Thursday, July 4, 2013

Finally! A Long Weekend ... Kapishya Hot Springs

Zambia celebrates two holidays in July, and this year they coincided with a weekend, making a nice stretch of time for us to get away and explore more of Zambia.  The first Monday is Heroes' Day and the first Tuesday is Unity Day.   We visited the Kapishya Hot Spring Lodge in northeastern Zambia.  If the opportunity comes again, we definitely will consider returning for a longer stay.

They happen to have a facebook page, as well, where an up to date blog is maintained.  There was a rather large group that had just returned from a stay at Buffalo camp, and they were very enthusiastic about their experience.  And as has happened in many of our travels, we met people from places we have either lived in, or lived near.  This group included two Americans, one from Albuquerque, and one from Denver.  The man from Denver was a fellow CSM graduate, but a much more recent graduate.  The member of their party who brought them to Zambia is studying at Fort Collins, and hopes to return to work in Zambia, where his father (another member of the group) is a farmer.

Saturday morning we left just after it was light enough to drive the Chingola to Kitwe road safely, and arrived pleasantly early at Kapishya, just after 5.  At Kapiri the highway became wide, and less traveled than the first half of the drive.  That meant we made incredibly good time.

At the Kapiri junction:

 The highway, what a pleasant surprise, nice, wide shoulders, smooth, no potholes!

 Fish hatchery:

Serenji, we were in line with some military trucks getting diesel.  I used the toilet, and let's just say I didn't pay, and I used plenty of antiseptic hand wipes when I finished.

 We saw several groups come to the water tower to fill talks and bottles with clean water.
 A friendly reminder (not that the majority can read):
 A new twist on police road blocks.  On our return we had to endure no less than 20 police check points.

 These next pictures of when we stopped near the top of a pass.

 Lots of large farms on this route, and plenty of "free" grains.  We saw women harvesting it when we returned.

 Not sure what this is intended for, but very nice construction as opposed to most of the buildings along the road.

 And, also on the route were a great number of wrecked trucks.  This is a major route between Das Es Salaam and Zambia.  On our return we probably saw well over 100 fuel tankers.  The truckers often try to beat time by driving at night, doze off, and end up off the road.  If they are fortunate, they aren't killed.
 The advent of cell phones is a very definite blessing for these remote areas.  That is, if you happen to own a phone with the right company.  Our MTN phone was totally useless in this part of Zambia.  Remember those days, not so long ago, where roaming was standard?  Well, joint agreements do not exist here.
 And also typical, plenty of pedestrian and bicycle traffic along the road.  Not so bad here, with shoulders, but not so great further down the road where the shoulders don't exist.
 The aftermath and clean up from a wreck:

 Where the highway had been resurfaced ... well, they tried ... it was as if they put down large gravel with tar and skimped on the tar.  Very, very rough road.
 These are typical of most roadside commercial areas.
 Last part of the highway.  The truck in front of us is packed to the max with riders in the bed, and cab.

Unfortunately most of the time we gained was lost once we turned off the main road and on to the dirt road.  Plenty of washboards, reminiscent of the back country dirt roads in Nevada.

 Shiwa Ng'andu (Shiwa is Bemba for Lake) It translates lake of the royal crocodile, and is reported to be the place where Dr. David Livingstone's favorite dog was killed by a crocodile.  When he tried to rescue the dog, his medical kit was lost.  And with it went his quinine, which meant he could not treat himself for malaria.  I did not check out the story, but feel free to correct me if I was badly informed.

 This is the gate at the border of the estate.  We had to sign in with a guard.

 Once at the farm, we encountered a flock of sheep being herded by men.  A few new lambs still sporting their long tails, and shaggy coats on the older sheep.

 The vehicle in front of us was kicking up lots of dust.  We would slow down to let them get further ahead, and then they would slow down more.  Seeing the sunlight through the dust was neat, though.

 Entrance to the Hot Springs is a canoe:
 This section of the estate is much more natural, which makes sense because it is not part of the farm.

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