Chipata

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lusaka to Chipata

We left Eagles Rest camp in Siavonga. I now understand why Ken and Wena loves Kariba.   We will have to come back to it for a longer stay some time.  Although the skies were mat grey and the water did not look as blue as it would on a bright sunny day, Kariba has something that gets under your skin. The Kapenta boats that go out at sun set, with their lights looks like little fireflies that line the horizon.  It sounds like the boats in a harbor, humming on till late at night. The calming effect of sun set and sunrise over the silky smooth water is enough to make one linger to take as much as possible in.  Every so often a Makoro with a local fisherman would quietly go about his business as if the rest of the world did not exist. It will be sad to leave this place ……

We head back to Lusaka and then on to Chipata. It is a climb almost all the way back to Lusaka. Once there, we did a bit of a supply shop – not that we needed much more than beers and tonic water. We have picked up a slow puncture on the front left tyre that had to be seen to. When we got to the tyre repair shop, however,  it was too busy and there was no space to leave the trailer so it will just have to wait. Fortunately Carlos could monitor it and pump it whenever it was necessary. We went back to Pioneer Camp site for the night and were relieved to find the camp silent, not like the last time, when a conference was going on just next door with singing and preaching till late night.  Later on a bus load of campers arrived for the night but they came all the way from Livingstone so it was an early night for them.

After another good meal with the Johnson's and a lovely hot shower, we settled in for the nigh.  Up at 6h30 because today will be all day driving.  There is a dozen or more villages and towns before we get to Chipata.  At some point we crossed the Luangwa river. 

There is hundreds of stalls next to the road.  Charcoal, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, oranges, bananas, onions, cabbages, stone and fuel etc. The thing that amazes me is the ladies, sitting in the sun, all day, breaking stone into small little pieces.  Why they don't build a shelter or sit under a tree is beyond me.  Cotton is bagged and put on to trucks.  Every village or settlement grows vegetables or sugarcane.  Mango, banana, and paw paw trees are in abundance. In parts, mango trees are the only trees left standing! The Zambians are much more balanced in their life styles.  They not only farm with fresh produce but also keep cattle and goats, grow cotton and make charcoal. They must have had a bumper miellie crop as most all the round storage holders were filled to the brim with corn.

All along the road there are people, settled right next to the road. It was difficult to find a spot to have a pit stop where there would be no eyes on you. 

The area we travel through is hilly and there are a lot of climbs and descends. The road is tar but slow.  Lots of trucks, and some potholes. We had a lovely pic nick next to the road.  We made good time and arrived at Mama Rula, just outside Chipata at about 16h30.  Good thing we did as we just set up camp when the first of three truck loads or buses, full of foreigners arrived.  It will be a fight for the shower tonight. 
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