Today’s entry is mostly for my Austrian readers who are all very familiar with SPAR as the leading Austrian supermarket chain. Guess what—it’s also one of the leading supermarket chains in Zambia!
Earlier on during our tour (I think it was in Sudan), I had already seen SPAR.
“That’s weird”, I was surprised.
“It’s South African”, Judith explained.
“No, it’s Austrian”, I disagreed.
Well, turns out it’s both and neither. The brand actually is Dutch, but the supermarket chains are locally owned. I would love to know how many of my Austrian readers knew that???
Stage 55: Lilongwe – Chipata (Zambia), 153km
Road & traffic condition:
Despite the length (150+km), it’s been a relatively easy cycling day with mostly flat roads and lots of tailwinds, reminding of our early days in Egypt.
Absolutely fantastic new road with a lot fewer kids (so far) upon entering Zambia. We’re cycling on the Great Eastern Road, which—as signboards advice—was funded by the EU. I like the fact that we have a great road to cycle on, but I’m less sure what to think about the EU spending money in Africa?!
Anyway, as you can see on the photo, we got a nice hard shoulder to cycle on. In the town of Chipata, they even put border stones to protect cyclists from drivers. The only danger seems to be locals who mindlessly walk on the cycling lane rather than the walking lane—but I guess that happens everywhere in the world.
Pleasant, up to a max. of 30° C. No rain for a change; while I packed a wet tent in the morning, it would stay dry this night until the morning—can’t remember the last time that happened!
Chicken curry and salad; in addition to burgers that some people had in town (Chipata) and heaps of snacks that we’d stocked up on at Western-style supermarkets in Lilongwe.
- Four new sectional riders; and Mark (who had broken his wrist on our last day in Sudan) has returned and given us all a nice surprise—welcome back!
- Crossing the border into Zambia, which was a surprisingly smooth and quick process.
- A pretty nice campsite with a well-stocked bar.
Not sure. Life is getting a bit too easy with the ready availability of supermarkets. Am eating too much—had a full chocolate bar and a pack of dried fruits in the afternoon at camp, followed by two helpings of chicken curry and three ciders. Woke up before midnight and ate a full pack of crispy corn before going back to sleep. Need to stop that again!