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Vic falls the smoke that thunders and falling off the edge

Adrenaline capitol of Zimbabwe


We left antelope park and the wilds behind and headed down into Vic Falls, Truly a tourist trap town if there ever was one. Nothing here but travel agents and agents to book the various adrenaline activities through, Net cafes a few bars and well tourist souvenir shops. It was here was said goodbye to two of my favourite all time aussies from the trip. lou and Gilly were departing for Cape town early and then heading home. Gilly had been a great guy to get on with and we both shared a keen interest in photography, we would often spend an hour or two on quiet evening browsing through each others albums and commenting on what we liked or didn't like. Lou had been great fun as well she liked to party a bit more than Gilly so on less quiet nights I had often kept her company during some of the more boozy sessions!

Vic falls proved to be a big night out as we said good bye to our friends that were leaving, Manola the crazy italiono and Cordelia (favourite canadian quote "ill give you a blow job if you get me a water"). Stupidly we had booked white water rafting the following morning. After heading to bed at around 5 Am myself and Chris (US) were rudely awoken by Alex at 7 Am "the guys are here to take us rafting" Holy shit! dash out of bed throw on some clothes and rush to the bus. What a day, 5 hours in the blistering sunshine paddling hard on the mighty Zambeze river without any water. Guys and gals seriously do not drink the night before you do this at least not to excess and certainly not till 5 Am. To my delight there was a 50 minute hike back up the gorge to look forward too at the end, just when you were most exhausted! Honestly It felt about the closest i have ever come to dying and truth be told about half way up the gorge id would of welcomed a merciful death! I still enjoyed it, a first for me white water rafting and Suprsingly hard work (given the circumstances) We had all our heavy guys on one side at the start and all the skinny girls on the other side. No surprise we flipped the raft really, going into both sets of the first rapids. Things got a little easier when we averaged out the weight but I still managed to get washed clean over board during "the washing machine" luckily I grabbed the raft with one hand and held on for dear life. In fact the raft kept pushing me under as it sped towards me (I was at the front). Finally mike hauled me out and saved me from certain doom. Majority of the rapids we saw were 4's and I'm told this is because of the amount of rainfall further up river. More rain makes the water level higher than the rocks and in some cases at least pacifies the rapids a bit. Other rapids including the "washing machine" were a 5 grade and considerably more violent.

Day two and another first for me, Ive signed up to do a gorge swing and truth be told I've worried about it ever since. A gorge swing is similar to a bungee except at the end of the fall you swing out rather than sit there bouncing. Ok doesn't sound so hard right well its 110 meters up and you have to stand on a tiny little wooden platform. Never one to give in to fear I agree to go first. Im still worried ill get to the edge and wuss out but I'm determined to get this done.....I approach the ledge and hail the guy with the rope "hi there, how do we do this thing then?" "easy he says ill buckle you up and on the count of 5 you just jump up and out". Ok sounds a piece of cake right? Duly buckled up I am and now standing on the very edge of the platform trying not to look like I'm scared. the count down starts 5, 4, 3 and the bastard shoves me right off the edge, screaming like a girl as I fall 100 odd meters. I don't know if it was the adrenaline or the appreciation of being alive but afterward all i can remember is laughing and laughing, even as I was half towed half climbed back up I couldn't stop. My only comment on reaching the top? "what the fuck happened to 2 and 1 mate?".............

On the last day I took in the truly impressive natural wonder that is Victoria Falls itself, The sheer volume of water that must pass over this drop every day, every minute is an order of magnitude that words probably can't describe (and I don't know). On entering the area close to the falls your first thought is "oh its started to rain" but no that is just mist and splash back coming from the falls which is still a good 20-30 meters away, and thats just the closest edge!

Posted by cd108 05:45 Archived in Zimbabwe

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