Interlude: Juka goes solo in Zambia

It is 27th of December and it was a productive day. In the morning I ordered a fresh Estonian passport and picked it up at 3pm. In the meantime I found a new rear tyre for Suusi – Michelin Anakee Wild was the overwhelming recommendation and at the same time the only option available.

18 hours later in front of the Lusaka airport I meet Juka again. He had ridden north on the 23th looking for the cradle of zamrock when we flew out with Kriss. I was keen to find out where the 5 days in the wild had taken him. Stories ensue.


Looking at the map and just trying to guess where he’d go – one place is pretty obvious.  A village called Piccadilly circus. Apparently there wasn’t much there. Come to think of it, there’s not much interesting going on near the real one either.

I hear the plains west to Lusaka contain one sparse neverending village. Microunits of 10 mudbrick huts with thached roofs are 500m apart in every direction. Tractors are a luxury and the corn fields are ploughed with two oxen like they were 200 years ago. Nothing much has changed, just everyone in the village also has a mobile phone.




It rained a lot and that was an excuse to make friends with the village people, while taking cover from the rain. Apparently the village way to wait for rain to pass is open a few Mosi beers.

One of Jukas new friends decided he’ll start working for him and will accompany him on his travels. 15km later once the booze cleared off they decided this employment thing isn’t going to work out and they departed in the next village.

It looks like the village folk here are laboreous, tending fields and cattle, not just hanging at the road side. Reminds more of Cameroon and less of Nigeria and Congo. Judging by the number of bicycles on the road, they also seem to be super healthy. I haven’t yet seen a single person smoke, but heard from Juka that they smoke a lot, just by the cigarettes one by one from the shop.


There’s quite a bit of Rhodesian railroad track still left. One morning we even heard a real train go by, although that’s rather rare and the tracks are more used for walking. These contraptions could be used for filling up steam engines with water.