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Day 77 - Roadside Rescue

8th December 2011

rain 23 °C

There are another set of Falls two hundred and seventy kilometres west and then north west along the Zambezi. Livingstone had visited them two years before arriving at, well, Livingston and the then named Mosi Ao Tunya.

It had been raining again and as we whipped along the road towards the border post with Namibia at Katima-Mulilo we noticed a small Toyota Spacia at an awkward angle on the side of the road with a large plank of wood appearing from underneath it and seven people hanging onto the end trying to lever out the car. We drove on half a kilometre before my brain worked. “Shall we see if they need a hand?” I said. “Err yes,” said Somers who had been reading the guide book.

We pulled up and asked them could we help. “Yes please we are stuck,” was the unified response. That made life easier than a puncture or a breakdown. Redvers turned and positioned his bum next to the smaller back end of the Spacia. We hitched up a tow rope and pulled them back onto the tar road. In low range I didn’t even notice we were towing, the car came unstuck easily. Much gratitude, shaking of hands and smiles ensued, we were happy to help. The guys gave more thanks and as we pulled away one woman shouted over for ‘food or something’ from us. It soured us slightly, but the group of guys waved us off with big smiles so we chose to ignore the sour cherry in the Sundae of an episode.

The main road performs a right angle at Katima-Mulilo and promptly turns into a mud path. The Chinese have won the tender for building a new road to link to Mongu but they’re still building it. The makeshift road they ploughed at the side was thickening into a chocolate fudge slop with every drop of rain that came. It wasn’t long before we pulled car number two out. A Corolla, with no tread remaining on the wheels, hopelessly spinning on the spot. There gratitude showed in their smiling eyes we had that lovely fuzzy feeling of an enormous sense of well being. It worked nicely; firstly, they would think us English are a nice bunch, and secondly; they think Land Rovers are the best cars in the world. Win, win.

Our towing and the deteriorating road conditions turned 270kms into a six and a half hour drudge. We arrived at Sioma camp late. Our main concern was that Ngonye Falls are best viewed from a boat and two years ago, when Bradts writers were there they had struggled to find one. Our worries were alleviated when we found that there was a boat and Skipper at Sioma Camp and we could hire them both the next day.

Posted by ibeamish 04:32 Archived in Zambia

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