|We board our new truck and set out on our next adventure. Our truck this time is Mercedes, a little bigger but not quite as smooth – no air bags.
Bitumen road as we head further into Zambia. The countryside has not changed much since Spitzkop. Long grass with shrubs and sometimes taller trees.
The villages on the side are not quite as well appointed as we have seen. The thatching is rarely trimmed and the rondavels smaller. Sometimes there are small rectangle dwellings made with small mud bricks amongst the rondavels.
Small crops of corn are grown around the villages, mostly already picked and some of the dry leftovers stooped.
There are containers of charcoal on the side of the road for sale. We stop so that Eunice can restock. It is actually illegal to make and sell charcoal domestically for environmental reasons, (should be bought from supermarkets where the sourcing of it is controlled), however it is one extra source of income these people can have – most are subsistence farmers and income is scarce.
Unemployment is around 40% and there are no benefits or assistance from the government.
We do not see ‘towns” as such, so there are no opportunities for a proper toilet. We stop for our ‘bush’ pit stop. The two young girls (Kate and Jess) from Sydney are not impressed. They tell me they will wait for lunchtime. “I’m afraid, girls I have some bad news for you – it will be a bush stop then too”. Groan!!
Later in the day we pass broad acre crops of sugar cane, irrigated with centre pivot sprinklers.
In this area there are roadside stalls with a small amount of sugar cane and bags of oranges. I didn’t actually see any orchards but must be some about somewhere.
As usual there is a constant stream of people going from A to B or Y to Z. Bicycles are more prevalent here. Just as I am commenting that women and girls don’t get to use the bikes a couple of women ride past.
Little stock on the road.
The towns seem less tidy than those seen in Namibia and Botswana. They make good use of speed bumps – a very effective way of stopping or slowing the traffic.
A full days travel. We camp at Eureka at Lusaka (the capital of Zambia). We have to learn the new rules of the camp. Each cook has their own idiosyncrasies. A lot of emphasis is put on presentation. Eunice allows us to help more than Sofie did. We are soon chopping and peeling and slicing.
Once again we find ourselves checking our watches – 7.10 pm and we are ready for bed. What can we do to delay the inevitable? Two small foxy and one huge dog – a mastiff or something befriend us.
You know when you stay in too many hotels and you wake in the night and don’t know where the door is – well I spend a great deal of time in the middle of the night wandering about the whole camp site looking for the amenities block. Even takes me a while to find our tent again so I can wake David. He grunts and points and goes back to sleep and I set off again, this time successfully.