Days 45 to 50 – Lusaka ( Friday 13th to Tuesday 17th July)
Friday morning Alistair rode to Best of Bike to check out their tyres. They only had cheap bad quality Chinese tyres and even the staff there advised him to keep the Mitas.
In the afternoon we walked to the local shopping mall. We were staying in an AirBnB and had a small kitchen so we wanted to cook some vegs. The little studio flat was located in the back garden of a large mansion, behind a tall metal gate. All ten area was like that. Big plots with big one story buildings and large gardens. All had security but nothing too bad. It was obviously the nice area of Lusaka as the Parliament was a short walk away along with high commissioners mansions and embassies around.
The city however is built for cars with no pavement for walkers. So you either walk on the road, with the cars or across the front gardens and pixels of dirt, rocks, and rubble that constitute the sides of the road, as well as very wide deep open drains. A health and safety officer would have a fit !
On Saturday morning, as Alistair was doing some maintenance on the bikes, he cleaned the oil gauge glass on my bike. The glass went inside the engine! Big “oops” moment. He contacted Best of Bike and pushed my bike to their showroom, a good 5 kms away. Then te bike had to be trucked 35kms away to the workshop.
As they closed at lunchtime and reopened only on Monday, there was not much to do but wait.
I spoke with the Airbnb owner and we were able to stay until Monday. After that they had a guest.
We investigated few local hotels. The problem with that was that both Booking.com and Google Map locate these in completely random places and often miles from where they really are. This happened to us a lot also in Russia and Central Asia. You think your hotel is in the town centre, as showing in the map, and end up miels out of town in the middle of nowhere. That is if you can it in the first place!
Anyhow, after a lot f walking around on Sunday, Alistair located a guesthouse that had room for us, about a mile away.
So on Monday, he took by roll bag there I has bike. Then he came back and picked up more stuff ( tank bag, backpack, small roll bag).then he came back and picked me up.
The hotel was rather run down but it was fairly cheap at 40 USD per night. Including breakfast.
After that we contacted the mechanic dealing with my bike. They confirmed it would be back ready and back in town for Tuesday morning. We just had to wait.
So the next day we finally picked up my bike. I had to ride pillion on the CRF, which is not great as it has no passenger’s footpegs.
The mechanic had to reuse the crankshaft cover gasket and glued the gauge window. It should last until we are back in the UK. Then I will need to order few parts from the US. Then we rode to the local Honda dealer, it they had no tyres. So I guess we will have to carry on and hope our back tyres can last until we are back in South Africa.
We then walked to the mall to get some supplies for few days camping in South Luangwa National Park. I took also the opportunity to investigate and plan our itinerary across Malawi and Mozambique and agree the details with Alistair. We decided to avoid Zimbabwe, as there are presidential elections at the end of July, and things could turn hectic there.
We are ready to hit the road tomorrow !