Today was supposed to be a short drive to the lower Zambezi NP for canoe training in the afternoon. In the morning we had 2 punctures okay bad luck but we still would make it on time i occupied myself in one town by going to the post office and sending Jess' bday pressy. i love going to post offices in Africa you come face to face with each countries bureaucracy and its officials always interesting but it is important to set aside at least one hr to post one item. Zambia was not too bad but the postmistress insisted on me putting a senders address on her forms, I explained i did not have one as i was camping through Africa she insisted her boss would not send the package without an address. It did not matter what i wrote so this was my address in case you want to send me any cakes packages or Ben and Gerrie's ice cream. one green tent near a big truck on a flat grassy patch of land somewhere in Africa that seemed to satisfy her.
We all climbed back on the truck for the last leg of the trip across a mountain pass notorious for bad roads and bandits. As we drove we all duely observed the many skeletons of truck which had careered off the road into the valley. the roads were bad but nothing worse than Uganda or kenya. But then we hit a huge pot hole and Claudia made an awful griding noise we came to a stop by the side of the road and Lucy got under the truck to find we had a bent axil our truck would be going no where tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was 40 degrees plus as we got out of the truck the tarmac stuck to our shoes it had been melted by the sun. this was not gods own country it w3as barren hillside with what looked like dead looking trees little shade and "bandits" from zimbabwi when night fell we would be sitting ducks. Lucy found that the bolts had come loose or snapped on the axil so some off us duely went off to try to find them further up the road. the rest of found some shade the only bit for miles in a lay by to set up lunch. As we were eating a trucker lent out of his juganort to screen DO NOT TRUST THIS PLACE we realised we were sitting in a truck run off for tr8ucks that could not break enough on their way down the hill to make the turn. it was a choice between being squashed by a truck or getting heat stroke we opted for being squashed but moved a bit up the bank just to be on the safe side. We only found one bolt the rest were smashed top pieces. none of the phones worked so Jase hitched a life into town 40km away to try to get a vehicle to get us out by dusk so we waited busying ourselves by getting together all essential items we needed from Claudia for the canoe safari. after 4hrs jase returns triumphant in a open backed lorry. As dusk crept in we all piled into the truck cooking pots gerry cans and Charles who is somewhat less than delighted with now having to canoe with us down the Zambezi with us as he does not swim and what African in their right mind would voluntarily get thast close to hippos and crocs!!! We were duely dispatched to get a armed guard to to watch over jase lucy adn claudis ( the truck) to save them from the armed bandits roaming the hills. We trundled in our truck under the african night to the town may be 40 Min's away in the town we sent a armed guard very easy you just tell a policeman no need to even go to a police st. The town was a bit scary no lights lots of people all shouting mzungu we had to stop for salt god know why and we were surrounded by people we could hardly see they did nothing but we were at the border town and i was definately nervous. Eventually we reached the camp about 10pm no canoe training today.
canoe safari the scariest thing i have ever done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!