Since leaving Livingstone we have ridden over 500km in 5 days to get to Lusaka where we are now staying for a rest day at one of Gareth’s friends, Lawrence and Michelle, who have kindly let us stay with them for two nights.
Our journey up north to Lusaka has been an incredible experience with some really tough riding conditions but the highlight of the week has definitely been the generosity of the local farmers and people in Zambia who have welcomed us to stay with them along our way.
From Livingstone we had a windy, hot ride of about 100km to what was meant to be a night of bush camping but Bryan managed to go ahead and speak to a farmer in the area called Marius and his wife, Rochelle, who were very happy to have us to stay the night. In fact, they had read about Gareth and Derrick bungee cycling on News24. They were very kind to us and also put us in touch with another farmer, Tim, who was situated just outside Choma where we had planned to bush camp the following night after riding a further 100km.
Tim took some of the team on a tour of his farm which was very interesting to learn more about farming in Zambia and how he spreads his risk by farming various things including tobacco, maize, cattle and sheep as well as black carrots which none of us had ever heard or seen before and sampled in one of our dinners. That night, Bryan ended up having to share his tent with Tim’s two big brown Labradors and a Jack Russel which was absolutely hilarious to see how determined the dogs were to sleep in his tent.
From Tim’s farm we had a long ride of 109km ahead of us to get to Moorings Campsite, which is just after a town called Monze. Riding through Monze we had sight of where riots had taken place by seeing the debris of burnt tyres left on the side of the roads. This we have learnt is as a result of the recent elections in Zambia which is believed to have been possibly rigged.
Whilst riding in Zambia we have all been so impressed to see how bicycles are a part of most people’s lives here to help them get around, carry things as well as to transport children. We have spoken to a few of the cyclists along the way who have all been so friendly. One local cyclist called Donald rode with us all the way to Monze and even took on Warrick in a short sprint off. He also believes Cam is his daughter as she is born in the same year as his actual daughter.
From Moorings Campsite we rode 96km to a location that was marked off for a bush camp just outside the town of Mazabuka. This was probably one of the toughest rides of our whole journey as we had a 30km/h headwind for most of the way along with rolling hills and the road surface was no longer smooth but rutted and had many potholes.
We were very lucky though as Bryan’s dad has been working with a guy called Johan Beukes who lives in the area who kindly welcomed us to come stay with him, his Italian wife Paola and their two adorable kids, Luke and Giovanni. Johan and Bryan met us along the road and drove behind us for the last 16km before we called it a day and packed the bicycles on the Jeep and Johan’s car to go through to his farm. Johan and his family live in an amazing location surrounded by farmland and Baobabs in the area. It has a very colonial feel and they even have a polo field down the road. Johan and his family really spoilt us with a three course dinner which was the best meal of our trip so far especially the delicious strawberry risotto starter. We couldn’t be more grateful to them for being so welcoming and looking after us all.
Paola has her own business called Essential, which is a natural skincare brand of products that she started to make as a hobby but has now blossomed into a successful business. Cam is super happy to have some of her products to use for the rest of our trip. Find out more about her amazing skincare range by visiting www.essential-zambia.com.
After having some banana bread and apple tart for breakfast compliments of the Beukes family, we got transported back to the main road to start our cycle leg up to Lusaka. The weather had changed overnight and it was cloudy and extremely windy which meant we were in for a very tough day again on our bicycles. The first 20km of the ride included one of the steepest hills we have ridden so far on this adventure and adding a headwind made it even more challenging. The rest of the ride was a constant pull up towards Lusaka.
Whilst riding we came across a small group of children on the side of the road so we decided to stop to give out some toys that we had from Mattel to giveaway along our journey. At first the children seemed very apprehensive and almost ran away from us but as soon as Cam started showing them how the bubble wand worked they all started to smile and laugh. They couldn’t speak any English but kept speaking in their local language so we not sure what they were saying but it sounded like they were very happy and grateful.
We eventually got to Lusaka to Gareth’s friends place where we are staying for one rest day. Bryan’s parents and his sister also drove down from Chingola to meet us all here in Lusaka. They came through for a braai last night which was really great to finally meet them and to catch up on our incredible journey so far.