October 20th – Day Twenty Six
A lovely sleep-in was followed by a good breakfast of pancakes and cereal. The mornings activity took us to Victoria Falls so once eaten we were soon again in the truck for the short drive to the falls. Tina had taken ill the previous evening and was visiting the doctor and Roger was staying with her so further depleted off we went.
The drive was swift and we either took shelter from the sun or wandered the curio stalls outside the falls entrance while Jacques sorted out the entry fee. Shortly we were together and dodging a group of Japanese tourists we made our way into the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls World Heritage site. Very quickly we noticed the lack of water and large amounts of exposed rocks. The wet season starts properly in late January/early February and there had been a lower than usual rain fall this year so the flow of water was probably a sixth or less of the full magnificence to be seen in all the tourist photos. We spent the next hour wandering around and taking what photos we could before heading for the shop, a cooling drink and then the nearest shade. The lack of wonder led to Keryn and I deciding that we probably wouldn’t take a flight over the falls (though this could change in a few days). However, Keryn is still a bit interested in the option to take a flight over the falls in a Tiger Moth as her Grandfather used to fly these delicate looking by-planes, so we’ll see. While we drank in the shade a Tiger Moth flew over and it does look like a nice way to see the sights.
Victoria Falls with a visible lack of wonder
Keryn wandered the stalls and I hid from the heat in the truck while we all waited for the last few to come out of the heritage site. Once all back at the truck we drove back to camp and had a afternoon of relaxing, using the Internet and lazing around. During this time Jacques was called to the doctors residence where Tina and Roger were and he was told that Tina had Malaria. We all heard the news later and were quite worried for both of them. The doctor said that Tina should be OK to be back at the camp the next morning so we guessed it wasn’t a bad case but Malaria is not something to be taken lightly. At 4pm we all got together for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi and we watched the passengers from the two trucks that had arrived during the day get dressed up and then file onto their larger boat for their sunset booze cruise. Our smaller vessel was a more sedate affair, we still had the unlimited drinks but none of the drinking games or party atmosphere of the larger ship.
For a couple of hours we went up and down the river, seeing elephant and hippo along the way as we drank and ate the provided food. It was nice to be relaxing and not worrying about where we were going, what we were doing next and what type of money we’d be using to pay the bill. We arrived back before the boozy lot and decamped to the far end of the bar behind the pool to have a chat and a few more drinks. It didn’t take long for the other boat to arrive, the revellers apparently refusing to leave as they drank the night away. We heard splashes as people dived into the Zambezi, something stupid at the best of times, and a number of older revellers (we’re talking 50+ here) walked into the bar side pool and then started trying to throw their female friends into the pool as well with limited success. Eventually the booze boat was emptied of drunks and they mostly seemed to make their way to the other campsite bar or the area next door where we had watched the events video – now a disco. Having had enough drinks those left walked slowly back to our tents, stopping to talk to a couple of drunk antipodeans (one was very insistent in his showing me that their were no crocodiles in the pool next to the disco) and then being invited to dance by a happy Joe. Offer declined Keryn and I headed to bed, the sound of the disco drowned out by the chorus of frogs which seemed to have been bought to life by the few spots of rain we had had earlier. I actually managed to drop off straight away, something that not many managed this night.
Sunset while cruising the Zambezi River