March 13 1953 (Friday) Land Mileage 7140
What a pleasure to wake up inside a hotel and not have the inconvenience of rain and a wet Land Rover. Breakfast cooked for us was total luxury after the last few days. We filled the tanks up with fuel once more and we were on the road again soon after 08h00. The road was a great improvement on what we had been driving on and we quite enjoyed the 82 mile trip on to Kapiri M'Poshi. This was just a small railway station with a hotel, petrol and stores. We were there at mid-morning, but decided that we should top up again with fuel while we were able. Carrying on from there through Broken Hill, we had a lunch time break and drove onto Lusaka, the capital of Northern Rhodesia. We found a Land Rover agent there and Don bought a new speedo cable as ours was behaving in a very strange manner. We had been told that we needed to report to customs here, so maybe that was why the Ndola customs was not interested in who we were. We had no problems and after leaving Lusaka we saw our first snake on the road. We had no idea what kind it was, but so long as we were a safe distance from it we did not really care too much.
We carried on to the small village of Kafue, where we filled up with fuel yet again and then onto the Kafue River where we expected to find another ferry. Here we had a wonderful surprise to find that they had just completed a bridge across the river. We carried on for some distance stopping at 17h30 in a quarry for the night. We lit a fire and had an enjoyable evening sitting by the fire having a chat, knowing that if all went well we should arrive at our destination the very next day.
March 14 1953 (Saturday) Land Mileage 7414
We were up at 06h00 feeling quite excited now that journey's end was in sight. Had a good tidy up and breakfast before we hit the road at 07h00. We arrived at the Northern/Southern Rhodesia border an hour later. We were very quick through customs and then Don drove over the Otto Beit Bridge which crossed the mighty Zambezi near Chirundu Gorge. Diane, David and myself walked across the bridge with shouts of joy; we had at last arrived in Southern Rhodesia. We went into the customs and immigration on the other side of the bridge and found we had more forms to fill in here than at any other point of the journey.
We still had a day's drive ahead of us, so we were soon on our way again, passing through large valleys and thick vegetation. We kept our eyes on the road ahead, hoping that we were not going to come across another angry elephant. We were then stopped by a guy who had a net and a large fly spray who sprayed out the vehicle before allowing us to proceed through a chamber and out the other side. We discovered later that this was to prevent the spread of the tsetse fly. We stopped at noon for a short break and then carried on to the small town of Sinoia. Just after this we came across some young lads who had managed to drive their Morris Minor into a ditch. Don brought out the tow rope and with the help of the winch, we soon had them happily on their way to a dance which they were going to. Hopefully after a few drinks the Morris Minor did not end up in the same predicament again.
We carried on through the villages of Banket and Darwendale on what was called a strip road. This consisted of two strips of tarmac just the width for each wheel for one car. If a vehicle came towards you, the right hand wheel moved across to the left strip for passing and visa versa. It was certainly a great improvement on what we had been driving on previously. On arriving to the suburbs of Salisbury along the Lomagundi Road, we found ourselves eventually on full tarmac. This was bliss. We pulled into the parking area outside the very posh Miekles Hotel at 17h15. Salisbury was the largest city in Southern Rhodesia and the capital.
Don went off to book into the hotel and came out with a very glum expression on his face. He had been told that there were no rooms available. A gentleman who was standing near the entrance of the hotel obviously had overheard us and asked what the problem was. We told him that we had just arrived having driven from the U.K. and we were in desperate need of a hotel for the night, did he have any ideas where we could go as we needed a suite if possible. He asked us how we would pay and telling him that there was no problem with traveller's cheques, he went into the hotel, returning a few moments later to let us a suite was arranged. We later discovered he was the manager and that we had been turned away originally as we looked so scruffy, that they did not think we could afford to stay there! Hopefully by the time we had bathed and changed we looked a little more respectable when we came down to dinner.
March 15 (Sunday) Final Land Mileage 7736
After a very lazy start to the morning we went out to check the Land Rover and go for a walk. We found ourselves walking by the station over a bridge; great excitement, there was our caravan on a goods wagon, right below us! We had been told that it would take at least two months to arrive, so this was completely unexpected. We later discovered that each and every person who had handled the caravan during its trip was worried about damage and it was hurried through every port with no delays. Our life was really now about to begin in our new country as our home had arrived.