|We had stopped for photographs at
the Kariba Dam wall. The passport check at the border post had been a lengthy procedure.
The countryside thereafter was undulating and beautiful. At one point we observed some
elephant just off the roadside. We rushed through Kafue, which brought back memories of my
own late fathers' tales of time spent there some 50 years ago. On the approach to Lusaka,
the landscape, dull and drab, was scarred by seemingly ill planned development. Lusaka
itself was an eye-opener. First impressions were that of a city in decay - filthy, ugly,
colourless architecturally, and run-down. We headed straight for the Tanzanian Embassy to
sort out visas for some. After discoveringthat Claus and Marku required photographs for
visas, we were dropped off in town and allowed to wander around from 12h30 to 14h30, with
strict instructions to stay together in groups. Chris, Jo and I went to view some curios,
had a bite to eat and wandered through the market place. It is probably unfair to pass
judgement on what we saw in terms unhygienic conditions in a country ravaged for so long
by economic decline, but the fly-infested basket-laden dried and salted fish made my
stomach turn. There was no hostility displayed towards us by the locals. I picked up a
bottle of JC le Roux bubbly. After being picked up by the bus, we headed off for the bush.
We stopped for our first camp just before sunset. The uneven ground was cleared using a
spade and the tents were pitched. Supper consisted of a sweet and sour stir-fry. Many
beers were being consumed although I had drunk in relative moderation throughout the tour.
Werner was particularly tense that evening.
In stark contrast to his mood the
previous evening, Werner was in rather high spirits and his grumbling the previous evening
was soon forgotten. After discovering that, as a practical joke, a number of beer bottles
had been placed under his mattress, he hosed down each and every tent as that morning in a
moment of playful banter. The man had a sense of humour! We packed and headed for the
Malawian border. The border crossing into Malawi went smoothly and without incident.