Awesome Time!!!

Trip Start Sep 15, 2009
Trip End Nov 21, 2009

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Where I stayed
Some Cool River Resort

Flag of Zambia  ,
Monday, October 26, 2009

We were all getting excited to be going to Livingston because there were many awesome activities to choose from, and we would be staying in the same place for 3 nights in total.  Which means no early mornings and no tearing tents down in the dark.  We were also kind of sad because many of the people that have been on this trip would be leaving us after 3 or 5 weeks together.  Which is kind of sad because we all have become pretty close over these few short weeks.  We arrived in the afternoon and had a few hours to chill out.  We all signed up for various activities for the next few days and then handed over some clothes for the nights festivities.  For the party, all of us drew random names out of a hat and we had to spend between $5 and $10 to buy some of the worst clothes for that person.  Hence the name “Bad Taste” party.  I picked a guy named Paul out of the hat and I tried my best to make him the worst dressed there.  A few days back we stopped at an outdoor clothing market that had all the clothing donated by the western world like 20 years ago and shopped there.  After walking around the market for a bit, a lot of the people working there were on to us and started bringing trash bags full of the worst clothes you could imagine.  I’m talking about all the leopard print material, rainbow colored track suits, and the worst skirts possible.  Since I was shopping for a boy, naturally I had to dress him up in some ladies clothing.  I bought him a teal green leopard print skirt, a too tight spaghetti strap top, a Mickey Mouse necktie, and some fuzzy hat thing.  Dam he looked sexy!  I ended up getting some sea green plastic pants that looked like they belonged in Disney’s Aladdin on Ice Show, and some rainbow colored plastic looking shirt that only had one button and some Donald Duck suspenders.  It wasn’t the worst but it did the job!  I think one of the best dressed there was an older guy who got a tight spandex one-piece silver overalls.  He was a good sport about it and had a blast! We all looked pretty good walking into the packed camp restaurant/bar.  We had dinner which was mediocre and had a lot of fun in the night.  That is until some loud, rude, and very drunk South Africans were barging in on our party and trying to pick up on our ladies in the group.  After the 4th glass they dropped on the ground and broke, they decided to all come over and make a move for it.  Soon after that we decided on calling it a night.  

 Livingston  10/27

During the night I woke up at 4ish am by some loud vehicles next to my tent and found a ton of mosquitoes on my tent walls.  So I took my book and went on a killing spree.  I have since learned that the bugs that took my blood are quite a bit slower than the ones that haven’t.  I know have a bunch of blood spots on my tent walls and my book.  I spend about an hour trying to kill as many as possible and couldn’t really sleep.  I think it didn’t really help that I read a book on malaria so was kind of worried about it.  After the sun came up, I managed to fall asleep again and magically turned off my alarm and was woken up at the time we were leaving for our Victoria Falls ride.  We made it there and all split off to do our thing.  A guy and I had to stick together because we were both doing the bungee jump and there was only one ticket between us.  We walked around Vic Falls a bit and took some pictures.  Two guys in our group paid some money and went to a place called the “Devil’s Pool.”  It was a swimming hole right on the top of the Falls and had some natural rock wall right near the edge before you fall a few hundred feet to your death.  Apparently a guide plunged to his death about two weeks ago because he was trying to save some American after he wasn’t listening to the guide and stepping outside of the zone.  Poor guy!  The falls would have been impressive, if they had a lot of water coming down them but they were pretty dry.  At this time of the year(dry season), there isn’t much but I’m guessing it would be impressive in about 4 months time.  The falls have the record of the World’s Largest something.  I think it’s the longest falls but I think Niagara has the most water coming down it.  The falls are on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Supposedly the falls are best for viewing on the Zim side but we were on the Zam side.  And there was no way I’m going to pay $80 for another visa to see it.  Especially after I already paid $50 for Zambia.  The falls were pretty cool to see but I think I would like to come back in a few years when there is water to see.   After about two hours of walking around the falls, we starting to walk to our bungee spot.  As we were walking around the gorge, we spotted the bridge where the bungee was taking place and we saw a guy bouncing underneath of it.  The bungee jump is 111 meters high and it is in a gorge overtop of the Zambezi river.  The guy I was going with saw that and was shitting his pants.  It was his first jump and after seeing that, I was a bit scared too actually.  I have jumped once before at 60 meters, but this looked a lot worse. The bungee bridge is on the border of Zim and Zam and you have to bring your passport just in case you are asked.  We walked in to immigration and told them we were bungii’ing and she just gave us a ticket and we handed it in at the gate before the bridge.  We paid our remaining money at the sign-in place and were weighed and they put your weight in marker on your arm.  As we were walking towards the middle of the bridge, I could tell the other guy was nervous and I was too a little.  We walked up to the guys and were given harnesses to put on.  I asked what it was for and it was for when they pull you back up after your jump.  My friend went first because he put his harness on first and was getting straps on his feet and I was hanging out and watching.  At this point I was nervous but not really.  The nervousness kind of went away for me.  I think it was much worse the first time but I knew the deal now and it wasn’t that bad for me.  When he was getting the straps put on his feet, they had had a camera in his face doing the recording and asking a bunch of questions.  You could tell he was really nervous but it was to be expected.  He jumped and I thought that was cool!  After he was done bouncing 10 or so times up and down, he was hooked up and pulled up to safety.  When he was being pulled up, it was my turn to be strapped in and get interviewed.  I can’t really say I wasn’t nervous, but really not that bad.  I was all hooked in and told to stand on the edge and do what they told you to do.  The countdown began 5...4...3...2...1 and they give you a delicate nudge and off I went down 111 meters over the river.  The jump was awesome and I want to do it again!  It was much better this time and a lot more to see to.  The bounce back was really strong and I could feel all the blood flow straight to the head really quickly.  After the first bounce, I came back up and was turned upright again before gravity did it’s thing and I plunged downward again.  I started to see stars from all the blood moving around my body in a strange manner at times.  And a dizziness feeling kind of set in because I seemed to spin quite a bit.  After the 10 or so bounces I was pulled up to safety and taken off the bungee.  The walk back up to the bridge consisted of going into the Zimbabwe side for a brief few steps before going back to Zam.  So that would be another country I have technically been to.  I met my friend and gave the obligatory man shake of joy and went off to watch our video.  I don’t usually buy stuff like this but I had to buy it because it looked really good and it was really fun.  And the price wasn’t too bad and how often would I do this again.  I did ask a bit and found out that the tallest bungee jump off a bridge in the world is about three hours from Cape Town and stands at 216 meters high.  That is a possibility because we will be in Cape Town!  We made our way back to camp by way of taxi and retold our stories to as many people would listen.  In the afternoon we also scheduled a micro-light flight over Victoria Falls.  Hey, I’m only here once!!!  So a few of us made our way over there and signed the waiver.  They also ran helicopter flights over the falls but I thought the micro-light would be something different for me and it sounds neater.  The micro-light flights are basically a hang glider that has an engine on the back and you take off on a runway versus running off a cliff.  The pilot flies it and you just sit back and enjoy the ride.  I was strapped in and we took off the runway at a pretty quick pace and were up in the air pretty quickly.  The thing shook a bit throughout the flight and are probably death traps to many.  Once during the flight I thought some wind was going to flip us over and I was kind of like…oh well!  I guess this is how I’m going to go.  I can’t do anything about it but just go with the flow.  We obviously didn’t flip and had a great time up in the sky looking down over the falls and the gorge.  You can definitely get a different perspective of it and appreciate it much more than being right up on it.  The flight is only a 15 minute flight but it was well worth it.  We even saw a few animals on the upper part of the river like crocs, hippos, elephants, and big birds.  It really was an awesome experience!   

