Fire in the distance

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Alarmingly, we see wild fires less than a mile away. However, people, cows and dogs are going about their business without looking at even those fires that are near straw huts. So, we do what everyone else does and ignore it.

Robert explains local people start fires to flush out small animals, which are caught for food. I guess Zambians are as experienced with fire as the Swiss are with snow.

With fires around, I am not keen on camping beside the road. Luckily, we are allowed to camp here under this fantastic tree which makes Cleo look like a toy truck instead of the Landcruiser with extra suspension she really is.

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Robert swiftly disappears to chat up the locals who are having a meeting about development in the area and receive some tasty meat and sadza, which I am very happy about. I still haven’t mentioned to the team the possibility we could run out of food as we don’t have any Zambian money to buy any. Why bother them?

In the night the wind gets up.

Advice Moment: When travelling in a windy place, do not take a roof tent. The wind sweeps between the layers of the tent and struggles desperately to get out, crashing the fabric up and down. At moments, shaking the whole car, I dreamily wonder if we will take off. Fortunately, Cleopatra is a big girl and all the kit inside and us on top, adds up to over a tonne so it would have to be some wind to fly us into the sky. In future, I think twice about putting a tent under a massive tree.

Nobody gets much sleep.

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Emma slowing up for Robert ūüėČ … Truthfully, though, Emma was in so much pain it is phenomenal that she is moving, much less running more than a marathon

Number of Days: 35

Total distance run by Emma: 1537 km, 955 miles

Daily average distance run by Emma (including rest days): 43.9 km, 27.3 miles

Distance run today: 55.71 km, 34.61 miles

ETA: African Summer

The weather, during an African summer, is not what I want for Emma’s run. I want it to be dry and mild, a bit like a good English summer/ autumn. Warm enough to camp in, cool enough to run in and dry enough to banish mosquitoes. Given that its Africa, I’m willing to accept dry and hot in the middle of the day. But summer is also the rainy season. Mozambique will be, according to the Lonely Planet, “soggy and sticky“. And hot. Several people have now warned me that it will be hot. Very hot.

Randomly, I’m also thinking, if we do get publicity, that its not fair on Mozambique to be shown to any potential visitors in its most unwelcoming months. A bit like posting photos on face book of a beautiful friend, when she has a hangover.

We shift the departure 3 months earlier.

The current plan is to go from late August until November: Emma will have to run fast to avoid Africa’s summer.

Stalled

We had provisionally planned to go from November 2014 til February ish. But having searched on the internet, received advice and read several guides, it seems that November until February will be hot, wet, filled with mosquitoes, and some roads will be impassable. A few of the game parks are shut. And I am wondering if the lush flora, from the rains, means that we won’t spot lions, elephants, snakes, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos and buffaloes until we fall over them. On the plus side, it’s a good time for bird spotting.

I am ruminating on our options.