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Published: July 23rd 2015
End of the Road
Final beers at day's end
This feels odd.
Its almost two years since my last entry on our Charlie Boorman trip. I'll talk about why on another thread, but for now I'll just take care of some unfinished business, namely that of concluding the story.
First off, an apology. I have no further biking photos after day 13. Can't remember why, but the final day's crossing into Zambia after a short run from the lodge was pretty uneventful. The name of the hotel at Victoria also now escapes me, but it had many animals wandering in its gardens; this added to our general sense of well being and accomplishment at making it all this way without mishap. We had a long and pretty filling dinner and many lifelong friendships were declared and commitments to reunions given.
The next day Pam and I were to leave the group and head off to Mnemba Island, off Zanzibar, whilst John and Su prepared the bikes for the next group who would be riding the return leg to Cape Town. But before that we were able to spend some time in the morning at the falls themselves, which was surely the whole point of the journey after
They are not at their most powerful at this time of year. Some say this is a good thing, since you can see something other than water spray, but I'm not so sure. In any case I was strangely unmoved. Sure they were spectacular (lack of water volume notwithstanding), and it was interesting to read a little about the history of the bridge that the Brits built over a portion of the falls so as to give passengers a cool view (whilst screwing the natural beauty, but hey ho).
But in reality the falls were never the point of this trip and everyone in the group had a different reason for taking it. We all had the love of riding off-road in common for sure, but for Pam and I it was the chance to spend a good, long time together working on "us"; for Craig it was a chance to propose to Jenna; for our Canadian companion it was to get out of his home province for the first time in his life, and then there were some who were dealing with tough times in their lives and needed a break. For others, it was simply
a great chance to see Africa up close and personal in a way that few other modes of transport allow.
And that's because on a motorcycle you "feel" the places you travel through. The smell of a place hits you immediately, and temperature changes are felt all over your body - the wind speed forces air through your riding gear and you feel it just as if you were walking by wearing lightweight clothing. And yet the vistas are constantly changing, stimulating our senses hour after hour, day after day, at a pace that our legs cannot match. Its not for everyone, granted, but for those of us that "get it" its unbelievably addictive.
Which is why we will do the return leg someday, before we get too frail or timid.
But next up is a different trip entirely...
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