And so our trip continued… January 8, 2007Posted by isabelleinnamibia in Out of the city, Peculiarities, Raaah!, VSO.
Day 8, 27th December: If we wanted to make Livingstone in time for New Year’s, we had to leave the little paradise that is Kande Beach, and hit the road again. With Liz and Hill as new passengers, we set off to drop Hill off in Mzuzu so that he could get back to his village, and then set off for Chipata, to crash again at Sally-Anne and Henry’s. Some of the other YfDs (Anna, Kat and Alexa) were meant to join us there, but didn’t have their hire-car insurance papers at the border so had to spend the night back in Lilongwe.
Day 9: Leaving Chipata, now with Sally-Anne and Liz as passengers, and the relief that Sally-Anne could do some of the driving, we set off to Lusaka. We stopped at the mall on our way in and discovered a Subway, where we embraced all the generic fast-food flavours we could. Swinging by the VSO Zambia office (in a city-centre tower block, total contrast to our leafy suburban bungalow in Windhoek) to collect keys for Hilary and Hannah’s, and went to let ourselves in, as they were at Lake Kariba. The other girls arrived later with Henry after an exhausting mission from Lilongwe to Lusaka, and we treated ourselves to dinner at the mall, and the new Bond movie at the cinema. There isn’t a cinema in Malawi, nor in the rural areas that the others live in, so this was a real treat for them (I’d actually seen the film back in the UK during my visit, but could’ve seen it in Windhoek as we have an OK cinema there – one of two in Namibia…..ohhhh!).
Day 10: Now with Sally-Anne and Henry as passengers, we set off for Livingstone from Lusaka. As I was driving out of the city, I was flagged down by a policeman on the freeway: uh-oh! I pulled over and was informed that I’d been speeding at 90km/hr. ‘But isn’t it a 120km/hr speed limit?’, I fret. ‘No, it’s a 65km/hr limit, the 120km/hr speed limit starts in about 300m. Please get out the car and speak to the lady officer over there who will advise you on your fine.’ I wobble over to her, to be told I owe a fine of 67,000 Zambian kwatcha. Muddled by figures and different currency rates, I freak out thinking this is close to a ton, and start pleading that I’m Namibian, driving a Namibian car and that I had no idea about the area’s speed limits. Back in the car, Joost gives me a 50,000 and a 20,000 bill, which I take back to the lady. ‘Do you have any change?’, I ask. She looks at me, takes the 50,000 kwatcha, leaving me with the 20,000 bill, and whispers, ‘Use this for petrol. Now drive safely.’ !!!! So not only did I get a speeding fine, but I managed to get a discount on it, without even flirting! (NB: 67,000 Zambian kwatcha is only about 8 quid, but I was thinking in Malawian kwatcha, which would have been about 270 quid – phew!).
The rest of the journey was quite uneventful in comparison, but a total delight again as this stretch is just stunning.
We arrive in good time, check back into JollyBoys, swim in the pool, chill in the bar, change some traveller’s cheques, and relax.