The couple of days rest at Arie’s house just outside of Lusaka were highly needed. We had looked out to Zambia during the course of the trip; from there on out it would be relaxed, it would be a holiday from there… I guess all the fatigue from west Africa just came out during the first days for us both. It was the perfect spot for it too: comfortable house with many trees surrounding us with the sound of birds and now and then a cow. For the first time during the trip it was a bit colder (+- 18 degrees), and we had some rains, which made it feel a bit like The Netherlands…
Anyway, we stood up early today to drive over 600 kms to Mongu. Still not completely rested but really looking forward to seeing Kalabo in the coming days.
After 300 kms we find ourselves driving through Kafue National Park, the sister of Rimada Reed (who bought our house on Schiermonnikoog), and her husband run a lodge there. We decide to stop at their lodge: Mukambi Safari Lodge. We just missed them though, as she had to go to the hospital, because she had tripped on some stairs that morning. We find a large group of school children from a private school on their annual trip for grade 5 & 6. We have a quick lunch there with a tuna club sandwich. Johan was quite groggy, but after some good old fashioned Douwe Egberts coffee from a Dutch schoolteacher we met there we were ready to continue. When we leave we see that a special hospital car has stopped here for some hard needed rest as well.
Just before the sun sets, and just before the tanks are empty (range of 9kms) we reach Mongu. Musole, a friend of Johan, and an ex-girlfriend of one of the best friends of Johan back when we lived in Kalabo, advised us to go to the Country Lodge there. The place was fully booked, except for two presidential suites. We decided to call Musole that we had arrived and she passed by a bit later. She arranged that we could stay in the two presidential suites and had paid for it already… what an extreme welcome, we were completely surprised. We had a nice dinner together afterwards, Musole just ordered a salad as she was still recovering from Malaria.
We agreed to go to Kalabo the next morning, and spend the night there. As I fell asleep I fantasized about the house I was born and how it would look like.