Full speed ahead

Sept. 29, 2012 (day 500) Zambia

Crossing into Zambia was one of the easiest borders on the continent. Although visitors are usually allowed to stay only 30 days, we asked for three months and got it. Of course we were not planning to spend so much time in Zambia, but better be safe than sorry.

The Polish team in Zambia

The Polish team in Zambia

Then we entered perhaps the most boring area since long. The road was cutting through endless bush. It was dry as tinder, often burnt down already and sometimes still smoking. Every few kilometers a village appeared, or rather a bunch of huts. They were very different from what I had seen in East Africa. Usually the whole compound of a single family consisted of living house, an open outdoor kitchen and a small, round granary standing on planks to prevent animals from entering.

Resting at bus stop

Resting at bus stop

A single house is not a single building

A single house is not a single building

Those houses were much more beautiful too. Instead of just plain brick in the colour of surrounding soil, they were often painted in patterns with warm-colour dyes. However, still there were big numbers of children swarming around, but the greeting they used to shout was friendly “How are you?” Generally, most people understood English and were very welcoming and curious about the two strange travellers.

Finally non-intrusive children!

Finally non-intrusive children!

Village pumps always crowded

Village pumps always crowded

Finally painted houses

Finally painted houses

After two days we reached Isoka. It was Saturday and we spent entire Sunday at the local Catholic mission. The friendly priests gave us a room and food and did not ask too much questions. Especially the most dreaded one, why I had not been present at the mass.

The next town lay in about four days range. All the way the landscape looked the same. Bush, bush, bush. We followed a well established routine. Woken up at the sunrise we would eat a breakfast and start cycling. The time for a lunch break came around 1PM, when the heat became unpleasant. We would look for a shade and cook a huge pot of pasta or rice with sauce or salad. The choice was quite narrow: tomatoes, onions and cabbage. We did not dare to try the smoked, burnt or by whatever means processed fish which ripened in the sun at village markets.

Good food is important

Good food is important

The cycling days ended with sunset and usually we just steered away from the road into the bush and looked for a clearing, often having to choose between dirty ashes and uneven, lumpy, dry grass.

This way we covered around 70-80km per day. Although the landscape looked dry, there were many villages along the way and most of them had some kind of well or even a pump. On the third day from Isoka we even found a place where a local boy led us to a natural spring. Having filled all the containers we did not look too far after a sleeping place and camped behind a beautiful clay church nearby.

A long way ahead

A long way ahead

Office works in overtime

Office works in overtime

A fully-equipped church

A fully-equipped church

After another stay at parish in Mpika, we decided to speed up a bit. Still there was nothing interesting to see around and we had become somehow bored by the daily routine. Pushing to average daily speed over 20km/h we managed to do well over 100km on several days and finally merge into the main road linking Copperbelt province with the capital. The traffic was much heavier there but a wide, hard shoulder made cycling safe and easy.

A thousand kms ago I should have finished

A thousand kms ago I should have finished

In the town of Kabwe we knocked on the door of St. Monica's church. The priest became very interested in our journey and not only provided sleeping space in a meeting room, but also invited us home for dinner. Then he precisely described how and where we could meet fathers from Poland. Indeed, there were two Salesian priests in the town and two volunteers from our country. The next morning turned to be quite lazy and we finally left after noon.

Just at the sunset we entered a stretch of the road where fences were going along its' both sides. That seemed bad for us, willing to camp in the wild. But as soon as we arrived to a gate, the guards there greeted us cheerfully. We never ignore such opportunities. A few minutes later we were camping in a huge compound of a Bahá'í school complex. The grass was green and flat and the bathrooms were equipped with hot showers.

After five days with no bath

After five days with no bath

One of the best campings recently

One of the best campings recently

The next day we finally reached Lusaka. A few days before I had received a short message from some Polish man living there, who invited us to his home. Knowing nothing more, we just followed the directions and met Marcin in the center. He introduced himself as an airline pilot and took us to his nice flat. We instantly realized that in his company the stay in Lusaka would be longer than expected.

Comments:

Damian
Damian
6 years, 2 months ago
Czy po takiej wycieczcie rowerowej będziesz w stanie się zatrzymać? Spokojnie kręć dalej, jak będziesz przy końcu sprawdź, czy pod spodem nie ma 4 żółwi. Pozdrawiamy z rowerowego Wrocławia. Damian i Anetka.
michal
michal
6 years, 2 months ago
focie się coś nie wyświetlają powiększone.

szerokich poboczy ! :)
Wojtek
Wojtek
6 years, 2 months ago
Szpada rządzi w Lusace.
Łukasz
Łukasz
6 years, 2 months ago
Nie wiem jak to możliwe że natknąłem się na tą opowieść dopiero teraz, gdy dobiega ona końca. Powodzenia w dalszej drodze, będę śledził Wasze ostatnie kroki przez kontynent!
Jerzyboy
Jerzyboy
6 years, 2 months ago
Gratuluję Waszmości,żeś sobie sprawił piękny prezent imieninowy
-25 000 km w 500dni. Wynik wart zgłoszenia do księgi Guinnessa wraz ze zdjęciem stóp utrudzonych, na dowód rzetelnej mordęgi... jesteś Wielki.
sZACUN I DOZO
PS.
CHOPIN WYGRAŁ DZIĘKI KASI,NO.
Arkosław
Arkosław
6 years, 2 months ago
Siemanko. Michał a może Tobie tak ta Afryka się spodobała że dlatego tyle tych km zrobileś. Dość często te nieoczekiwane zmiany kursu... No ale nie ma się co dziwić, po zdjęciach widać ze jest tam ciekawie.

P.s. Wyprawa zbliża się ku końcowi, a nie myślałeś żeby do Polski wrócić rowerem :-) jesteś mistrzem więc pewnie dasz radę. Hej i powodzenia
mama
mama
6 years, 2 months ago
Cześć Podróżniku! Tych podszeptów, żeby do Polski rowerem, to po prostu nie czytaj! Tęsknimy już okropnie, ale nie przejmuj się i nawijaj na ten licznik. Byle zdrowo i w dobrym nastroju!!! Ściskamy goraco choć u nas chłodniej zapewne :)
ellrof
ellrof
6 years, 2 months ago
Ja mam pytanie natury technicznej...
Czy bierzesz coś na malarię? Zgaduję że nie, jak w takim razie radzisz sobie z komarami, bo chyba na całej trasie nie były Ci obce?.
Michał
Michał
6 years, 2 months ago
Na malarię brałem doksycyklinę, począwszy od Addis Abeby aż do Moshi. Na południe od równika trwała już pora sucha i malaria nie stanowiła takiego zagrożenia.

Generalnie w Afryce komarów jest mało. Znacznie mniej niż latem w Polsce.

Na wszelki wypadek wiozę ze sobą porcję Coartemu na jedną kurację.