Daily Archives: April 19, 2019

3 April: Chipata to Petauke

Today we have 176 km with 1,300 climbing and 1,340 down. I am taking the truck to lunch at 95 km and then riding from there.

When we got to the lunch spot I couldn’t help set up due to the gastro, so I set off riding at 8:30 am. It’s really windy to start off with, but luckily it changes from a head wind to a cross wind. I stopped at the first small town and spent 45 min getting signed up for a SIM card.

It’s weird being the first rider as locals are not expecting you and are surprised, and also don’t realize you are part of quite a large group. When you are a rider towards the end, they are not surprised to see another rider. I got some inappropriate comments and attention from groups of young men, as with my helmet and sun glasses on you can’t tell my age – I am sure they would be mortified to find out I was old enough to be their grandmother! I just ignore it and keep riding.

It was pretty easy riding and the road had nice wide shoulders to ride on, which is a nice change.


Great road for riding, thanks to foreign aid

The locals, especially the children, mostly friendly and I enjoyed the ride apart from “chicken mile” and the last few km. “Chicken mile” was where the locals had chicken bound by their feet, and as you rode near them they would shake the poor birds at you, trying to get you to buy them. The was a couple of kilometers of this, with the odd bird croaking and squawking. I did consider buying one bird who was squawking loudly, but I figured they would just catch it straight away again when I let it go.


Life expectancy of the chook, won’t see another sunrise

At the end of the ride, about 5 km from camp some children started rushing out trying to grab the bike, which was pretty frightening, especially when going downhill fast. Then a couple of kms from camp a group of 5 teenage boys rushed out at me and one of them slapped me really hard on my arm. I kept riding as I thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to stop and have a go at them.

It was only 12:30 by the time I got to camp.

We are staying in the grounds of a lodge and I was able to upgrade from a tent to a chalet for the night. However, turns out the mosquito net has large holes and the netting on the windows also has holes. Will need to plaster myself with bug stuff.


Comfy lodge for the night at Petauke camp

I have noticed that at all the places we have stayed they don’t appear to have any maintenance done at all.

Dinner is white pasta, tomato and cucumber salad and vegetarian.
(Editor’s note: The email ends here, so I don’t know what it was – vegetarian sausages maybe?) 


New hospital under construction on approaches to Petauke

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