The ferry to Dar left early, but that was good, we didn't want to miss our connecting train to Zambia as it only left once every 3 days. It was still raining and miserable and with the wet season arriving on Zanzibar we perhaps left at exactly the right time.We found ourselves a friendly cabbie who took us to the train station to pay for and collect our train tickets. Enroute we conked out a couple of times having run out of fuel, but our cabbie knew a couple of car secrets that allowed us to bunny hop on fumes to the nearest service station. John as we later discovered his name to be, waited for us at the train station whilst we sorted everything out, and rather than getting back to work was seemingly more interested in talking to us and trying to convince one pretty young lady returning home to Zambia that Tanzania was a better place for her. Our tickets collected and hours to spare, luck would have it that we decided to return to town with John. With the terrible weather the traffic jams were even worse than normal, we spent the time chatting to John. Turns out our cabbie was a massive football fan, Manchester United to be exact. He was heavily involved in Tanzanian football and had even represented his country a couple of decades back. For an African cabbie he seemed well educated and rattled off the places he'd been with football, a bit sceptical I tested him on a few of the international places he mentioned but his stories seemed to hold water, he even showed us his scar from his career ending ankle injury - whilst he was still driving and we were seated in the back.John was a friendly guy and offered to wait for us whilst we hit the internet and got some lunch, but instead we agreed a time for him to return and collect us. He was there on time, I don't know whether he ever left and he delivered us back to the station. He helped us with our bags and was on his way, lastly reminding us that if we ever returned to Dar "just ask for John Manchester" (as in United) at the ferry port and someone would find him.Kaz and I were seated in the waiting room at the Tazara train station. We were going to be on a train for the next 48hours but far from depressed, we were for some reason excited. Local transport is generally slow and can be uncomfortable at times, but I'ts always cheap and best of all its what the locals take. Go by public transport and you'll experience real Africa, far more so than if you drive yourself or go by overland truck.We had booked ourselves a whole first-class cabin as this was the one way Karen and I could share. Cabins were typically same-sex, and this was the only way around it. Fortunately the train was targeted at the local population and this option was affordable to us.The Tazara is notorious for running late, and when we finally boarded it was already 2 hrs behind schedule. We were unphased, the time didn't mean much to us but we were glad to be in our cabin. It was simple, with 4 fold-down bunk beds, two high and a little table below the window in between. It was very comfortable being just the two of us, however we imagined with 2 strangers and all their luggage it would have been a tad cozy. "Youd get to know each other quite well" we remarked.We dined in our cabin that night on the local fare of chicken, fish, and rice, our staple meal we had avoided for the past two weeks on Zanzibar.The motion of the train rocked us to sleep that night but we were woken by a sudden loud thud and almost thrown from our beds soon after. The train stopped to a halt for sometime and we thought maybe the front carriages had de-railed. We looked out our cabin window and could see a scatter of torchlights. We could here a lot of voices but could not make out what was being said. We hoped our journey would not end prematurely.I wandered out into the hall and eventually found a staff member I had befriended earlier."Whats going on?" I quizzed"Its ok" he replied, "we hit antelope, and emergency brakes come on"."Is that common" I asked,"yes we hit dem sometimes, antelope, giraffe too, its ok, but if we hit elephant we have a problem" he laughed, and continued on his way.With a collision between a train and an antelope there was only ever going to be one winner. I returned to our cabin and a half hour later we were back on the way.We spent most of the following morning staring out the window and the changing scenery. We passed numerous villages and it was really enjoyable and relaxing. Karen and I had become big fans of train journeys in Europe, and it was often our preferred mode of travel. Trains allow you to see more of the countryside than other forms of transport, and the freedom to move about whilst in transit.The train would intermittently stop, allowing just enough time for the local villagers to trade in some essentials through the cabin windows and Karen and I purchased some fruit and samosas for lunch. On occasions the train would begin to take off mid-transaction and the person outside would sprint beside the accelerating train to complete the deal. There were often times when those outside could've simply turned and walked away with money, change or whatever but there seemed to be a mutual respect and code of conduct between the vendors and shoppers, their fellow African brothers and sisters - and we liked that.When stopped Kaz and I would occasionally hand out our empty water bottles to the kids playing on the tracks. Imagine the look of disgust if you handed a kid your empty plastic bottle back home, but here it wasn't the case. For one reason or another they loved them, and after throwing the bottles out the window it was at times like watching like 2 pelicans fight over a limp fish.By that afternoon we had arrived in Mbeya in Western Tanzania, the town where we had first stayed when we arrived in Tanzania. By this time we were halfway and already about 6 hrs behind schedule, allowing us to estimate when we might arrive in Kapiri Moshi - mid afternoon the