Time and place
Trip Start Jul 19, 2009
148Trip End Oct 25, 2010
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Gweta, a lovely place to stay, our tents placed under the fairytale baobab trees. How can these ancient trees, some even more than 4000 years old, look so childlike, even comical?
The campsite had beautifully decorated buildings, an exotically painted pool and bar. Said to be the funkiest bar in the Kalahari but I never actually made it there.
I seem to remember Alice, Katie and myself drinking a fair amount, sitting by the fire, getting silly. We managed to convince Alice she had agreed to marry a Zimbabwe guy when she let him put the bracelet he'd been admiring back on her arm. Only thing was the guy didn't understand it was a joke and thought he was on to a good thing
I guess the standard of our conversation hit an all time low then, I didn't know these women had it in them. The others had gone to sleep, so no harm done, and we were rolling over laughing at our own badness. Most unladylike, I'm sure, but I know we will remember that night as the one of the best we had.
Next day, the 6th, 400 km east, we arrived at Kasane, the Chobe National Park, holding one of the greatest concentrations of game on the African continent.
There was a sunset boatcruise, very enjoyable, still hot but not too, cold beers and ciders at hand. Loads of elephants, hippo's and crocodiles, a taste of what's coming the next day - a game drive is on the agenda. Alice and I decide to give it a miss, enjoy the rare luxury of not having to do anything. Wonderful, peace and quiet until the group returns, with big smiles and hot cameras. They are elated, had a great time 'shooting' the wild animals and birds.
Everybody happy and it's on to our final destination, Victoria Falls, Zimbawe.
After a short drive, we cross the border and head on to our lodge. We're given a quick tour of Vic Falls. The village or little town, was smaller than I imagined, pleasant enough, and there was an interesting looking market I was looking forward to visiting the next day.
But now we had to get ready for our last supper together, but it suddenly hit me, the tour was over and I was in Zimbabwe. Where do I go from here? I had to make a plan, and lo and behold, there was internet, even though it took 7 minutes to find a page. Alas, I got dragged away before I was any the wiser, looking rather bedraggled amongst my sweet-smelling companions.
The restaurant was very African, I liked it, the food was good. Men wearing animal skins and exotic adornments entertained us. Singing, dancing, jumping - incredibily athletic. To my embarrassment I was picked out to be sung to; my suitor was crooning, beating his heart, rolling his eyes, throwing back his head, making alarming sounds in the process. But he gave me merry smiles and winks, so I couldn't help laughing anyway.
Next day the receptionist helps me sort out my flight to Jo'burg. Her sister works for B.A. and when I arrived at the airpoprt she just walked me past all the long lines, took care of my luggage - for some reason or other I got the VIP treatment and was even hugged at the end
Ja, I guess it helps having friends at the right places. The only drawback was I had to leave Vic Falls sooner than expected and that put an end to the much looked forward to pedicure with the girls, coffee and cheese cake with Eddie - there was barely enough time for a quick rush round the arts and crafts market.
Well, talk about persistence, the stall holders there had perfected the art, so much so I didn't risk standing still or actualling picking up anything because it is impossible to get away politely once you get engaged in a conversation.
And the Falls? Well, I don't really know what to say other than the obvious: beautiful, impressive, it was wonderful to stroll around the park, feel the fine spray - but it somehow didn't bowl me over. I felt I failed; why was I not totally amazed, 1 of the 7 natural wonders of the world, shouldn't I feel something stronger?
Maybe because you can't get really close, stand beneath the tumbling falls, swim in the rushing water. Maybe you have to be in love, walk hand in hand and gaze at the rainbows crossing the endless sheets of clear, sparkling water, whereas Alice and I were concentrating on dodging some people, hopping from shade to shade, thirsty and wondering how to make it back to the lodge without getting ripped off.
Time and place.
Seems I haven't been getting that right the last few days, but that doesn't mean to say it was wrong. Just different. And different suits me just fine.
(Thanks all of you on the Nomad tour, travelling together was a remarkable experience, a lot of fun and kind of different, no?)