Saturday, November 09, 2013

Cape Town to Goodwood Day 8: Zambia

With one week gone,  the Spirit  of Artemis is making is way through Zambia - Livingtone (Victoria Falls); Kabwe, Ndola and then Mbala - Zambia's most northerly large town. In the days of Lady Heath, it was known as Abercorn.
Mbala is 25km from the border with Tanzania and its airport with as 2.6km runway was once a Zambian Air Force base but isn't much used these days.
In Tanzania, the Spirit of Artemis is expected to head for Tabora, which despite being well off the beaten track, has its own airport, with five flights a week to Kigoma. 

From Broken Hill (Kabwe), Lady Heath with the Bentleys in tow, headed north. They were now over forest country, with ‘open vleis’ (marshes) of long swampy grass providing the only relief; in the air, high-flying eagles swooped around the planes. After two and a half hours, they reached Ndola, where the Bwana Mkubwa copper mine, as well as the large X-shaped aerodrome, stood out clearly.
The entire population of the town had turned out to greet the visitors, with local residents vying with each other to entertain them. Lady Mary’s eventual host was Mrs Sanford, wife of the Resident Magistrate, but she admits to not being much of a house guest  ‘lunch, sleep, work on the machine till dark, and then sleep again was the order of the day’. The next morning, she was back at the aerodrome and had both machines prepared when the Bentleys arrived. Despite the ‘absurdly’ early hour, the town’s residents turned out to send them on their way an hour later when taking off from a small runway at an altitude of 1,372 metres proved a little difficult; with less oxygen in the air at these heights, a long runway is essential. Next stop - Abercorn. 
Lady Heath's route -
Feb 26 - Bulawayo
Feb 28  - Livingstone
Mar 1 - Broken Hill (Kabwe)
Mar 4  - Ndola
Mar 5 -Abercorn (Mbala)
Mar 7 - Tabora
Mar 8 - Mwanza
Mar 14 - Nairobi
Mar 22 - Kisumu

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