Victoria Falls-What a Rush
How do you spell adrenaline? V-I-C- F-A-L-L-S.
We had the most amazing rest days here in Livingstone Zambia, home of the mighty Victoria Falls.
Dave has always threatened that he would bungee jump in Victoria Falls if we ever made it there. Unfortunately, I thought that I would never have to deal with it. But here we are and yes, he jumped!
We started our day by driving out to the Zambian River Gorge where we abseiled down the cliff. That was a great experience. Dave did a front rappel, like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. I stayed with the more traditional approach of going down feet first.
After our warm up on the tame 55 meter abseil, we went straight for the Zip Line, where we had to run off the cliff and dive head first out to the gorge. I was first up, and I am very afraid of jumping off of anything. I chickened out several times and finally had to let someone else go. Dave has it all on video, I was screaming like a baby. But once I saw Bruno go for it, it gave me the strength to take off. My first leap was pretty lame, but the lines had momentum and I was screaming over the gorge at a great speed.
By my second jump, I was confident and ran and dove with power.
Dave show-boated and dove right over my video camera on his jump and quickly became known as the daredevil in the group.
I was really happy to overcome my fear and do a couple of zips acting like Superman flying 100 metres over the gorge, but when I came to the Bungee Swing, there was no way you were getting me off of the rocks.
The guides kept trying to coax me into jumping, but it will never happen. People have always told us that we should go on the Amazing Race, but I would definitely lose the leg for us as soon as I had to jump. So, not even for a million dollars (O.K. maybe a million) would I be able to Bungee.
But, Dave on the other hand, loves this stuff. I swear, he is going to give me a heart attack. He loves to push the limits. When it came to his jump, I can’t believe how calm he was. He stood still and looked relaxed until just a couple of seconds before his jump, when he yelled “This is insane!”
But he stepped off of the cliff, free fell for 55 meters and then proceeded to swing over to the other side of the gorge. Awesome. I was freaking out watching, but once he started swinging, I breathed a sigh of relief. I apologize for the photography, I didn’t do a very good job because of my nerves. But we do have some great video that we will post when we get home. Dave is the photographer in this relationship I am afraid. But, I did manage to get a couple of shots in.
Once one adrenaline rush was finished, we went straight to another.
Immediately after the bungee jump, we were whisked away to the helicopter pad to see the falls from a bird’s eye view. We flew right into the gorge tilting and weaving along the river. White water rafting in the sky like our pilot described it.
After soaking in the scenery, we pulled up to view the amazing falls. I thought Niagara was nice, but these falls are enormous! They are 1.7 km long! It was great to see the falls from the sky. When we went to visit the falls up close and personal, we couldn’t exactly see how large they were. We could feel the power because we were completely soaked. But, the mist was so strong that you couldn’t really see that far down the gorge. Seeing it from the sky, made it clear, just how giant these falls are.
It is completely unspoiled as well.
There are paths to walk through and a bridge just a couple of hundred meters directly in front of the falls where crossing actually made you feel a little uncomfortable. The power of the water pelted you and rain jacket on the slippery bridge. It really is a natural wonder of the world.
We ended our time in Livingstone, Victoria Falls at the Zambezi Sun Hotel with a delicious and expensive buffet dinner. It is hilarious to watch TDA people at a buffet. Most people at these resorts are always a little plump, but here we all are- a little under nourished, over worked and starving. So you have a bunch of skinny people going up to the bar about 12 times putting all of the other diners to shame.
It was difficult to wake up at 5:30 the next day for a 40km time trial, but we were motivated because we crossed into Botswana and had to get our 95km ride over with quickly to make it to the Chobe River Safari in the afternoon at the amazing Chobe National Park.
We rode into camp after a pretty easy border and ferry crossing at 12:30 and had more than enough time to catch the boat at 3:30.
It was well worth it. Elephants bathing in the long grass, Hippos Eating, Impalas, Monitor Lizards, Crocodiles and gorgeous scenery as we cruised down the river munching on brie and smoked salmon cheese and crackers (That of course we bought at the great Spar Grocery Store) We are all becoming addicted to that store. Everytime we come into a town with a town, we all head to the Spar and stalk up on food. That just goes to show you how poorly the tour feeds you!
But, I have to slow down my shopping because I am going to gain all of the weight back that I have lost! Did I tell you that Dave has lost 38 pounds?
It has been 4 days of riding the Elephant Highway and what a grueling ride. Long days all over 160 km, flat roads with head winds and crosswinds all the way. Oh and not one elephant. Good thing we did the safari in Chobe. Dave is riding with the racers now and doing those distances at average speeds around 38km per hour is killing him but he is enjoying it. Deb is putting down amazing times as she is riding solo and doing that with these winds is an amazing feat. Hopefully winds will change for the next leg as that includes a 208km day. We will see….