Thursday 18 April 2019 | Distance travelled: 703km (3403 km total)
We were up and out by 8am this morning for a long drive to the border. We hadn't progressed as far as we'd wanted to yesterday as we'd been waiting to run the nanopore in the back of the car. Today's drive was therefore going to be long and take us all the way up one of Zambia's butterfly wings. (Zambia is often compared to a butterfly, with the bit of the DRC sticking in showing where the head would normally be.)
Jason did the first stint of the drive up to Mpika. It was four hours and we worked through a few podcasts on our way. We chatted about Micheal Lewis, behavioral economics and other stuff. It was nice to stare out of the window at the African plains and get lost in thought.
The scenerary became gradually more breathtaking. At first a few karst hills began to stick out of the bush, but as the day wore on hills and mountains got larger and the horizon looked further and further away. We were clearly gaining altitude and the views were getting wider. For as far as the eye could see there was bush and mountains and not much else. A proper African vista.
I drove the second part of the day and we encountered our worst road of the trip so far, much worse than the one between Katimo Mulilo and Livingstone. At parts it simply disintegrated, at other the potholes were so large that pools of recent rain had gathered in them and they looked like bottomless pits. And there was a crazy amount of traffic, almost all of it was trucks, carrying containters and fuel from Tanzania.
I'm now sitting outside in a rest camp (Kings Highway Rest Camp in Kangula) that we stopped at, an hour short of Nakonde, so delayed had we been by the traffic and the road. It's a full moon and the animals all around me are in full song. Lovely.