Monday, January 11, 2010

Africa 1000 on the Adventure Bus: Part 3

After spending another night at Mubaya Camp in Lilongwe, chilling by the pool and allowing ourselves some time to unwind, we had another early morning to follow, having to cross the border back into Zambia and get to Lusaka. At Mabuya Camp we had met some fellow travellers, though they were doing things in a slightly different way- they had been following one another around the globe for years, after which Sue [the girl] moved to Cape Town where Albert [the boy] was living, and they are currently living happily, potentially ever after. They each had a tiny rucksack with them, little money and no real plan as such- instead, they took everything as it came. We ran into them at the border [they had hitchhiked there] and gave them a lift to Chipata. We got stuck there for quite a while, trying to draw money and such, and we got to Lusaka a little later than planned. But once we got there, we decided [over Wimpy coffee and other vaguely familiar food] that we would drive on to Livingstone. Now, besides that it is a good six-hour drive, the 60-odd kilometres before Livingstone is without doubt the worst stretch of road I have ever seen. Needless to say we only got to Jollyboys after midnight, but we managed to check in, set up our tents and sleep. And boy did we sleep!
The next day we slept in [well, at this point 7am was indulgent], woke up for another early swim and then set about our day of doing... well, not much really. We each did some laundry, and then read, chatted and dozed off in the wonderful "Chill-Out Zone" at Jollyboys. Late in the afternoon we went to the Livingstone market, where we spent time bargaining, meeting locals and buying the usual- copper bracelets, Nyami Nyamis and such. The day of taking it easy was exactly what each of us needed!
That night we spent time at the bar. We drank, played 30 Seconds [I absolutely must mention I was not once on the losing team] and made some friends. Travelling is great, especially when you run into the kinds of South Africans you aren't desperately trying to get away from! We also spent that night devising our plan for the last few days of our trip.
The following morning [keep up- it's the 9th of January] we left for Botswana. We drove through the Caprivi strip [next on my list is to do a trip of Namibia and Botswana] and headed to Maun, the gateway to the Delta. Here we stayed at friends of Sarah's, one of whom generously allowed us to kick him out of his bed. After much discussion, a trip to the Okavango Delta turned out to be time-consuming and pricey, and so we decided it would have to be done another time. Instead we hung out at yet another very cool backpackers, The Old Bridge, and went on a lovely sunset cruise on the river. We saw little wildlife [and after two weeks of wanting nothing but to see one freaking giraffe, they still did not show] but the view itself was enough. A few more drinks back at the bar, a pack of Marlboro filters and a huge dinner later, we were more than ready for bed. Of course we would first have to get rid of the giant snake that had decided to make itself at home in 'our' bedroom...
And so, this morning, we hit the road for the final stretch home. We left Maun at 6am, very nearly ran out of fuel, and made it back to Pretoria in time to order pizzas for dinner. Having showered, eaten and made a mess of my room [knowing I won't have to pack it all up tomorrow morning at 5], I am happy to be home, and satisfied with a very successful trip. I learnt a lot about myself, about other places, other people and I developed even more of a hunger for travel! Tonight will be spent listening to all my favourite music that didn't fit onto my iPod, abusing the internet, and not covering myself in Peaceful Sleep.
That said, I am already planning the next one! Who's in?

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