A Visit from Ken Bates - Vic Falls
on Tom's Excellent Adventure (Zambia), 08/Jul/2009 07:18, 34 days ago
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So, the old boy’s arrived. The plane was only 3 hrs late so I’ve been waiting at the airport since 6am for no reason. Oddly I barely noticed, I must be getting truly Zambianised. I wonder if this makes “Culturally sensitive”, something VSO keeptelling me off for not being. Anyway, more importantly, when did my dad turn into Ken Bates?!Our first trip is to Livingstone to see the falls. We’ll be staying at Jane’s (A VSO in Livingstone) and picking up Luke& Rosanna (VSOs in Choma) on the way. It’s about 600k but takes about 6hrs because the road is so bad at Zimba, what’s euphemistically called the Zimba by pass. It’s in fact 40k of dirt rd followed by a stretch of tarmac so potholed they can only be avoided by driving along the side of the rd. We arrive about 8pm and Jane has kindlyorganized a food for us from the restaurant she has just launched with her ladies from the church. Its dad’s first introduction to Nshima, he copes remarkably well.Next morning we head for the falls, which as normal are on great form, there’s a bit more spray this time than last and of course we get completely drenched, the good news is it’s hot enough to dry off in minutes. Sadly we’re a couple of days late for full moon, when you get the amazing site of a Moonbow. Nonetheless the water is high enough to create a number of rainbows and its great fun to look down on them from our vantage point on the bridge.As dad says you can see pictures& film footage but nothing quite prepares you for the awesome power of the real thing.After a couple of hours wandering around the falls we head for the“Boiling pot”. The falling water is forced through a narrow gorge that turns straight right. This creates an amazingly powerful whirlpool of water that crashes around looking for somewhere to go, hence the “Boiling Pot”.Its a +600m hike down the gorge, through rivers and over boulders, it’s not a tourist friendly route! But worth it when we get there, the ascent is as challenging as the descent. However, we meet a Flange (I think it’s that) of Monkeys on the way back messing around in trees and busy grooming each over, especially cute were the babies. It was pretty hard work andDad did well to get through it so I took him for Beer and burgers at the Zambezi Sun. An appallingly distasteful hotel but right next to the falls.After being fed& watered we met up with Jane, Luke& Rose.I had promised dad an afternoon snooze by the pool but it’s getting late and we need to head for the Royal Livingstone for Sundowners. The RL is the poshest hotel on the Zambian side and has a decking area on the Zambezi from which you can watch the falls and the sun going down over it, a memorable experience. Dad’s had enough excitement for one day so we head off to Olgas for dinner whilst he heads back to Jane’s for some shut eye.The next day we take a swift trip to the bridge and take a look at the Falls from a new angle. The mid point ofthe bridge is the border with Zim, so we can officially claim to have visited Zimbabwe, I hope mister Mugabe doesn’tmind, I have been quite rude about him in the past.