The Road to Lusaka
We arrived at the chaotic bus station in Livingstone to board our coach bus to Lusaka a half hour before departure as requested. After all the nightmare stories we heard about transportation in the third world, our trip to Lusaka went off like clockwork. The bus left only 15 minutes late. We made Lusaka a mere 7 hours later as promised. On the way we were treated to the countryside of Zambia out our window.
Zambia is a huge, wide-open country with lots of little villages dotting the landscape. The villages consisted of a series of huts, grouped in a common area. No water towers or method of water for cooking, cleaning or drinking were evident. These people obviously know how to find the necessities of life.
As it is dry season, the land was brown. The deciduous trees had their leaves changed to orange and yellow, adding to the brown landscape. Every once in awhile we would pass a river and things would get green for about 1/4 mile and then back to brown. Irrigation of this fertile land is not happening as of yet.
Zambians, I decided, have the strongest necks, and huge amounts of balance. We passed one lady with a baby strapped to her body carrying two huge bags of goods in each hand, and balancing a tub of bananas and apples on her head. Hope she doesn’t have to sneeze. Alexa noticed they put a small bit of cloth on the tops of their heads, and balance the round tubs on top of that. One lady carried about a 6ft. diameter bushel of wheat on her head. We couldn’t really tell where she was going with her load as there wasn’t a hut in sight. This is a hard working group of people around here. Amazing.
The road between Livingstone and Lusaka is straight. We made two turns in 7 hours. The only horns from the coach came when there were animals in the road. Aside from the two or three police stops to make sure we were compliant with whatever law, it was an uneventful trip.
Upon arrival in the Lusaka bus station we were swarmed by taxi drivers fighting for our business. One man even tried to take one of our bags off to his car. Thankfully Carl has a deep enough voice to put the cabash on that one. They were all harmless really, just trying to make a living. A whole new bus of fresh prospects gets them all a little excited. Our white faces make us stand out in the crowds a mile away.
We treated ourselves to a western hotel here. Who would have thought a Holiday Inn would look like the Taj Mahal. Our room was a suite complete with two queen sized beds and white fluffy towels. Heaven. After a few rough days of travel mishaps, this was just what we all needed.
The next day we spent driving around town looking at all the places Carl used to frequent as a kid. We saw his old house, took photographs at his old school and saw an incredible new shopping complex built within the last five years.
We finished the day by enjoying our hotel room and finishing up our laundry, checking e-mail and updating our web site. We had the good fortune of finding a quasi-high speed wireless access to the internet in the hotel lobby. One that the hotel staff uses but was not advertised for public use. With our find we were able to make some free phone call home and take care of all of our internet house keeping.
0430 arrives early. We are now up and packing. Heading to the bus depot for our 7 hour ride back to Livingstone followed by re-crossing the border to Zimbabwe. Time to move on.