Livingston 10/28

This morning I had off because I didn’t want to pay for whitewater rafting even though all my guy friends were going without me.  Though I really wanted to go but really didn’t want to go even more in the hole for something I did a few weeks prior on arguably one of the best rafting rivers in the world.  I woke up earlyish and went for an early morning run along the road which always draws a crowd with my shirtless self, bald head, and big beard.  That, and it’s freakin’ hot and no one else is running out there.  But I don’t really care.  I kind of feel bad that here I am frolicking like a gazelle and a lot of people around me are slaving away at something or are very poor.  I care but maybe it is a good thing that I am doing it.  It might inspire someone to do the same thing.  After my run, I did some hand washing and then took a taxi out to a shopping center in town.  I ate my first Subway sandwich in a long time, surfed the net for an hour, and got my head shaved.  I was debating whether to shave my beard because I was kind of sick of it but decided against it.  I booked it back to the camp/hotel and met up with the rafting guys because we had an afternoon walk with some lions.  We hopped on the shuttle and made our way out to the lion walk park and received our safety brief.  We were each given a stick to distract the lions if they came towards us.  Which was used to scratch the floor to get their attention off of you.  The five of us and our guide set off into the bush and we saw a few people standing behind some bushes.  Directly below them, were three full-sized lions just laying around.  It was quite a weird site to see I must say.  We approached them and it felt weird to walk up to some living breathing lions like it was no big deal.  The five of us came up to them and we sat stood there while the guide talked a bit about the lions while playing with their paws(stupid) and their mouths(stupider).  The lions didn’t seem to care what they did to them but I’m sure if it’s within reason.  After about 15 minutes of talking about them, the lions were given a helpful nudge to get up and start walking with us.  They were either in front or behind us but not too close.  One of the males was right in front of us and we all given a turn to hold onto its tail(pretty cool) while taking a picture while we walked.  Then the lions got lazy and laid around a bit and we got to walk up slowly behind them to pet them a bit while getting our picture taken with them.  It was pretty freakin’ awesome to do!  In total we spent an hour with them walking, petting, and watching them closely play around with themselves.  It was all very cool and we all had a really great time with them.  We got back to the lodge and were given some pretty awesome snacks and drinks while being made to watch the video they were trying to sell to us which none of us bought.  Later in the night, the whole group met up for a final dinner and drinks and to say our goodbyes.  It was kind a sad affair because I know a lot of us were together for quite a long time and have become fond of each other over the last 5 weeks or so.  There was Matt(England), Paula(Netherlands), and Kim(Aussie).  There were all pretty good people and will be sorely missed by all of us.  
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cwald on

I think this is my favorite entry to this point! I can't stop reading, been reading this all weekend ;-)

cwald on

Love the new videos, so cool! They act like big house cats, here kitty kitty!

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