishya hot springs, they are truly amazing and very beautiful. We explored Shiwa Ngandu this morning – very interesting - and are getting ready to watch the soccer now. Until next time…

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