Sept 17th ; Left camp site early to get across the border today. Got to the border around 8.30am, got through the Namibia side no problems. Drive through to Zambia and could not find anything!! None of the building were signposted, so we stopped at the building with the queue!
It turned out ot be the right buliding and we were stamped in and had car insurance within no time.
Uneventful drive through to Livingstone where we changed and drew money.
Went and found Foley Africa ( the African version of Foley 4X4 in Harlow area), where we spoke to Nick to get the swivel joints greased and the diff oils changed. After our escapades in the swamp yesterday we had water dripping out of the swivel joints and the diffs had been submerged for most of the day!! Something needed to be done to keep the car happy.
Car was booked in for tomorrow and we went in search of camping. Found a nice spot - The Bushfront - claimed a camping spot, and headed off in the general direction of Victoria Falls.
What a tourtist trap!!! The entrance is inundated with Curio stalls selling everything under the sun, and the entrance fees (US$10 per person + US$3 for the car) reflect the fact that no one wants to go into Zim to see the Falls.
We pay the fees and in we go following the path to the Vic Falls Bridge. As we are walking a hawker approaches us and asks if we are going to do the bungee jump off of the bridge. We laugh him off and carry on walking.
As the bridge come into view, sure enough there are bungee ropes hanging from the bridge waiting for victims to commit suicide with an elastic band tied to thier legs!
The view is amazing, all Patrick keeps saying is "it looks so much better from the Zim side" typical Patrick!!!
Back we go and now follow the signs for "Knife's edge Bridge".
This is the best path, it has the most incredible views the canyon BUT the falls don't seem to be falling!! Due to it not being rainy season, there is not much rain to fall over the Falls, Oh well, such is life!
We carry on over the high unsupported knackered looking bridge to the an island. From here we could see into the canyon to the Zim side of the Falls - OK I must admit it did look much better than the Zam side.
Slowly meandered back to the car and back to Waterfront Camp to try local beer - or so we thought!! There was no local beer as "the machine that makes it is broken so the whole country is short of Mosi" - great the first chance we get to try something other than Castle and Hunters and the brewery is not working!!!!!!!!!
We settle with a Castle(luckily the Zambian equivalent) and enjoy the the awsome views over the Zambezi river across the Zim.
I must say I'm feeling very pickled after 1 beer so we decide to head back to camp.
Sept 18th ; Arrived at Foley's around 8.30am and they got started on the car. It didn't take long before it became clear that this was not going to be a quick diff oil change and regreese.
The swivle joints do not have a greesing point so the wheel had to come off and the joint removed inorder to regreese!
Nick said it would take around 3 hours so we walked to the strip mall 10 mins up the road to try and entertain ourselves. There was nothing there!! Had some lunch in Steers and spent a frustrating hour in an internet cafe with the slowest cnnection in africa!!!
When we got back the car was all ready to go.
A BIG THANK YOU to Nick Selby for working do hard on the car to get her done it is much appreciated.
We decided not to go too far and found a sign for "Rapid 14 Campsite 9kms" so off we went to have a look.
After 5km's of the roughest washed away dry mud road ever we were starting to worry we had missed a turn somewhere. Then suddenly there was another sign and the campsite.
We drove in and there was noone around, out of nowhere a man on a bike arrives and introduces himself as Coral.
He says that this a Mission Base station from where they run aid projects. We were more than welcome to stay here for free and they have got wifi in the main building - RESULT!!!!
After a wander around and meeting some nice people we settled in the main building which overlooks the 14th set of Rapids on the Zambezi river.
So here we sat with Patrick playing on the internet and I reading my book for the rest of the afternoon.
Sept 19th ; Up early today as we were off to Mazabuka to visit Ros and Wizz. We had been warned that the road from Livingstone to Mazabuka was bad and it would take us 7 - 8 hours to do 300km's - armed with this information we were off.
It was not bad, it was the 3rd worst road we had driven so far!! There were potholes the size of the car, lorries driving where ever they wanted becuase they were bigger than you so you had to move and no piste road as an alternative.
It took an hour to do the first 30km's, by which time Patrick had got from a gentle simmer to a rapid boil!!
Then we noticed signs written in Chinese. We had learnt in Angola that Chinese = new tar, maybe it was the same here.
The next sign said "ROAD CLOSED" and a dusty track dissapeared off to the left. After 5km's of red dust we got to Zimba, and there it is - pristine new smooth tar streching off to the horizon.
We visited Ros at the Vet Practice she is working at, where she was still busy waiting for clients to arrive.
As Ros pulled out of the practice Patrick noticed she had very flat tyre. We pump it up but can hear the air coming out as quick as it is going in!!
All 3 of us in our car and we leave to visit some friends of Ros', where we were treated to dinner over looking the dam on their farm.
Due to power cuts Ros's house was in darkness when we arrived there, so out came our tourches and on goes the gas light on the kitchen table. After chatting for a bit we crawl into bed and crash.
