Africa Plus travel blog

Our Ride Was Packed #2267


Taxi after(bidding Pascal/Silvie goodbye) to minibus which headed out immed - 8 am - to Mchingi near Malawi border. From Mchingi a taxi to border(10:30), cost $135 US for visa into Zambia thanks to Geo Bush who raised it for Zambians(used to be $25 US). Taxi in Zambis to 1st town, Chipata, where we ckd into Kapata Rest House just across from the bus station. Other than the cost for visa, this border crossing was one of the most relaxed, unbusy we have yet to encounter. Even the $$ changers were not hyper and gave us a good enuf exchg.

The highway corridor from Lilongue to the border (parallels the RR tracks) is one of the busiest I have seen - not w/ motorized vehicles but pedestrian & bicycle transport as well as 5 bullock carts. The distance was about 100 km but being a Sunday maybe it was unusual. On average there were bicycles or pedestrians every 100' the entire distance! For the 1st time I saw bicyclists transport on their rear racks 5' high bundles of 2' long & diameter wood held in place by 4 tall stakes tied to the bike. Also saw them hauling 4 huge sacks of charcoal, 5' long woven mats stacked 4' high, 8' long lumber boards, 8-10' metal roofing(rolled up)...the mats, sticks, and charcoal were being hauled by quite a few cyclists.

There were also cattle & goat herds at regular intervals all along the roadway both sides grazing w/ mostly small/young boys watching over them. I witnessed a very unusual "command performance" when a man on one side of the highway was signalling w/ his hands to what appeared to be the lead goat on the other side, for it to wait til we & other traffic passed. The goat for it's part was stopped in front of a herd looking down the road towards us as if cking out what the man was trying to communicate! There were no other people near the goats on their side...amazing!

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