Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
October 4, 2010
Finally… We’ve reached Victoria Falls Zimbabwae! The crossing of the border saw me get screwed once again by being American..it seems we screw everyone coming to our country on visa fees so they stick it right back to us in return.
After arriving at the lodge where everyone else is staying (yes I’m once again separated) we decide to go and brave the craft market..those of you who know me will recognize this as my trademark miles and miles of **** on a shelf! Well I did a little wrangling for Luke (or at least helped a little) and had offers to trade me for my shoes, bag, water bottle, hat and my pants. I’m not quite sure how I was supposed to get home 🙂
Then there was the ATM issues .. And this time it was not for me for once :). Due to daily limits I am able to help Caitln and Colm get enough dough for the day..ahh to have the power of my ATM again 🙂
Finally we arrive at the falls.. You can see the mist of the falls rising out of the trees… You can hear the sound of the powerful water, a sounds like a large fleet of trucks rolling slowly down the highway. As we walk through the hot dry air towards the sound I notice the dryness is gone and blessed humidity is back, we are at the falls!
Wow.. Really! The length of the falls is what hits me first, a long gently curving arc with multiple collections of falls rather than one large fall. It turns out this is a function of the low water dry season we are approaching. But it does allow for an un-misted view top to bottom of the gorge. We have arrived sort of upper-mid falls and we first walk upstream, each turn bringing a new rainbow and new view that was as good as the last some better, some worse.
So as we walk the falls, I find myself saying.. Really…REALLY.. No REALLY! I mean the views kept changing and getting better and better. I think my favorite part was the far end where you can look up the canyon and at the falls all at the same time. But the best part is the over-zealous safety precaustions we have all over the good ole USA. Where we would have fences, and railings and prebuilt walkways and warning signs and disclaimers.. The folks here belive in Darwinism, if you’re too stupid to fall over we just did the gene pool a favorable improvement 😉 But seriously, being able to walk directly up to the rim of the canyon, look down and get a true perspective of depth and width was truly amazing. In addition, we all had decided to make our trip in the late afternoon to try and catch the falls in the late day light. What a GRAND decision this was. With the low lying sun making its way to the horizon, we were able to see the falls change from a vivid white and froth to a geogeous golden creamy. It is absolutely amazing how moving seeing this happen can be. It truly is one of God’s best creations in the natural world that I have seen.
Post falls, I went back to my supposed 5-star hotel.. what a let down! The places I stayed at in the delta and in Nakuru which were “tents” were FAR nicer than this.. basically a rundown Marriott type room.. lumpy matteress, rough sheets, AC didn’t work and no cieling fan.. but thats OK, its certainly not the roughest place I’ve stayed yet! And again, I am seperated from the rest of the group for this privlidge.. well at least I have Luke keeping me company again .. so I got that going for me.. which is nice!
After the hotel checkin and shower, its back into the thriving metropolis of Vic Falls (HA!) for dinner. The last group dinner of the tour and we chose to go to a local place called Mamma Africa where we got to supposedly choose from all sorts of African game to eat.. except that they didn’t have any in 🙂 Oh well, the chicken curry was definitely nice. The best part was the live music though. They had a lovely blues/jazz group that was playing some nice contemporary tunes. But then they changed things up and the locals dressed in native garb came out to perform a nice show for us with dancing and somping and chanting and the whole nine yards..I was sweating just watching I don’t know how they do it!
After dinner, we all retired to the local $1 beer dive bar in town. I LOVED this place! We were the only tourists there, they had a DJ BLASTING out music to the point it affected your cardiac rhythm 😉 I have to say I was perfectly comfortable there but there were several in the group that just looked like they thought they were going to get robbed at any moment. Oh well, we stretched thier experiences a little that day!
Tomorrow we raft the river Zambezi!