Day 251. Wednesday, 30th August. From Eureka Campsite, 12 kms south of Lusaka, to Bridge Camp by the Luangwa River in Luangwa. Start Mileage 212,021.

Eureka Campsite.

We were camped next to an Overlanding bus. Mainly Chinese girls. We remarked that they were in bed very early. This morning, when I emerged from Poki, soon after 7am, they had already left. Dennis said he heard them going in the dark, somewhere between 5 and 6am. I wouldn’t like to travel on one of these tours.

Thatcher at work at Eureka camp.

We needed to refuel. Last night we could not get diesel at a Total Station. This morning we tried at another 2 Total Stations, but same story. No diesel and no explanation as to why not. We like Total Stations as we know the fuel is good and they take payment by card. In the end we got diesel from a Puma station and more petrol for the cooker. They also took a card.

Heading into Lusaka the traffic was slow, as expected in a city. It seems a relaxed place. The traffic is orderly, rubbish is being collected and gardens along the central road reservations are being tended. There are people coming to vehicles trying to sell things, but they aren’t aggressive. Cars are well maintained and traffic regulations are observed.

We were waiting in the right hand lane on a three lane stretch of road. Police were directing traffic and overriding the lights. When we eventually moved and went straight ahead a policeman stopped us. That was a right turning lane he told Dennis. Laughing, Dennis said how was he to know. There were no markings to say so. The officer also laughed and waived us on. Phew, I thought this was another attempt to extract a bribe.

Passing a large shopping mall, we pulled into the car park. It had a height restriction of 2.4 meters, so we just squeezed under. Dennis stayed to watch Poki, while I went to shop for more provisions. There was a Woolworths, which we used regularly in South Africa. In fact the mall was full of South African brands. Unfortunately, the food department in the Woolworths was tiny and didn’t have what I needed. There was a large Shoprite too. I managed to get most things here.

Leaving the car park, we exited down the ramp as directed, only to be faced with a solid barrier which was less than 2.4 meters. Crazy, you can come in but not leave. We had to reverse back up the ramp and a car park attendant stopped traffic entering while we left via the entrance. 

Although the road wasn’t as geographically challenging as yesterday, there were still overturned trucks, shedded loads and a dropped container. At first the road was fine but then deteriorated to a potholed mess. Children throw mud and dust in the holes and then ask for money for their repair work. 

The atmosphere is smoky. Never ending burning of the forest for charcoal. We pass a few settlements, with many stalls selling vegetables. Mainly tomatoes and potatoes, but in some places also cabbages, onions and melons.

Bridge Camp

We reached Bridge Camp at about 3.30pm. The Italian family we chatted to at Eureka Campsite said they were coming here, but at 6pm, while I am writing, they haven’t arrived.

After we had put up the Caranex, we climbed the steep path to the Reception/Bar/Restaurant. We sat and relaxed with a drink overlooking the river. There is a tribe of resident monkeys running everywhere.

Luangwa River

At 6pm it is getting dark and a full moon is rising over the river. I now have to cook dinner. Tonight it will be a pasta dish.

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