Runaway new year

As new years eve was closing in I felt strongly that all I wanted was to get as far away from any celebrations I could. So I pushed for the family to pack up and go camping, but not at any familiar camp, I wanted to go where no one goes. Have you ever heard of a place called “Wonder Gorge”? It’s way off the beaten track. A place for the adventurous. A place you reach by driving down roads less traveled. From Kabwe we drove out on the road passing Mita Hills dam, then turned down on to a road that takes you to the old Lunsemfwya power station (not the one by Mulungushi dam), crossing the Lunsemfwya river. Judging by the dilapidated road it was obvious that there hadn’t been much traffic there lately . I was glad I was in the passenger seat! After crossing the river the road took us through rural village area until there was no more huts and fields, just bush. With the help of Google maps and a few directions from people (the last 3 hours we did not see a soul) we followed a winding bush road until it abruptly ended. We were now on top of a hill (I’d call it a mountain!) overlooking the point where the Mkushi river joins the Lunsemfwya down in a deep gorge. We set camp and started the challenge of making up a fire, not easy as everything was wet. Thankfully we had a gas cooker with us. All you could hear was the water rushing through the gorge, only sounds of nature, no mobile network, no nothing, just what I had craved for!

We are by no means seasoned campers. Camping usually means ablution block with flushing toilets, hot showers and a fire place. This was raw. Need to got? Pick a spot with a view and make sure to cover it up! Bath? Sorry. We could have written a long list of items that we found we needed but never packed. But what it came down to was water. We had hoped that somehow we would make our way down to the rivers edge, but without someone knowledgeable of the area there was no way, so we were now washing and cooking with our drinking water. Eventually it was the main reason we abandoned camp the following day.

As we set off there was no specific plan, maybe we’d find a different spot closer to the water. But after a few detours and long steep walks we set off for Mulungushi Boat club. A place we are very familiar with but hadn’t visited in a long time. Here my youngest son was very relieved to find a toilet… The other kids had adapted more easy! As it was now new years eve we put a bunch of T-bones on the braii (bbq) and that was pretty much our dinner. We jumped in to our tent by 21 hours and woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the water. Such a wonderful start to the new year.

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