Beyond the Bike 2015/16 - Bamboo with a View.
Africa House, ‘jumpstarting’ planes, Sable darting, meeting chiefs, elephants, waterfalls, beatiful campsites, schools and plenty of cycling. Our six weeks in Zambia have certainly been exciting.
As we headed South towards the Copperbelt we took a (45km) detour down a rough dirt track to Kapishya Hot Springs. Camping there for a few night was brilliant experience especially as the hot springs themselves were just what we needed after several tough days cycling. The owners, Mark and Mell Harvey were great fun, very generous. helpful and with great food and a well stocked bar! We do hope they will join us in China next year (the back seat of the tandem is free still…). The history of Mark’s family is incredibly interesting and deserves a little aside here:
Spending time with Beyond Ourselves really brought home to me why we are doing this crazy cyling adventure, it is not just for fun and is something I will think about next time I get fed up when we have to cycle up another hill in 35 degree heat!
This stage was a bit of a mixture and rather exciting, involving cycling through remote North-Western Tanzania, a voyage on a 100 year old German warship and breaking out a new friend out of a Zambian prison...
After crossing into Tanzania we had several more tough days, even though the road was tarmac there were great swathes of sand, gravel and potholes and the hills continued. I was not happy. We had our first night seeking hospitality and camping in a homestead which was fun and we certainly amused the family when we put up our tent. The road then ‘officially’ turned to dirt and it started raining and as we were running out of time to get to Zambia we hopped on bus for a few hundred km. This was an interesting experience, we cannot quite believe that we, our panniers and our bikes all made it in one piece!
There is so much so say about Rwanda despite it being the smallest African country we will visit. I have already talked about the genocide memorial and this atrocity is what many people still associate with Rwanda. Rwanda is beautiful country and it is amazing how far it has come in the 20 years since the genocide, but it is a country with many latent issues which, simmering beneath the surface, are easy to ignore.
Kampala (Uganda) to Kigali (Rwanda): 552km; September 13th - 19th.
On Sunday 13th September, we left Kampala accompanied by the KGB (Kampala Group of Bikers), Kasoma (bamboo bike maker) and his apprentice Khalid. It was such a pleasure to finally meet Kasoma and for him to see his beautiful bike being ridden through Kampala. Leaving the city was not the nicest ride, mainly due to the sheer number of heavy trucks but we were soon on the open road which undulated wonderfully through the countryside, every hill we went up we then had a similar length descent and thus a rest: my kind of hills!