Monday, 12 September 2011

Senaga to Mongu

After a night in Senanga we set off for Mongu enroute to Kafue wildlife reserve. However it was not ot be. After 30k the truck broke down with a leaky water pump. Mandy and I went back to Senanga to try to arrange a tow but it was not to be. So we left Sarah and Chris to look after the truck and went on to Mongu. In Mongu Mandy accosted a well dressed Zambian who turned out to be driver to the king of the Western Region (Barotseland), more of the king later. We were introduced to Moses a brilliant mechanic who first found us a hotel to stay in and then took me on a trip around town to fix the pump. However being Sunday we didn't have much luck. Eventually I set off to rescue Sarah and Chris, we limped the truck to a nearby village and left it in the tender care of the villagers. Next day we embarked on another useless search for spares but eventually managed to order one from Northern Zambia. We then had a few days to wait which in Mongu could have been a tad boring. However there was a big funeral on and the vice president was in town. Whilst having lunch in the garden of our hotel he and his entourage turned up so we had our lunch in the middle of his. We didnt meet him but did meet the Zambian embassador to Nigeria.
Next day, still waiting, we dicided to go and see the kings palace out on the Zambezi flood plain.After 20 minutes on another half built road we arrived at the palace and I parked the Landy outside the gates. Within seconds we were told to move it immediately, we had parked on their equivalent of a parade ground I think. We then had an audience with the kings representatives and were told to return to town and go to his other palace to get permission to enter this palace. We duly did this and then followed a bit of misunderstanding as the next set of  kings representatives thought we wanted an audience with the king, however we couldnt think of what we wanted to say to him. I was then taken off as the eldest in the party to meet more of the kings reps. who then grilled me about who we were what we were doing etc. The outcome was that they wanted me to go back to town to get a letter of introduction fron the Permanent Secretary to the Provincial Governement. At this point we gave up!

Next day the pump arrived, it was the wrong one, but Moses spent all day getting it modified and we eventually set off back to the truck. Amazingly the pump fitted however the truck was stuck in thick sand and we took another hour to dig it out. It is amazing the amount of sand 20 small children can move with their bare hands when promised a few kwatches. We evenyually got back to Mongu safely and had a few beers with Moses and his wife to celbrate.

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