right, so i guess the most important news since the last blog is that we are back on the bikes once more and Ians leg is back to its usual self with yet another scar! Ian has also turned 25! his birthday was in Saturday 27th and just like the true Pro that he is he cycled over 82miles just for a beer!
Back on Nkhata bay when we met 2 fantastic girls, Sarah and Helen. When they descovered we would soon be travelling down the same road a few days after them, they decided to set up the 'tat trail' a series of packages for us to collect from hotel and hostels along the way. These ranged from a tub of toss (washing powder, honestly) and deoderant (i think they were trying to say something) to phone numbers of a couple of nurses! the climax of the trail was Livingston and i gotta say girls, you out did yourself! They paid for us to have breakfast in posibly the most swankey and expencive hotel in the town! Thankyou girls that was the best meal of the trip so far and if only i could get coffee that good everywhere!
we ate the spectacular beakfast before cycling the small distance to the breathtaking Victoria Falls. with the Zambizi River in full flow there was something near 1,000,000 litres per second passing over the 1.7km ling falls, falling the 100m to the bottom of a deep gorge. unfortunately that amount of water and that amount of power causes quite allot of spay. so much spay that most of the falls were hidden. unlike other waterfalls tho the spay itself is almost a waterfall in itself, rising what looks like 100m above the falls before falling to the ground as perminant torrential rain. we were soaked though in seconds! quite a strange feeling to be trained on when there are no clouds above.
as we left the falls we met up with a french couple who we had met the previous night. the pair had left Paris 14 months ago riding along a similar route to us but on a Tandem, a bicycle built for 2! madness! me and Ian couldnt resist is when they offered us that chance to try and ride the massive bike. with me on the front and Ian on the back we were quite something, not so good at starting, stopping or stearing, but straight lines, that we could do!
finally we got back onto our own bikes and left livingstone and made our way to our 24th country since england, and posibly one of the more dangerous. Unlike other regions of Africa that we have cycled, Botswana, especially in the north is very sparcely populated with the 1st 300km of road having not so much as a town, the closes it gets is the town of Pandamatenga 100km south of the border, not really a town, more like a petrol station with a few farms nearby. the massive stretch of wilderness is also surrounded by a national parks in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Famous for wild lions and massive elepants we did our best not to camp wild in the bush. the road itself was unbelievably flat with the unchanging wilderness landscape it wasnt exciting cycling but we saw so many animals by the side of the road that it was some of the most memorable miles i remember. From enourmous Elephants to Massive Gazell it was spectacular. the best moment was one lunch when a massive elepant managed to somehow silently sneak up on us over open gound. we only noticed when it way 7-8m away! very cool!
thanks to a recomendation from Angela who put us up in Pandamatanga we just spent the last 2 nights in a lodge called Elepant Sands situated in the middle of nowhere! It gets its name from a 2km sand road leading to it (that reminded us of the nightmare of the saharan sand) and the elepants that come every night to the waterhole right next to the bar for a drink. (www.elephantsands.com
) the braver elephants even come to the swimming pool for a drink! its quite something to settle down with a beer in the moonlight watching a massive elephant
we left Elephant Sands this morning planning our route for the last 1800 mile (3000km) to capetown! South Africa in 5 days, Jo'burg in 10, the coast and the cape and finally the end or is it......