Sept 20th ; Up early and headed off to the practice to look at the tyre. There is a nice split in the side wall which can not be fixed. All 3 of us back into the car and off to Trentyre and Autorworld to try and get a new tyre.
No one in the whole of Mazabuka has got a tyre the right size!!
On the way home we stopped in to visit Wizz's parents on their farm. As we arrive Jim says that he has got a difficult calving can Ros go and help. He thinks the calf is dead so can we go now.
Ros goes back to the practice with Jim to get everyging she needs and we head off to se the cow.
She is laying with 1 leg hanging out of her, but is not straining.
Ros arrives and we all go in to try and get the calf out.
All is going well, Ros is on the floor up to her elbows in cow when without warning the cow gets up turns and gives Ros the eye! Ros is still on the floor as the cow got up so quickly no one was prepared.
Without warning the cow ran at Ros, head down and knocked her onto her back. Ros rolled over intime for the cow to stomp her head and bottom as she ran over her.
Once she had trampled Ros she turned and looked at her again. Patrick saw this happening and jumped infront of Ros to stop her being trampled again. This pissed the cow off even more and she ran at Patrick!
Head down she ran into the door of Jim's Toyota, thumped Patrick in the chest, knocking him to the ground and trampled over him - making sure she removed most of the skin from his ankle in the process!
Now she had taken out both Vets she was happy and sauntered off to the other end of the paddock.
Ros went to the water trough and tried to clean herself up a bit. She comes over to me and asks if her had cut her head - um yuck!! - there was a flap of skin and hair folded back off of her head with blood pouring from it!!!!!
Jim got toilet roll and applied pressure to the wound whilst the colour rapidly drained from Ros's face and she looked as if she was going to pass out or vomit ot both!
We sat her down and made a plan to get her back home where Patrick would have to clip and clean the wound to see how bad it was.
Whilst Ros showered the cow shit off of her entire body we prepared a suture kit, local anaesthetic and suture material in the kitchen.
Patrick cut some fo the hair away to get a better look at the wound, it was not good!! Ros said she would rather have Patrick suture it than have to drive 2 hours to the nearest hospital.
Now comes the Local or no Local debate - it is decided to try without first and see how it goes.
So back in the kitchen, Patrick scrubs up and puts on sterlie gloves ready to suture.
It came together well and 20 sutures later Ros's head is all back togeter.
Ros was very very brave, she did not pass out or hit Patrick once!!!
We finish up just in time for Wizz to arrive home from the bicycle ride he had been stewarding to find out that his wife had been trampled by his step farther's cow and the sutured by a Vet!!
After everything that had happened to Ros that day she still cooked an amazing Pork roast for dinner refusing any offers of help from us!!
Sept 21st ; Had a lazy morning drinking coffee in the garden watching the weaver birds busy making their nests.
Went and visited Mr and Mrs Peters on the farm next door (Patrick and Ros went through Uni with their daughter). Had more coffee and some of Mrs Peters amazing homemade biscuits while everyone caught up with gossip.
Back at Ros and Wizz's farm we had lunch and a lazy afternoon talking.
Wizz took himself off to check the catlle as they were due to calf soon. He soon came back to the house asking Ros to get ready to help with a calving.
This time we put the Heifer into a headcrush so that she could not turn!
A rather large Bull calf was delievered after much pulling and starining on our behalf, while the Heifer sat looking very upset with life!!
As we were cleaning up Wizz got called, there was another calving to do!!!
This one was much easier and we now had 2 very healthy calves wriggling around on the ground.
Sept 22nd ; Over the weekend Patrick had noticed that there was Diff oil leaking from the swivle joints meaning either the Diff oil was over filled and / or the seals were damaged when the joint was put back - not good.
So today we left Ros, Wizz and their mad dogs to drive to Lusaka where we knew there was a Nissan dealer.
After a frustrating drive filled with slow lorries and crazy women drivers we arrived at Nissan.
They spent 2 hours looking at the car before they booked us in for tomorrow and gave us an estimate for the work.
That sorted we went into town to try and sort out Comesa (Yellow Card) Insuranse for the rest of the trip.
Stopped at Madison Insurance - they now only issue life insurance
Went to Comesa House (thinking hopefully they will do it as they are the big cheese) - they do not issue insurance!
Tried Goldmans Insurance - they advised us that we had to go to the Insurance company which issued our 3rd party insurance for Zambia at the border to get Comesa insurance.
Finaly found Nico Insurance tucked behind Fairview Hotel.
At last someone could help us!!! Within 30 mins we had cover for Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mozambque.
That finaly done we had lunch and drove to Audery and Chris's where it had been arranged we would stay the night.
Sept 23rd ; Was awoken a just before 6, with a cup of coffee from Audery.
Got to Nissan for 7am and there we sat for 5 hours whilst they changed the swivel joint seals and regreesed everything.
We paid the bill and as we were leaving Ian, the man we had been dealing with, gave us several sachets of screen wash and a CFAO Zambia T-shirt each!!
We were very impressed with the speed of the service and the customer relations.
Happy with life again, we went into town to get something to drink.
