Distance: 186km (Cumulative: 8 209km)
Moving time: 2:50
Average speed: 63km/h
Road surface: 95% Tar
Kapishya Hot Springs - R200 p.p
Amazing sulphur free hotsprings, river, forest
We woke at 06:00 again and snoozed to 07:00, by 09:00 we were on the road again. For breakfast Hugo added sugar and milk to last nights’ leftover pap and Caro ate the Brinjals that she cooked on the fire after dinner.
At Mpika we stopped to fill up and bought fresh buns at a Bakery, we thought there would be a Shoprite or some for of supermarket, but none was too be found.
Everything was smooth sailing until just before the turn-off to Kapishya from the T2. We heard a clack noise, but was unsure where it came from and continued a bit. We heard it again in the town at the T-juction and stopped to investigate. At the left rear wheel we saw some oil leaked out of the drum brake. The town definitely didn’t have any mechanics so we decided to continue to Kapishya as we didn’t want to stay in the town next to the road. About 1.5 kilometres from the turn-off we heard a load screeching sound again that definitely meant, do not go further. This was at 13:00.
We stopped and luckily there was some reception so we sent a WhatsApp to Francois from 4xLux. He guided us through taking of the wheel and the side-shaft. Which was easier said then done. When we pulled the side-shaft open pieces of metal fell out. The bearing was completely kaput.
Someone on a bicycle stopped and gave us the number for Charlie, the owner of Shiwa Ngandu, the farm and game reserve just a few kilometres down the road.. We called Charlie and he called his brother Mark who owns Kapishya Hot Springs, who has their own German mechanic and workshop. They thus sent Felix on his way, but the 40km road to Kapishya is in pretty bad shape so he only arrived at 16:00. After taking the shaft completely out they quickly realised that the Hilux is noth as easy to fix as a Land Cruiser. Something about the ABS ‘gear’ that needs a press to be taken off.
Since it was already late, they decided we need to leave the vehicle next to the road and take what we need to the lodge. They found someone in the village to ‘guard’ the vehicle for the night for 50 Kwacha.
We arrived at the lodge in the dark, but was welcomed with a cold beer. They offered us a chalet for $75 per person, which we accepted as we didn’t have anything with us. We went for a warm shower and then came for dinner, a 3 course set menu for only $33 per person. The owners Mark and Mel, the only 2 other guests and the two European staff members all ate together at the long dining table. Mark entertained us with stories from how the different nationalities set-up camp and ask for help. From the South-Africans arriving in 5 vehicles with caravans and setting up a lager, to the Aussies bringing two crates of beer and putting it in the river to get cold and the Japanese who are interested in the medicinal properties of the hot springs. What made it even funnier was him mimicking the accents as he tells the stories.
After dinner we moved to the lounge and talked further until 23:00. Mark mentioned earlier that we could go to the spring at night, so after everyone went to bed he showed us the spring and said he will switch of the ‘CCTV’. We thus went for a skinny dip in the 40 degree natural sulphur free hot water, walking from our room with the bathrobes from the chalet. We only went to bed after 00:00.