The day we left Lusaka was rainy and relatively cold. After weeks of melting temperatures, it was fabulous to take out the jackets and long pants to keep warm. After wearing two sets of shorts and t-shirts (off the bike) for weeks on end, it was a great feeling to showcase something a bit different. It was wet and dirty with thick traffic all the way out of town. After about 30 km we made it to the outskirts and the ride became a bit more relaxed but still very wet. The rain actually did not stop for most of the ride. A first on the tour. 157 km later we arrived at a soccer field, our campsite for the night. After a delicious bucket shower in the rain, some popcorn and chocolate munching, short nap, dinner and a good night’s rest we made our way 181 km south via Choma. After a 30 min break at lunch and a 20 min coke stop I was ready to fall asleep on the bike. We road that day close to 7 hours including breaks. The campsite offered very cheap chalets with beds. I instantly passed out. I woke up for dinner and hit the pillow immediately thereafter again. 13 hours of sleep is not normal, right? But felt really good.
Fresh and well rested we had another 100 Miler ahead of us. The Vic Falls awaited and 3 rest days! With an average speed of 35 km/h we were rushing to get there as quick as we could.
Arrived in Vic Falls and the activity options are just endless. A couple of us opted for an adventurous canoe trip on the Zambezi River. Our guide listed dangers we might encounter with crocodiles and hippos being most notable before we started our trip. Unimpressed we got in our canoe and started drifting immediately stream down towards the Vic Falls, with about 20km in safe distance though. Shortly after, I noticed that my feet were getting wet and that there was quite a bit of water INSIDE the canoe. I pointed this out to the guide and he just responded that water must have come in when we got in the canoe. A couple minutes later the water had filled up about half the boat and we were close to sinking. Quite obvious that our canoe was leaking Mike and I paddled as hard as we could to the shore to escape the dangers of the Zambezi river. Exhausted and relieved we made it alive and with serious stiff arm muscles.
We now spent three days at this beautiful place, hang out, had wine (lots), a steak that could be chewed in under 1 minute, explored the Zambezi River with a canoe and were almost lunch for the crocodiles (see separate post), and of course saw the waterfalls. But it’s time to say goodbye.
We are almost home or so it seems but we do have to cycle another eye-popping 3454 km until we reach Cape Town on the 14th May. After three peaceful days at the Victory Falls we are crossing the border to Botswana tomorrow. The next section through Botswana, “the Elephant Highway” will have us cycle one of the longest miles of the tour with 6x 100Milers and 1x 208 km. Almost no climbing though. 10 back to back riding days are ahead, with only one rest day in Maun. We are going to reach Windhoek at the end of April and turn south via Solitaire and Sesriem, and go off-road once more. Please Namibian traffic department, have the road scraped before we hit this section. We do not like washboards.
Much sweat, hard work and great memories are ahead. Let’s do this!