Part 2: The Gang joins the Zambezi Swim Team
Trip Start Jun 03, 2009
86Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Cast of Characters
Recent Nursing Grad from MSU
Wore the same shoes as Tom (must be a michigan thing)
Previously studies abroad in Ghana and had been traveling in Africa for 4 months
21 year old Medical Student from England
Had been working in a hospital in Ghana (and was the most qualified person there)
Her first comment to us was, "Doesn't Livingstone look like Europe? Maybe Florence?" (Livingstone has all dirt roads, piles of trash dirt and rocks on the side of the road, and the road is lined with shacks
Carried 4 money belts at all times, occasionally 5, and always had money hidden in her shoe "just in case"
Recent Law School Graduate from England
Loved to talk about food
More cheese, the better
Cub scout Leader
King of Campfire Songs
Drinking Game Master
Dish flapper extrodinare
International Woman of Mystery
Claimed to be an Ob/Gyn
Refused to give her contact info to anyone
Had previously preformed emergency surgery on a Chimpanzee (she did not tell us this, someone we ran into who knew her did...)
Limited English Skills
Tendency to Sweat Profusely when eating
Tendency to turn bright red after 1/2 glass of wine
Biker woman in her 40s
Loves to be right
Loves to make other people feel dumb
Worst First impression in the history of first impressions
Sarah's worst enemy
Team Leader/Truck Driver
40ish white zambian
Never wore shoes
Shady Mc Shaderton
Loved the bottle
We all immediately disliked Wayne because of his nasty comments about Americans that he threw at us in the first 5 minutes
The next morning we woke up early and headed down to the Zambezi river just below Victoria Falls. We had heard from the others on our safari that it was scary and rough, but with all of our rafting experiance we thought they were all being whiners. We met our guide, Vinny, and our other raft mates- a German man (best rafter) and his Australian wife (wet blanket), and John a 30ish British guy.
The safety talk was terrifying. Here, we learned that we were required to have 2 safety kayakers for every raft, and our kayakers were "Captain Carnage" and "Captain Babyface." Both were safety kayakers because they had been demoted from guide for flipping their rafts too many times, and the company had deemed them unsafe.
The half day of rafting involved the first 10 rapids on the Zambezi
The first time we flipped was on Rapid 5, our first Class V rapid: STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. This wasn't so bad. We hit a massive wave and the boat flipped over. We all managed to stay close to the boat, Vinnie flipped the boat rightside up quickly, and we got back on without a big struggle. In fact, it was fun.
Then we hit the second Class V Rapid, Rapid Number 7. GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (aka Guide's Nightmare). This rapid was intense, and much longer than Stairway to Heaven. It also had two sections (A and B) with a bit of flat water between them.
We flipped almost immediately when we hit a massive wave at a slightly off-kilter angle. The boat flipped and everyone was scattered. Vinnie got trapped in the metal bars of the oars, and when he finally freed himself and climbed up to flip the boat over, he saw that we had been flung all over the rapid. Brittany and John were sucked under the wave, and then popped up behind the boat bouncing off rocks before finally pulled to safety by Captain Babyface and Captain Carnage
We were all a bit traumatitized, and resolved not to let the boat flip again. The weakling completely gave up and huddled in the center of the boat afraid for her life. Luckily, she hadn't been contributing in the first place (we have never seen such a bad paddler in our lives) so our raft wasn't really affected. We managed to make it down the remaining rapids all inside the boat.
Then we had to climb out of the gorge, which was a grueling climb and balancing act on shady stick ladders. At the top we drank a celebratory beer and recounted our adventure to anyone who would listen. Even Vinnie, Babyface, and Captain Carnage thought the flip was "huge."
That evening we went on the sunset cruise, which also involved an open bar. We saw hippos for the first time, hung out with some South Africans on a business trip, met all of the Peace Corps volunteers in Southern Africa, and met Pat Garrity's (less attractive) twin. He was not as excited as we were about all of the pictures we made him take with us.
When the cruise was over, we all decided to carry the party on to the bar at Jollyboy's backpackers. We saw all of our rafting guide friends from the night before, and told them our story over and over again until they were about to kill us. Then we headed back to Grubby's Grotto, got extremely lost on the way, and eventually found the way back to our tents.