We had a quiet day after scuba diving this morning and then we did some work on the kayak at Chris Horsfall's home. It is his birthday today and we wish him all the best.
Today we completed the first phase of our trip and tomorrow will be a day of rest.
Distance covered 39 km Total distance 159 km.
We had a fairly early start this morning after a breakfast of muesli, but not before Louis took the local chief of the village for a "spin" in the kayak.
We managed to repair the kayak to the extent that the leaks stopped, except when waves brake over the kayak. This happened this afternoon when we had a strong wind from ahead with chest high waves. This will be fixed but we are running out of silicon. The last two hours of paddling today we managed only about 10 km.
We crossed the Zambia/Tanzania border this morning with a south/south western wind blowing from behind causing about two feet swells. Then a lot of frustration started when we experienced teething problems with the kayak. We had a number of leaks at the hatches which forced us to shore for repairs to the delight of many local people . We did some emergency repairs and eventually got to Kasanga where we went through customs.
Last night we stayed over at a lodge in Mpulungu where "long drops" are still in use. (you smell it before you see it). We got up early and started packing the kayak which proved to be difficult and cumbersome. Some of the stuff had to be tied to the top of the kayak. Both the backpacks are full, and on our backs. You can visualize a taxi with a ventertjie on its way to Zimbabwe. Fortunately we will have less as time goes by. Then we went to a clinic where a number of mosquito nets were handed out to desperate mothers with children. Again we realized how fortunate in life some of us are. A big thank you again to First Ascent for their kind donation. Please follow up on our Sponsor Llist. Then there was the formal formalities to get your passport stamped etc.. Even traveling by kayak on open waters requires it.
Distance covered today 18 km Total distance 18 km
We eventually arrived in Mpulungu on the southern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The overnight bus trip from Lusaka to Kasana is worse than any overnight flight between Europe and South Africa (economy class). After a coffee and collecting the kayak from storage, we eventually got it on a bakkie and with the help of a few beer cases, to more or less level it over the canopy, we got going to Mpulungu. Tomorrow we will be distributing a few mosquito nets at a clinic before setting sail for Tanzania. (or is it start rowing?). The plan is to do about 30 km. It will take us just across the Tanzanian border.
We are off on our very exciting expedition.
We cannot believe that its only one week to go before we leave! One year's preparation and planning is finally getting to is end. At the moment we are very excited, but also bit nervous. There is still a fair amount of things to finalise. Next week this time we will be in Lusaka already, from where we will be taking a bus to the Lake's southern point over a 800km journey. If all goes to plan, we will start kayaking on Monday 21 June. So please hold thumb that we do not have any unexpected delays!
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