following day a reasonable approximation.After dining in our cabin on another meal of chicken and rice, we lay in bed reading our books and battling to stay awake. We were not far from the border, we were fairly sure of that but how long exactly we did not know. We were worried if we fell asleep we may miss immigration officials wandering through and end up with another border dilemma which we could not afford only days before we were due to meet Mum and Dad. Not long after and the train came to a halt, firstly to exit Tanzania and a half hour later to enter our 8th country of the trip, Zambia. The Zambian immigration lady was extremely friendly and well-presented, a nice change from the steely and disinterested officials we usually came across, and we hoped it would be a good reflection of what we could expect from the Zambian people in general.We woke early the following morning not long after sunrise, and popped up from our beds to inspect our new surrounds. We had moved on from the lush green densely populated rolling terrain of Southern Tanzania, and arrived in the vast, open, flat lands of Zambia. They had experienced a good wet season only a couple of months prior but by now the grass was long and dry. There was plenty of woodland and the odd crop but barely a village to be seen. Since leaving South Africa and for the past 3 months there had always been people about, crops and secondary forest scattered the landscapes, villages dotted about - all of a sudden there was nothing, just vacant land.By far and away the least pleasant aspect of our Tazara journey was the bathroom facilities. There was a shared toilet at the end of each carriage, essentially a hole down to the tracks below. As was typical in Africa there was no toilet seat, broken off and stolen most likely, but it didn't really matter for if there had have been one you would not have wanted to sit on it anyway. The train was old and the tracks poorly laid or maintained and as a result it was at times a bumpy ride, we had even awoken after the first night with a little motion sickness. Peoples aim would often go amiss and toilet conditions would deteriorate until a thin film of liquid coated the floor and the stench permeated throughout the carriage. We were thankful we were stationed further along the hall. Taking a number 2 was exhausting experience, holding your breath whilst balancing precariously, appendages going in all directions like in a drunken game of twister. There was also cold shower, and you felt like one after each time you went to the toilet, but it trickled water only for a short time after the tanks had been re-filled at each station. Thankfully the toilets were cleaned at the same time.Cabin fever had begun to set in by our last day on the Tazara. By the middle of the day we just wanted to be at our destination, stretching our legs or taking a warm shower. It didn't help that we never knew exactly when we would arrive, or whether there would be a bus waiting to take us the extra four hours to Lusaka.Our guesstimation wasn't far wrong, when we pulled in to Kapiri Moshi mid afternoon. It was a typical African scramble to get out the gates of the station, and a similarly chaotic when we made it to the car-park, where dozens of minibuses queued unsystematically and young guys frantically tried to usher us into the last inch of space in their van.Our bus was packed full, with bags on laps and the boot tied shut, when the driver insisted we squeeze another person onto each row. It was ridiculous, there was barely room to breathe already and with a 3-4 hour journey ahead we were not impressed and argued best we could, but he wasn't going anywhere until he was packed tight to the roof, and we were left with no option. Crammed in we quickly acquainted ourselves with those who were sitting on our laps, or underneath us.Of those in the bus was an interesting hippieish looking fellow we had met on the train, an American filmmaker by the name of Billy who was taking his family to live in the Congo to make a documentary about the Chinese influence there. He was a quirky character but seemed a well-educated guy, and having spent a lot of time travelling Africa in the 70's he knew a lot about the continent and its politics.The journey was laborious, the roads in good condition but the scenery unspectacular (not that you could see it unless you were planted against the window). It was one of those trips that you just cant wait to be over, and we spent the time trying to zone out, ignoring the cramps and pins & needles. Karens back ached due to her weird forced posture and her bum cheek had gone numb from resting on her empty water bottle that she had positioned in the gap between two seats where she was sitting.The journey was broken unexpectedly when we were pulled over at a roadblock. The official had seen the car packed to the rafters full of white folk, and presumably sensed an opportunity to make a quick buck. The official argued with the driver that the bags positioned high in the car were "unsafe", a ridiculous point given the blatant disregard for every other aspect of safety. The driver was beginning to look a little edgy and pleaded with the official before returning to the vehicle to suggest that we white folk pay the fine. "Not a chance in hell" I whispered to Kaz, especially considering it was his insistence for an extra bit of cash that had ensured we were "unsafely" overloaded in the first place. Billy's first offer to pay by card was as laughable to us as it was confusing to the official. Eventually though, on the back of a quiet word and hollow promise from Billy to return with the money we were on the move again. Whether he was gullible enough to expect Billy to return I'm unsure. Owing us a favour from when we had paid the driver up front so he could put fuel in the van, and also for Billy's help in avoiding a hefty fine, we convinced the driver to drop us at a backpackers on arrival in Lusaka.