Suddenly we leave here in three days, with another concentrated hop across the Indian ocean starting on Friday. I've barely been online since leaving Gaborone, a combination of time, internet connections and possibly the desire to drown our sorrows? The comedy of errors has continued, but we're hanging in there and perversely, in far better spirits (and not neat gin either!) than when we started. As per the Lion King and it's country of origin, akuna matata. Despite the various languages & dialects, that seems to be a fairly universal expression- Disney, huh?
Made some time on Saturday & Sunday to play tourist - Vic Falls on Saturday and a game drive and river cruise on Sunday.
We gagged Bruce as we entered Zimbabwe on Saturday, just to be sure he wouldn't say anything contrary about Mugabe to the immigration officials, then off we went. The Falls have a decidedly lesser volume at this time of year, still throwing up some spray but you could cope without wet weather gear and no-one's camera expired. Lunch followed at the colonial Vic Falls hotel, where we got to talking to a British couple who are touring southern Africa by rail with side- trips thrown in. It gives one ideas!
We also technically set just one toe on Zambian soil, walking across the Vic Falls railway bridge. Got a good view of the bungee jumpers, strangely enough no desire whatsoever to participate! It's a long way down.
Sunday morning's game drive in the Chobe national park still didn't supply the required elephants, but we saw a huge number of animals and noted that since last Thursday's rain ( and did it rain!!) the ground has acquired a soft green hue- all those dead looking trees may yet live again. We were very lucky to see a lion pair resting up, the camera makes them look considerably closer than they really were.
We'd arranged the river trip for the afternoon, set off in blazing sunshine and had just entered the Park when said rain resumed- with a vengeance. Luckily ponchos were hastily supplied, the camera was triple- wrapped and bagged, and we sat huddled for an hour waiting for basic visibility to return. It rained so hard it felt like hailstones, and swung 180 at least twice. To keep us on our toes we had fish jump into the boat (what the?), another boat ran into us and we kept a watch for hippos. We were parked up as best as possible against the bank but still drifting a little - wouldn't want to encroach on anyone's territory!
When the rain reduced to normal we took a shortened tour, and where my last visit was the time of the elephant, this visit is the time of the hippo. Last time we barely saw them except from a distance ( and Sonya's fabulous electric blue yawn photo), this time they were everywhere. The weather remained a conspiracy- when we approached a large group that obliged by showing off their yawns, it was raining again with the Nikon well away. We tried to talk them into a repeat performance, but only persuaded the bull to start stalking the boat, so changed our minds. I will obviously have to come back to catch my yawn!
It's the downhill slide in that we are beginning to shed unnecessary things, had our last Indian dinner tonight and beginning to draft reports and recommendations. A strict repack is on the cards for tomorrow night, as I dont expect to be back soon a few things have found their way into the case and for a first in a very long time, I think I'll be close to weight limit. We'll ditch the case we bought here and have used to ferry all the workshop stuff, and I will now get ruthless with shampoo, moisturizer etc- largely bought here to be left here.
This will I think also be the last Blog entry- you all know how to find me at home. Give me a call or drop me a line- the plans for this year's end are actually to take a break, so hope to catch up with friends soon.