Beyond the Bike

Stories from Stuart and Claire's original & recent journeys….

Stage 3: Many miles travelled but not all on the bike....

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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!  

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Stage 4: Part II - Nymibe to Lilongwe - "Taking Blackson Home", 430kms, 5 days.

I had arrived in Lusaka without any stokers lined up to cycle into Malawi. 8 days & nearly 800kms later, another 6 people had helped me and Thandie get to the border and into the 'warm heart of Africa'. In particular Blackson Banda, the cook from Janna School in Ndola who would be hitching a lift back to his home village on the border, his first visit in 13 years. Given the recent death of his sister, it was an especially emotional return for him...

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Blackson. 3000kms into the trip

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Stage 3, part II - The Big Push to the Copperbelt

The group saw some cyclists say goodbye but we were joined by fresh blood for the final stage to Ndola. Little did we know that we'd enjoy a police escort out of Zambia's capital city...

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Stage 3, part I: Zambia "Supporting The Cyclists: The View From The Truck In The Rear"

A further eight cyclists joined Beyond the Bike in Livingstone, with another support driver - Jo Mackay -  who runs Beyond Ourselves operations in Zambia. This stage of the ride was sponsored by Copperbelt Energy, who had generously bought the Zambikes. The bikes were assembled in Lusaka by an interesting US-Zambian social enterprise that we would donate to the Beyond Ourselves schools in the Copperbelt at the end of the ride. Perhaps the perfect "big society" model for David Cameron back home? A corporation working with a social enterprise to help their needy community with the assistance of volunteers...

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Safari a Velo in Botswana



Botswana is one of the few countries whose per capita GDP growth has kept up with China's over the last 15 years. Perhaps easier to do in a country with a  population of only 1.5 million (compared to some 150k elephants!). Nonetheless, we enjoyed superb hospitalilty in what turned out to be a very chilled, albeit tiring, ten days in this former British protectorate (formerly known as Bechuanaland).

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