Once Upon A Time.....I undertook a BIG TRIP. It all started with a girl, of course. Now, it wasn't as if I hadn't made this trip before, just never by myself. Or almost by myself, as I was accompanied? chapparoned? supervised? by a full time missionary from the Lusaka area who went with me. The plan was for me to take the truck:
and take a transformer down to South Africa for repair, then bring it back to Zambia, along with a LOT of other stuff. So off I went. On the first day, I traveled from Serenje to Lusaka, a reasonable 6 hour trip. On the second day, I traveled from Lusaka to Harare, Zimbabwe, somewhere between 8 and 10 hours. On the third day, I traveled from Harare, Zimbabwe, to Beitbridge South Africa, just across the border from Zimbabwe. And on the fourth day, I traveled from Beitbridge to Johnnesburg.
I think I spent a week in Jo'burg, getting the transformer repaired, and getting the truck looked at also. Now, this truck had a problem, and I don't think it was ever fixed, but you could start it one day and it would run like a scalded cat, then you start it another day and it would run like it was dragging an anchor. Anyway, supposedly, the dealer "fixed' it, so I loaded everything on the shopping list, put a tarp over it and tied everything down. The truck was rated for 3 metric tons, about 6600 lbs, and I was somewhere close to that figure. Stuff was piled up two feet taller than the cab all the way to the back, and the repaired transformer was on the bottom.
Now, for the return trip, I went through Botswana, because Zimbabwe was very difficult to ship goods through. My deadline for the first day was to reach the Botswana border before it closed at 8 pm so that I could spend the night in Gabarone (HA-ber-on-e). I planned on leaving about noon, arriving at the border by 6 and reaching Gaberone by 9 or earlier. Instead of making a smooth exit from Jo'burg, however, I got lost and wasted over an hour just trying to leave the city. To make matters worse, this was a day when the truck decided to drop anchor, it just didn't want to accelerate, and wouldn't go fast at all. I finally found my way on to the correct road, and tried to hurry up. I was actually accelerating down a hill and had passed 90 kph for the first time all day when I looked over and saw a 60 kph sign! GRRRR. So I stopped accelerating and just coasted down the hill, went around a corner and Surpise! Police checkpoint!
As I said, I've been in South Africa before this trip, and never before have I seen a police checkpoint. In fact, the police have the attitude that speed limits are more of a suggestion than a law. But now, I'm headed straight for an officer with his hand up, with a full load, and I'm going faster than I should. I STOOD on the brakes, pressing for all I was worth, and I couldn't stop! Fortunately, the officer moved out of my way, and the truck continued on past him for a good 50 feet. He was mad! I backed up, and when he got to my window he unleashed a torrent of Afirikkans. I apologized in English, and tried my best to explain the situation, and that I was in a hurry to reach the border before it closed. I could just see him looking at my passport, looking at the sign on the truck, and deciding to let me go. He did, however instruct me to make sure I obeyed the speed limit for as long as I was in his country!
I made the border before it closed, and made it to my stop in Gaberone, but what a day!
Edited by HowardsMF155, September 25, 2012 - 11:34 PM.