After recovering from the Superman party, Killian and I made our way to the ZAWA headquarters to deal with my permits. The form they needed was never sent to me so we decided to pay them a visit. We arrived, met with who we needed to meet with and filled out the forms. Hopefully, they would be signed by the director by Wednesday. So Killian and I began the ZAWA waiting game, where you see how long it takes to get ONE SIGNATURE! As we left the office, the heavens opened up and dropped every ounce of water they had, turning the dry sidewalks we entered on into small rivers. We returned to the car drenched and cold but hopeful. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and relaxing.
Tuesday, we read and waited for that ONE SIGNATURE.
Wednesday, we read and waited for that ONE SIGNATURE.
Thursday, we read and waited for that ONE SIGNATURE. After having not heard a single word from the office, we decided that we could not sit around at camp and wait for another weekend.
On Friday, we departed Lusaka for Petauke en route to the Luangwa valley. The drive was mostly uneventful except for the enormous amount of rain that fell during the drive. Also, we drove upon a tragic accident that must've only just happened. A car had hit a man on a bicycle, most likely during the heavy rain that we just passed through. I only glanced at the body on the road briefly but it was enough to inform me that he didn't survive. It was very upsetting and only made me more aware of my driving. Anyways, we arrived at Chiwemwe Executive Lodge, set up camp and were greeted by one of the huge thunderstorms we had driven through earlier. Luckily, this camp had a kitchen so we were dry and happy.
The next day we drove to Mfuwe, on the Luangwa river. The drive was again wet but easy. At our turn-off for the Wildlife Camp we were greeted with a muddy dirt road that had too many big pools of water. Luckily, we didn't get stuck in any. After passing through one rather large pool, we drove upon an elephant. It was so close to the road that I stopped in shock (and awe) which I soon realized was a bad idea. The elephant immediately flared it ears and made an interesting warning sound. I quickly drove away but stopped shortly after in order to look back in amazement as he strode across the road into the bush. Soon thereafter we arrived at our awesome campsite for the night, right on the river. We then relaxed, read, took a dip in the pool and listened to the grunts of hippos as we enjoyed dinner.
Sunday was filled with the drive back towards Lusaka. We stopped along the way to take in the sights and eventually made it to Bridge Camp. We enjoyed another night by the river, chatted with some overlanders from Germany (a father and son with their own overlander), had dinner at the restaurant then hit the hay. Overall, the week was very relaxed but ended with an exciting time.
Still no permits but I did break the 10,000 kilometer mark. Still so many more to go!!