Day 291, Sunday 21 October 2012 – Livingstone, Zambia
Not a bad sleep at all last night, I woke a couple of times but was reasonably refreshed when I was woken at 5:30 by the sounds of other overlanders packing up for an early departure. The camp here is very crowded, at least six trucks around us and there is always one group leaving early in the morning and packing up a site is never a quiet process. Swings and roundabouts of course, we do exactly the same to everyone else.
Official breakfast time was 8:00 but we are all so used to getting up early that most of us were up with the coffee on well before then, for half the people it is their final meal with Africa in Focus and for some of those it is their last on African soil, for this time anyway.
The first tour – “desert and water wanderer”, has been fantastic, I cannot believe twenty one days have passed so quickly, I guess I was lucky in that I was with a pretty good bunch of people and personality conflicts were minor and had no impact on the trip itself. I have been really surprised at how much I enjoyed the trip, but not surprised that I have loved what I have seen of Africa so far. Roll on leg two – Livingstone – Nairobi.
At 10:00 we farewelled five of the group when they took a taxi to the airport, those of us that stayed behind went our separate ways, I did another load of laundry and then made use of the empty truck, plugged my laptop into the power, cranked some tunes and edited photos for a while.
After lunch Leonie and I moved into a twin room for a couple of nights away from the tent. Leonie spent the afternoon at the hotel next door and I did more photo editing, blog writing and music listening in the room in the relative cool. It was great to have a decent shower and then get out and not get covered in dust walking back to the tent, sometimes it is the small things that make a difference.
At the camp site in Chobe we ordered custom souvenir t-shirts , mine was slightly different to the others as I have Uganda and Rwanda added to mine. It was suppose to have the flags of the ten nations I am visiting on the trip and say Cape town to Kigali, but it only had the standard seven flags and said it Cape Town to Nairobi, it went back again and came back with two more flags and nothing else. I took it anyway. It is the first souvenir t-shirt I have bought on any of my travels. Most overlanders seem to have them on Livingstone.
Brett, our tour guide had told of us a gate that leads from our camp ground into the five star David Livingstone Hotel next door and the code for their free wifi, which is one hundred times better than the costly wifi in the campground. I popped over in the afternoon to upload a blog post and grab some emails down to my phone for reading and replying to offline. Some of the others were lounging round the pool and using the free towels, love it.
At 5:00 we went down to the campground bar to sit in on the pre-trip meeting for the next three weeks tour and meet the new crew mates. There is a vast age range on the next trip with some under thirties and an over eighty. For a change I will be in the much younger group. I hope I have a beer buddy like Stuart from the last leg, also that as I am fit and able I wont have to do more work than everyone else – putting up tents can be a drag!
After the meeting the last of us from the first leg went into Livingstone for a curry and a couple of beers to say farewell to Stuart and Jackie who are the last to leave. It was a good night, the food was great, hardly cheap but worth it.
Stu and I
We topped it off with a brandy and coffee and then it was time to sleep in a real bed.