After hiding from our first tropical downpour of the trip in a Victoria Falls Internet cafe, we returned to the hostel via the supermarket. we picked up a six pack of Zimbabwe's own Zambezi lager and spent an enjoyable hour or two seeing these off and making a few one-night friends. So much so that we wandered back for another six pack. Mads acted with foresight and called it a night there, Tom helped a Canadian and a Scotsman indulge in a bottle of cheap local rum, some more Of the Zambezi's finest lager and woke up with a terrible headache.
What better way to cure this morning malaise than the Smoke that Thunders? We packed bags and tent and braved the touts selling all kinds of junk to go and see one of the seven wonders of the natural world. From about a kilometer away you can hear the roar of the falls and see its spray shooting skyward. A hefty entrance fee, nearly a week's camping accommodation, doesn't put you off something like this, so we headed towards the westernmost fall, Devil's Cataract. The sheer power and volume of the spewing Zambezi at it violently smashes over the cliff face is truly astounding. We walked the few kilometers along the falls, getting absolutely soaked through in the process and being aggressively chased by some monkeys for a while. A lot of the falls was actually obscured from view by its own spray, but nonetheless it isn't something either of us is likely to forget in a while. That afternoon we returned to the hostel and walked to the Zimbabwean border. As soon as we cleared customs the rain came, another heavy downpour, lasting exactly the one and a half kilometers we had to walk until the Zambian border. This wasn't much fun. From there we caught a minibus to Livingstone, a small border town named after some guy.
That night we were fairly exhausted (or still hungover as the case may be) but dragged ourselves to a bar to watch Zambia play Equitorial Guinea in the African Cup of Nations. The winner of this game was to qualify in top spot for the group, progressing to the quarter finals. As such it was the talk of the town and we thought we had better get involved. Theoto's Bar & Restaurant gave us a quizzical reception, being not only novel for being white in this bar, but not even being from the country. We made a few friends during the pre-game, and settled in to watch a scoreless first half. Leaving at half time was considered, but it was well worth staying to see Zambia score midway through the second. The bar went crazy. Beers got sprayed, everyone hugged, cheered, called their wives, some old lady refused to stop hugging and dancing with us. It was great. As the game neared time people were buying us drinks, high fiving us, chanting national chants. When the whistle blew time the cheers nearly lifted the thatched roof. We headed home after the game, but there wasnt much chance of sleep with the car horns and vuvuzelas filling the night air.
The next morning we walked to a truck yard, and after an hour's ill-fated hitching attempts we decided to take the bus to Lusaka. While waiting for the bus we indulged in the local street-snack, ten cent balls of deep fried bread. Deliciously greasy.
After seven hours on a body-odour fueled bus we arrived in Lusaka, the Zambian capital. We had heard some negative reports, but after arriving and settling into our hostel we went for a wander and it seemed quite nice.
The next morning we headed off on various mini-buses, crawling through malls to try and find Mads a replacement mattress for her eternally deflating Exped. Unfortunately, despite having 1.3 million residents, Lusaka has zero camping stores and for the moment Mads is sleeping on a pool lilo. We ventured into the Town Market for lunch, enjoying a cheap and tasty lunch of nzhima, spinach, okra relish and baby eggplant. We ate till we were stuffed and returned to the hostel for an early night, since we were leaving Lusaka the next day.
Our early morning saw Mads' lilo a little flatter than when we went to sleep. We took a mini bus to a turnoff near the airport where we hitched a lift with an American contractor, Bob, who was in Zambia building orphanages. After he dropped us sixty kilometers down the road, we got a lift with Arthur, who was heading back to his village of Petauke, but gave us a 400 kilometer ride through the amazing Zambian hills. From there it was an hour wait until Andreas picked us up off the dusty roadside to drop us in Chipata, 180 kilometers later, from where we head to South Luongwe national park for some game viewing. A great day's hitching, over 600km travelled without spending a kwacha.