Tough going to get here on 200km of crappy African village tracks, some of it had me thinking I was back in the Congo (Paul will know what I mean!), but after turning back the other day we were pretty determined to push through this one.
The last 50km of the ride was literally through the South Luanga National Park, where we even met an armed anti poaching guard…
“hello, I am policeman, antipoaching”
“ah great, so are there animals in this area?”
“well… you are in open savannah, there are lions, leopards, elephants…” it went on.
“so… is it dangerous?”
“ah yes, when you come across a lion, you rev the engine, the lion will scare away”
Very comforting. It occurred to me that while I’ve been worried about being shot, kidnapped, frozen and dehydrated, I’ve not actually been concerned about being eaten by an animal before.
Tick that box then!
The road here did the usual transition from bad, to worse, to basically single track with bits of tree continuously hitting us in the face, sandy sections, rocky ascents and slippery descents into mostly dried up rivers. There was even a water crossing that I heard a warning shout of “DEEP DEEP” from some women nearby – just a second too late! Lucky Sal offered (demanded) to get off and walk that bit!
Fortunately the last bit though the park was much better going so we could keep moving fast enough to avoid a lion pride on the hunt… although we did see lots of other animals that a lion would usually eat… hmmm.
Arriving at the campground we were greeted with the most amazing view of the river with the sun setting on the horizon, hippos grunting a snorting in the water only metres away, and a group of elephants for company next to the tent!
We went into town and stocked up on some food for dinner and a few refreshing drinks 🙂
Sitting at our little campsite taking it all in, I got to thinking about all the people we’d passed during the day in tiny villages with mud houses, men pushing bicycles loaded with firewood, 5 year old kids hauling water from a river and women walking with baskets loaded with fruit or cassava on their heads.
We are just so lucky.
Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, we were in small towns for a few days with no wifi or phone service but I got all your messages today.