Day 87, stage 67, 104km
Start, Jehovah Witness school football field
Finish, Lusaka, Grand East Hotel – Mark and Tanya’s
What can you say about a day of only 104km with only about 900 metres of climb – a doddle. We cycled fairly hard to lunch then fell into more of a cruising pace afterwards. We were still at the Great East Hotel in Lusaka by 11:00am. Just well we had an easy day. We had had four tough days and the legs were feeling it. I cycled with Bob after lunch (he beat me into lunch by a tidy margin) and we both had lunch stop legs. You get lunch stop legs after you have ridden hard for a couple of hours, then stopped for half an hour, eaten a lot of food and then jumped back on your bike. The legs feel tight and need to be warmed up all over again but they just don’t seem to be getting the blood they need because it has all been diverted to the stomach to try to digest all the food you have just taken on board. Most days I have a 10 or 12km lunch-stop-legs-lull. Today it lasted a bit longer.
Lusaka is a rest day. Bob and I were going to stay with Mark and Tanya, friends from Dar now living in Zambia, who had just spent Easter week diving on Zanzibar with Liz and the girls. Since we got in early we cleaned and fixed our bikes, dried out our tents (packed away wet at 5am that morning after a heavy dew) and had showers before heading to Mark and Tanya’s.
Mark and Tanya had kindly offered to host a bbq for Bob, I and a few friends today. So I had worked details with Mark and invited 8 fellow cyclists along. Shortly after 2pm Mark showed up, we all packed into vehicles and headed to their house. The bbq was brilliant. Mark had gotten several kilos of excellent bee from one of the farmers he works with, as well as some good sausage. After eating from a camp kitchen for three months we were all in hog heaven. But the real surprise didn’t arrive until all the beef was gone (much to Tanya’s surprise: ‘How could they possibly have eaten all that meat?’). Tanya came out into the garden with a massive fruitcake made by Liz and the girls and decorated to celebrate my 60th birthday. Totally unexpected. Totally Fantastic.
A great way to end five good cycling days and to usher in a rest day.