Sunday, November 3, 2013

Getting out of Town

Whoever said "getting there is half the fun?" has never traveled in Zambia.  We love road trips for all that we get to see along the way but "FUN" is rarely what I'd call it. It starts out fun....

This fun deteriorates....

But the scenery is beautiful (above, just crossing the Kafue River)

We already had been in a construction zone for an hour when we find the highway.  Rather, we find what WAS the highway.  They are rebuilding it.  But there is no other way to get to where we are going and there is no other place for the steady stream of trucks delivering goods from the ports via the Chirundu border post with Zim.  So it's the same traffic but with no roads. The trip is a bit dusty.  For some reason we have had no reason to travel this direction (to Chirundu/Siavonga) and suddenly, we have to travel this route 4 times in as many weeks for a wedding, for work, for camping and again. Normally, it's a 2- 2.5 hour trip, now it could easily be 5-6 hours.  Why? 

(1) the poor quality of roads and traffic between Lusaka and Chilanga, 
(2) the one-lane and shoulder driving betwen Chilanga and Kafue, 
(3) the detour AROUND Kafue thru the quarry, 
(4) the fact that the highway is now non-existent between Kafue town and the turnoff,
 (5) the new weigh-station/truck immigration post which is backed up onto the highway and 
(6) the number of accidents on the only stretch of highway that's NOT under construction

Below:  left is the highway, right is the detour; the 'high way.' Are we having fun yet?

Water trucks pass thru to keep the dust down.  Now the dusty road is a muddy road.  You can't win.

Back on the paved road and into the foothills.  This stretch of road is ALWAYS littered with wrecked trucks and debris.  There are always fresh tire tracks going over the cliff, there are always potholes around the next bend waiting to swallow you up whole, there is always something on this stretch that you'd really rather not see.

Common sights.  Below, a truck with copper sheets went off-roading.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of copper is littering the the highway.

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