Went to a nice coffee shop called Kilimanjaro, where they had a wifi connection - there we sat drinking frozen coffee and checking e-mails.
Tonight we had arranged to go and visit Sue and Chris on their farm. So armed with directions and a map from Ros we drove out of town to try and find the farm.
All was going well, we were putting the world to rights as we drove, until we had driven for nearly 30km on dirt roads and did not seem to becoming across the things on the map!! - Not a problem we can ring Sue, um no cell phone reception!!!!!!!!! So on we drove for another 10kms until we got reception, there the car stops in a large dust cloud and Patrick rings Sue.
It turns out that we had been so busy putting the world to rights that we had missed a turn and were off on a ring road which went all the way back to Lusaka!!!!
Back we go along the dirt road until we get to the missed turn.
Once on the correct road it only took 15mins to get to Sue and Chiris's!!
Sept 24th ; Today we went into town with Chris, who had some things to do for the farm.
It took us all day to do 6 simple jobs which should have been done in a morning!!
So after Chris had spent a lot of money and not achieved much we went to Rharpsydies for a Long Island Ice tea (or 2!!)
We had left at 7am, got back at 7.30pm and only managed to do half of the jobs - what a day!!!
Sept 25th ; Had a lazy day on the farm today.
Patrick serviced the car before it got too hot to do anything.
Chris then took us for a drive around to see some of the wheat, tobacco and cows, he has on their rather large operation.
Spent the afternoon with Sue and her "Mums group". This has just convinced us more than ever that neither of us would like to have children in the foreseeable future!!
Had a very nice Beef roast dinner and headed for bed.
Sue and Chris's garden
One of the vicious guard dogs!!
Sept 26th ; We left Chris and Sue in peace today and went driving in the direction of South Luangwa National Park.
Sue made us a packed luch of left over roast beef sandwiches - they were very much apreciated!!!
The road got progressively worse as we got closer to the park!! It started as good tar, turned to potholed tar and then finally disintergrated into corrigated, pot holed gravel.
I asked Partick why they had not bothered to try and grade the road, the answer it would seem was just around the corner!! There sat a rusted tyreless grader which had become the local climbing frame!! - that explained a lot!!
After 10 hours of driving the car was not too happy!!!
First off PAtrick was worried about her over heating so had stopped and opened the bonnet to check all was ok.
2 mins onto the road again and the temp guage was doing a nice dance for us!!!!! It went from hot to hotter to "shit stop the car" hot in the space of 5 mins. As soon as she had got hot she cooled down again - umm not good! Out came the car manuel and I read 13 different reasons for overheating.
After 20 mins of a rollercoaster temp guage Patrick stopped again and fiddled with the thermostate in the vain hope it would help.
As if by magic the temp guage stopped its merry dance and Patrick was mildly happy for the next few km's.
We had to stop to draw money in Chipata. Out we got and did the necessary.
As we approached the car Patrick noticed fresh oil under the car. The explosion from planet pissed off Patrick made Hiroshima look like a sparkler!!!!
Now we dont know if it's the oil filter (which we were never convinced was the right one) OR the oil seal again OR nothing!
Patrick now has steam comming for every orifice not just the ears because it looks like we will have to go back to Nissan in Lusaka if it is the seal!!
We arrive at Flat Dogs very tired and worried about the car.
The receptionist was super and had us in a campsite and off to the bar in no time!!!
Cold shower and an even colder beer and life is a bit rosier!!
Sept 27th ; Last night was interesting - we had a hippo chorus to go to bed with BUT in the middle of the night we had a rather large male hippo ambling around under the tent!! After what felt like hours but was only 5 mins he walked off to find food!
Was woken at 5am by the loudest hippo chorus to date!!
Went into the game park at opening time and took a drive around.
We say a huge variety of wildlife, both large and small all over the park.
I think it can safely be said that the ellie in this park are the most grumpy and homonal of all the elephants we have ever seen!! During the course of the day we had 2 mock charges (trumpetting and all) and a lot of head shaking and ear flapping!! Even the young ones were grumpy head shakers!!
Patrick is not happy tonight as we did not see leopard - the only big cat we both have not seen yet.
However on the plus side there ahs not been any oil leaking from the car today - I think the car has gremlins!!
Aftera long day drive through the park we head for camp and cook dinner.
As I am washing the pots Patrick shouts "HIPPO!" I look over towards the car in thime to see Patrick run up a tree house ladder followed by an inquisitive hippo!!
I am in the middle of an open space with nothing to climb onto so jump up onto the draining borad next to the sink! From here I watch the hippo standing under Patrick checking him out!! Then to my horro the hippo turns and moves towards me. He meanders up to the washing area and stops there giving me a sideway look, which I do not like the look of!!
Just as I starting to worry that I will be ontop of the draining board for the rest of the night the nightwatch man comes over shining his torch on the hippo. This seems to do the job and the hippo moves on.
It took me a good few minutes before I would come down much to the watchmans delight - he thought the whole thing was very amusing!