Kumuka: The Start of a Journey

July 11

We set the alarms for 5am so that we could be ready for our 0630 pick up in order to meet up with the overland truck at Shoestrings. The next casualty of the trip was my quick try towel that got left in the shower hut this morning as. We had bought donuts from afternoon before and munched on those while waiting to get picked up and then in the minibus while we rounded everyone up.

We arrived at Shoestrings where we packed the truck, and we saw John and Christine that we had met the night before. We were quickly on the bus and headed off to the border. The Kumuka bus was a bright blue overland truck with a front cab with a driver, and a massive compartment about three feet off the ground where there was a bunk in the back and then two sets of facing chairs and a table on either side and then two rows of four at the front. The chairs aren’t terribly comfortable, but there’s lots of space. Sarah, our Australian tour guide sat up in the front cab with Jay, our English driver, who gained his experience in the British armed forces driving military trucks. There was a telephone that connected the front cab with the passengers that was used for communication while we were moving. Our bags were packed in compartments lining the side of the truck with the kitchen supplies, food and cookery, on the other side. On the back side of the truck, the compartment held the tents and cooking gas. Alisa and I and John and Christine were the only people just starting a Kumuka tour. The rest were made up of two groups that had already been on the road. The group that came with the truck, a group of 4 or 5 had come all the way from Nairobi, and the other group 6 or 7 had come up from Johannesburg through Mozambique. Continue reading

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Back to Zimbabwe – The Road to Victoria Falls (Part 1: Bus Ride North)

7 July

This morning involved more packing than I had envisioned and it was good that we had planned to go to the mall for one last wifi session, as that time gave us what we needed to finish packing. We were doing one last ‘tough’ trip, without some of our amenities that we have taken with us around south Africa while we had our vehicle.

Alisa’s new backpack nearly fit everything we were taking until we saw that none of our supplies nor toiletries would fit, and so we repacked with half in the new Adidas soccer bag that I bought for this trip, that I have begun to hate immensely because of the strap not sitting flat on my shoulder and a rip that has formed and is to lengthen along the zippers end. Carrying it while heavy thus becomes an arduous task with the strap burying into my shoulder despite me constantly stopping to adjust it. While Alisa caved and bought a proper backpacking pack, I will unfortunately have to finish with the adidas bag and save up to buy one like Alisa’s before my next venture to Africa.

Once we were packed, Garth gave us a lift to Park Station where traffic made it difficult to get around, but the daylight made the area safer for us to walk through and we got out and walked the block and a half left to the station, with the normal stares from locals who must have wondered where we were going with Alisa carrying two backpacks, one on the front and her new one on her back, and me with a backpack, my duffle, and a Woolworth’s insulated bag with our remaining food.

Once checked in and off to the bus, I could immediately see Alisa doubting her approval of me picking Continue reading

Blondie and The Three Boys

9 June

Today was long, but wonderful.

We were first to board the bus back to Joburg, so Alex quickly snagged the front seats on the top level so we could appreciate the last views of mozambique and admire the beautiful South African landscape. I was a little hesitant to sit with three sides of glass on either side of me. Ever since our bus accident in SA in 2007, I have been very aware when riding public transportation of how we would survive/get out if we crashed again and front seats/glass did not have a good outcome in my mind. Alex tried to reassure me by pointing out that the front seats have seat belts- it did not help. Continue reading