Everything went smoothly getting my double entry visa at the Victoria Fall's airport. Had someone waiting for me to take me to my hotel. There were 3 other people sharing the van. Funny story actually, they are all on the Nomad tour that starts Wednesday. Their names are Hans, Sonia, and Ann Marie. They are Swedish. I was dropped off at my hostel, The Adventure Lodge, which is a budget hotel about 10-20 minutes outside of the falls. They place has free Wi-Fi, but it keeps breaking up and fore some reason will NOT work on my tablet.
While at the front desk I booked a rafting trip for Tuesday and a swim at Devil's Pool tomorrow (Monday) morning.
I unpacked a bit and showered...relaxed for well over an hour. Then I got dressed and walked into town.... at least whatever town they had. I felt like I was back in India. Everyone kept approaching me trying to shake my hand and asking me where I was from. I knew their game, but I am immune to any/all guilt and high-pressure sales tactics so I let them at it. I seemed to have really pissed off a couple of them because the took my willingness to talk with them as some type of promise I would buy their shit?
|The Adventure Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe|
Along my way to the Fall's a tourist police came sprinting my way. He had told me that the people were not allowed to sell to the tourists in certain areas and that he will walk with me to keep them at bay. We chatted a bit, but his English was rather broken. He took me to a few lookout points and I was thankful. I haven't seen the fall yet...I'm excited for tomorrow. The man walked me back showing me a few shortcuts along the way. We ran into some wild hogs and their babies. Also we saw half a dozen baboons. He pointed out a restaurant to me that had live music. I was going to go out to eat tonight, but am kind of tired, so I am planning on staying in tonight. I gave the tourist police a $2 tip and walked back alone..... Well, sort of alone. A half dozen people trying to sell me “activities” and their trinkets accosted me again. I told them I had already booked "devil's pool" and a rafting trip for the day after. One of the locals walked with me the entire way back to my place as he said he lived in the housing unit just past my bungalows. We was a nice enough guy and left me alone when I told him there was no way I would give him any money but I was happy to talk with him. He pointed out my clothing and camera was nice...I pointed out the incredibly high rent prices in America so it all evens out. He understood and then we were able to speak more frankly towards one another. I told him what I was looking for and if he could make it for me by tomorrow I will visit the craft market and I will give him the business.
I'm sitting at our outdoor bar/restaurant now. There are about 8 people (7 ladies, 1 guy) sitting and talking. They are all volunteers here.... probably just helping with keeping the grounds clean and doing laundry, etc....in exchange for free room and board. Pretty typical, I first discovered this 10 years ago when I went to Rome. I can see myself doing this type of thing when I take my RTW trip. I think I may have lost some blog postings (thanks digital world).
As I sit waiting for my supper, I see stray cats playing with each other and one of them is black...makes me think of Dexter. There is also one that looks a lot like Charlie. "Kelly, can you make sure Diana didn't abandon Charlie yet?".
I just took a break but have to go. I've been talking with a guy at the bar here. He's from South Africa (most people seem to be from there). We've been talking for well over an hour. He's also traveling alone. He may be in his low-mid 40s? He was telling me about Devil's pool. Wow I am so scared. You have to swim against the current as it takes you to the edge of the 340ft waterfall drop. It's a good thing I won't be able to post this until after I have already come back from the experience because I'm sure it would scare the shit out of my mother.
Ok, my dinner is being served, something with 'Pat'? Not sure what I got, I had the South African guy order for me. It's supposed to be authentic for this area.... all I know is that I will be eating with my hands