Traveller Home Zimbabwe


5th December 1992, Still at Vic Falls, Zimbabwe -

No money landed yesterday, so guess who's still lounging around Vic Falls. We were! Lounging around was exactly what we did that day - Rich, Jessica, Lucy, jenny, Brenda & I all headed to the Sprayview Hotel (where they don't make you pay to swim) to sit by the pool for the day. After many hours of sunbathing we went back to the truck for dinner and drinks. There had been a major storm brewing and from the campsite I could see bolts of lightening shooting down near where the falls were. Stephanie and Jenny had been to the falls the night before, so Tom and I joined them as we walked over to see the lightening storm over Vic Falls.

We walked down the rocks in the dark and actually sat with our legs over the edge where the water was falling seventy meters below us into the gorge that makes up the Zambezi river. Mother Nature sure can put on some shows - she supplied us with one hell of a lightening storm over the top of the falls (one of the seven wonders of the natural world). Tom, jenny and I left Steph at the falls, for it was beginning to rain. When I say rain it's African rain. It doesn't just rain in Africa - it's a downpour or nothing and we got a downpour. I haven't played in the rain like that for years but we were already soaking wet, so why not?

It must have been about midnight when we got back so I crawled into the tent sopping wet to bother Rich a bit before going to sleep.

6th December 1992, Sunday, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe -

Today we took Lucy and Jessica across the border to the crafts market to go shopping one last time (I said that before) prior to our departure the following morning, provided the money came through. We got to the market ad started bargaining away. I bought a malachite chess et for Z$80.00 (US$18) and traded a pair of shoelaces and a pen for a carving of a man's head and a necklace. Lucy and Jessica had a good time bartering, but only Jessica ended up buying anything - three chess sets. Rich went wind and exited Zambia with a backpack full of malachite jewelry and a chess set. It was only after we'd returned to Zimbabwe that e told me malachite is a semi-precious stone in the U.S. - and I'd been to that market four times and only bought one piece of it!

We'd arranged to meet the girls at the Vic Falls Hotel for their elegant all you can eat buffet dinner, so we cleaned ourselves up and headed over there for our "last supper" before being banished back onto our Parkinson's disease inducing mode of transport. We had a great dinner with wine and more that two visits to their dessert bar - it was a nice way to end our time at Vic Falls. The girls went to a nightclub, but we didn't have enough dosh (we were leaving the country) so we went back to the truck and drank part of a bottle of Afri-Coco to top off the evening.

It was a clear night and the moon was out so Rich and I headed to Vic Falls to see the water under the moonlight. Upon our arrival at the top of the 'Devil's Cataract' we found Stephanie and Jim already sitting there on the rocks admiring a lunar rainbow that was formed from the mist. Little did I know that the moonlight could also cause a rainbow effect off the mist from the falls. When you first look at it, it just looks like a white arc, but once your eyes adjust to it you can actually see the colors coming out of it. After much admiration and gawking over the edge of the falls we all headed back to go to sleep - we were finally leaving for Zambia the next day, and it wasn't just the market over the bridge.

7th December 1992, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe -

Today I shipped home my tenth two kilo box out of Zimbabwe. My parents are going to wonder what I didn't buy in southern Africa. When Rich and I were at the post office in line, who should come find us but Simon, - the Aussie doctor we'd sailed down the Nile with the Egypt! After seeing all those people from Malawi we were getting used to the idea tat you see people again, but we last saw Simon in Luxor many months ago. We caught up with him and after sending our chess sets off we all loaded ourselves back into the truck to finally leave Zimbabwe. We all knew we were leaving Zim, but we also knew we were leaving any sort of Westernization behind us as well. As we were doing a northbound trip we were heading into the true Third World countries - we hadn't been able to appreciate Zimbabwe's modernization because we hadn't been anywhere hard yet. I said it to a few people, "The safari starts now." We were all going to get to know each other a lot better because the harder bits are still on their way.

The truck left the Vic Falls campground, crossed over into Zambia and stopped at the market I've been frequenting for the past week so everyone else could "have a go" at buying some malachite animals. After our brief stop we headed north transiting our way through Zambia. Zambia's not known for much, other than Lusaka, the capital city which is supposed to have more crime than Nairobi. (Hard to believe.) We drove endless hours with piss stops where I'd go running off into the jungle, not because I had to pee, but just because I was off the truck. After at least ten hours of driving the truck pulled off the road and drove over a barbed wire fence into this field. This is where we were to camp for the night.

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