Of course the Land Rover wasn’t repaired properly. It ate up a horrendous volume of petrol on the way to Lusaka, chugging and sputtering its way in. When we parked it up at The Backpackers it chundered oil all over the driveway. Nice.
We go inside. There is a really obnoxious ‘man’ (I use the term lightly) in there, shouting at the staff about his bags. Then he gets out a laptop and starts boring everyone, within earshot and without, about his plans to set up a farm. Thing is, his shoutiness and social ineptitude serve only to highlight how spectacularly ugly he is. He is like something envisioned by Tim Burton, only without the cute factor; a rancid little matchstick.
Our room is foul, the washrooms are grim, the noise unbearable. Having spent many years having fun travelling and staying in such places, I wonder what’s wrong. I come to the conclusion that one must be (a) young, (b) single, (c) completely hammered, to enjoy staying in a backpackers. Given that I am none of the above I am in the wrong place. Where I really need to be is in some luxurious lodge drinking a cocktail. But I have champagne tastes and lemonade pockets so here we are.