Africa Day 12

Hi Everyone

What a boring day in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. What do you mean boring?

The day started for me at 6 AM. I woke up and needed to meet my taxi driver at 6:30 for the drive to the border with Zambia. The hotel was nice enough to get me some coffee and my driver was already waiting for me. He drove me to the exit point of Zimbabwe where I passed through immigration. I then left him and was picked up by another driver on the other side of a road barrier. We then drove for about one mile through what is called a dead zone. This is the area between Zimbabwe and when you get to immigration for Zambia. I saw lots of people walking on this very strange road. Most of the women, young and older, carry whatever they are carrying on their heads. We passed over a steel bridge over the Zambezi River that was built by Cecil Rhodes. Most of these countries in this part of Africa used to be part of Rhodesia. We finally arrived at the Zambia immigration post. The driver took my passport, went inside and came out a few minutes later. I was now in Zambia. What am I doing in Zambia? Would you believe I was going to be on a microliter flying over Victoria Falls? The flight is about forty minutes long. The only place you can fly a microliter is on the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. What an experience. To see the beauty of Victoria Falls this way is a memory that will stay with me. You are strapped into the microliter behind the person who drives the contraption. The motor used is similar to a lawn mower engine and the pilot uses wings to fly and navigate. A GoPro is attached to one of the wings for picture taking. Cameras are not allowed and I was glad. In this way I could concentrate and enjoy the beauty and power of what I was seeing. We did figure eights around the Falls and dipped down numerous times. You also wear a helmet with a microphone attached so that you can speak to the pilot.

Most of you know that I have been bungy jumping in New Zealand. I would rate this as a little more dangerous. You are much higher up and anything could happen for a much longer period of time. The helmet would not do any good if you crashed. I can now cross off my bucket list seeing Victoria Falls from a microliter. By the way, the GoPro took over two hundred pictures that were given to me on a flash drive. I have already downloaded them into Lightroom for distribution later. By the way, I was the only one in the group who took this crazy ride.

Got back to the hotel around 8:30 for breakfast and to tell the rest of the group about my experience. They were all happy that I had survived and fulfilled this wish of mine. What a boring morning in Zimbabwe

At 10:30 we all met to go to the helicopter pad for our flights over the Falls to take pictures. The helicopter pad is on the Zimbabwe side. It took about thirty minutes to get there. The helicopters were fitting six people in each one for fifteen minute rides over the Falls. We had three in each helicopter and one of the doors was taken off for a forty minute ride. This setup gave us the best chance to take great pictures. I was in the second helicopter with Kim and Chellie. We took off and immediately went to the Falls. I had two cameras hand held, but only used mostly one. The images I got from a helicopter are truly awesome. A great way to take pictures of the Falls.

We then got back to the hotel at around one o’clock for lunch. Had a great small steak. Richard, Kim and myself took a walk a few blocks from the hotel to wander in and out of some shops. As soon as we left the hotel grounds some young locals descended upon us trying to sell us souvenirs. The prices started high, quickly dropped and wound up were they asked us what we would like to pay. I felt sorry for them, but what they were selling did not interest me and I did not want to attract more of them. We wandered in and out of shops. I decided to not buy anything. Kim and Richard bought some local jewelry and crafts.

At 3:30 we all met with our cameras for the drive to Victoria Falls and the walk on one side of the Falls. I got up close with the power of the water. Saw lots of rainbows, but the strength of the Falls created lots of mist, rain, and wetness. I was glad I had taken pictures from the helicopter. The scenes were much better and less demanding.

We stayed at the Falls until six o’clock. I was exhausted by the walk and soaking wet. Took a nice hot shower and went for dinner at the hotel.

Some interesting facts about David Livingstone. He was the first foreigner to see Victoria Falls. He made five trips to Africa when it was hard enough to make just one. Harry Stanley was sent by Randolph Hearst to find him when he was not heard from during his fifth trip. Livingstone was a physician and born in Scotland. He was trying to find the source of the Nile. He died in Africa from malaria. His body is interned in Westminster Abbey. His heart was removed and is buried under a Baobab tree somewhere in Zambia. The exact location has never been found. There is a large statue of him at the base of Victoria Falls.

Hope everyone has enjoyed this boring day.

Tomorrow it is back into the Bush here in Zimbabwe for the final three days of this adventure. No internet there. Myself and the whole group are glad we are returning to the Bush. The amount of people and lack of nature bothered us.

Love
Larry

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