tagged border crossings, harare, running out of petrol, Zambia and Zimbabwe
After a difficult border crossing with the Zimbabwean customs agents telling us we did not have the proper paperwork for our Sani, we finally made it into Zambia. My guess is that they were trying to find something to charge us for, but eventually gave up and just let us go. We set off into Zambia with a sigh of relief to be out of Zimbabwe. It hasn’t all been bad in Zimbabwe, the people seem very friendly. In fact, on our way into the country, we met a Zimbawean also crossing the border who helped us at customs and gave us his phone number in Harare, offering to show us around. For the most part, it’s hard to criticize the Zimbabweans for what they have to resort to in order to make money. It must be difficult to live under a government where corruption is not only condoned, it’s rewarded. I don’t imagine most people want to use deception to make money, but it’s the only way.
Well, we thought we were free and clear in Zambia, knowing we could get gas anytime we want, little did we know…Thirty km or so after the border crossing, the truck wasn’t running very well–not accelerating over the hills, and sputtering. Another 5km pass, and on the way up a hill, the engine cuts off, and we roll back down onto a bridge that is a construction site. By this time we realize that we are out of gas, which doesn’t seem possible considering the 80L we just put in at the border should take us about 600km. I can’t confirm this, but it’s likely we paid $140 and didn’t get any gas in Zimbabwe. The construction workers come to see why we are stopping on their worksite. And Mike learns that the nearest town is about 8km. He hitches a ride with a jerry can in hand. Only about 6 cars pass before someone is willing to give him a lift. According to Mike, he got in and they cranked up the radio, and didn’t say a word. He returned an hour later with gas, and we were on our way, again.