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Published: September 25th 2006
We awoke at 2.30 am to tackle the long drive back to Johannesburg airport. As we were getting our stuff together, we heard what sounded like a bloody huge animal in the stream bellow our tent. Not wanting to even see what it was we dragged our stuff to the car we half expecting to be mauled to death at super speed. Luckily we survived and began our slow drive though the reserve to get to the main road. We had to stop several times to let sleeping giraffes get off the path. It is surprising the evil look a giraffe, that has just been woken from a nice sleep, can give you. We also had to stop for three zebras; two adults and tiny baby one which pleased Sarah no end. I drove my three hours and saw the sun rise and we stopped at a half way point where we swapped. This also involved a very quick toilet break which I never wish to repeat, freezing cold in a prickly bush in a field surrounded by cows.
Our flight to Zambia was pretty cool; we flew over Victoria Falls which was amazing to see from
the air. The hostel we are staying at is called Jollyboys and after our luxury experience at Gwala Gwala it was going to seem a bit shabby I guess. This place is actually quite amusing, it is basically a hippy commune-‘so bohemian like you’. Most people staying here- are crusty student types like and strangely it seems to have more than it's fair share of med students.
Our first day in Livingston- and we naturally headed for the falls on the free bus our hostel provides (which involved squeezing 20 people into a tiny mini bus made for about 10 people).
Vic falls however didn't disappoint. It was an awesome experience, the first huge waterfall I've ever seen. We walked around the different routes and got some great photos. Then we came across a route called the boiling pot. I should have realised by the name this wasn't going to be an easy walk! As we descended the extremely steep steps I could see this was going to prove difficult to get up again. The steps seemed to get steeper and longer. We reached a half way point where we were surrounded by thick jungle. We stopped by
a fast flowing stream. Then we saw some other people who had reached the end and were on there way back from the 'boiling pot' . They said it was very pretty down there so we thought we'd carry on despite the lack of path that stretched out before us before we knew it we were actually rock climbing over huge jagged rocks, slipping and sliding I was expecting to hobble myself by catching my leg between the rocks. After loosing my trainer twice, I was seriously staring to regret this but then we saw it, it was beautiful, we had made it to the bottom of Vic falls and were sitting on the edge of the water. There were quite a few people there, chilling out and sunbathing or eating.
The way back, as you can imagine, wasn't too much fun. It incorporated much of the same stuff as the way down did but all of it going up hill. One strange moment occurred as we were dragging our filthy and sweating selves on all fours across the rocks, we passed a man dressed for a day in office in suit bottoms and a shirt, holding a file
full of papers in his hand- just like he was a commuter from London. He jovially asked us how far to the bottom, we told him then watched him disappear from site. We also encountered a huge baboon on our path that wasn't getting out of the way for any one. We just crept round him quite quickly and took some pictures of the beast. We then encountered hundreds of baboons including a little family with two babies, they seemed so used to people that they didn't bat an eyelid. So we stood and watched them and they watched us back, then we made our way back to the top of the falls.
Before we left we decided to take a route which lead to the top of the falls so rather than facing them we were on the side of the rushing stream which then cascaded over Vic falls it’s self.. This meant stepping carefully over rocks and avoiding falling into the stream with its strong currents that could easily sweep you over the falls its self.
It was really worth it though, we stayed there for quite a while but when we tried to go back
we realised the river had come up to such a degree that our path back was gone. This meant that in trainers and socks I had to wade through the, now very fast flowing stream, to the other side, thankfully the taxi driver didn't notice the soaking shoes and we got back, completely knackered, but OK.
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