Camping at Philip + Emma’s house, Shishengula +- 80 km from Lusaka
Distance 101 + 7602 = 7703
Time 6 h 43 m
Total from Amsterdam 13103
Location S15.287024, E28.849088
It’s 20h35 and I’ve only just started today’s diary. Packed up and waved a fond farewell to new friends, Gerda and Marcel and hoped to do a long ride today to reach Lusaka tomorrow. With socks on under our Keen sandals, buff half covering heads and ears, arm warmers and thin windbreaker we set off at 07h15 but with the hills and the sun on our backs warming up the old joints, we were soon peeling off bit by bit.
Stopped for sandwiches at 15 km and lunch at 11h30 and while munching on sandwiches of jam and banana (desperately trying to get creative with our meals), we had a pleasant surprise to see a 4×4 Hilux that had just driven past us, turn around and come back to chat. It was David and Aness from the UK who we met on 17 June at Tiko Lodge and came back for a chat. They’d been to South Luangwa and said it was amazing. They fly back tomorrow.
We had been seeing loads of SA 4×4 vehicles during the course of the morning (me getting all emotional waving my little SA flag), ranging from big fancy, well travelled 4x4s, a couple of motor cycles, even an old Ford F150 bakkie that trundled past, in no hurry to join the speedsters at the Chipata campsite. We flagged down one vehicle, its occupants told us that it was the annual ‘Put Foot Rally’ which started in Cape Town, then drove through Namibia, Botswana, Zambia on to Malawi and then Mozambique. They all have decals on their bonnets and driver’s doors. It’s a charity rally, they evidently dropped off shoes, writing paper and pens in Lusaka and are now off to their next checkpoint where they have a humongous piss up before heading to the next checkpoint. There are over 120 vehicles in this year’s rally.
We rode up the hills taking our time and at 95 km stopped to buy milk for tomorrow’s breakfast but I saw Peter crossing the road with another packet … four hot and crispy vetkoek which we gorged on while pedaling and looking for a place to wild camp. Instead, we found a nice house with lovely trimmed hedges, two cars under the carport garage and a hand borehole pump manned by an elderly gentleman who introduced himself as Phillip. His wife’s name is Emma. We asked if we could camp under a round thatch lapa and he said, with pleasure. He also breeds chickens, has a lovely veg garden, a loquat tree, a few moringa trees, lemon trees and at 60 is retired after working 25 years for the Canadian Embassy. His back garden has a nursery for newly hatched chickens (a storeroom) with a mother hen sitting on 11 three day old chicks … and a hok (hut) where slightly older chicks go into for the night with their moms … and an incubator where the mother hen sits on her eggs to hatch … and another hok, raised off the ground where the other chickens go into at dusk, at their own steam, to roost on raised branches for the night.
I loved every minute seeing this whole setup that Phillip has built. He told Peter that, at one stage, he had 90 chickens – they are all for his family’s consumption. If only more local families were so creative and enthusiastic about being self sufficient, there would be much less poverty in Africa. He and his wife are both lovely people. Just a pity they’re not on WhatsApp or Facebook but we’re convinced he leads a less stressful life living without all these addictive cell phone apps. Supper was braised tomatoes and onions with skinny spaghetti and we’re spoiling ourselves with our last two chocolates we bought in Katete, Mars Bar for Peter and a Twix for me. It was too cold for a cold water wash and we hadn’t started making supper so I did the www (wet wipe wash) and Peter did the face cloth wash. Our bodies are all sticky from the sweat and dust of the day’s ride but neither of us will notice the bad smell as we both have it !! That’s enough waffling for today. Night all xx
– Mother hen keeping her 11 chicks warm, two of which popped out for a breath of fresh air
– The incubator that Phillip made
– The back yard of the Tembo home. From L to R .. the young chicks roosting hok on the ground; incubator; hok for adults to roost in; first door of brick storeroom is where mother hen and new born chicks stay
– Emma and Phillip’s granddaughter, two scruff touring cyclists and our hosts Emma and Phillip