Monday, June 8, 2009

Victoria Falls

Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders)

Victoria Falls, as you might imagine, is an awesome sight. The Zambezi River recorded it's highest levels in over 50 years in April. The water was still flowing fast and wild when we visited. We had been convinced by our host at Siankaba, Jean Claude, that the hiking down to the Boiling Pot was a "must" for any visit to the Falls. Being game for anything, we told our guide, Oliver, that we would leave first thing in the morning on Saturday. I should have read this before agreeing:

The whole volume of the Zambezi River pours through the First Gorge's 110-metre-wide (360 ft) exit for a distance of about 150 metres (500 ft), then enters a zigzagging series of gorges designated by the order in which the river reaches them. Water entering the Second Gorge makes a sharp right turn and has carved out a deep pool there called the Boiling Pot. Reached via a steep footpath from the Zambian side, it is about 150 metres (500 ft) across. Its surface is smooth at low water, but at high water is marked by enormous, slow swirls and heavy boiling turbulence.[4] Objects--and humans--that are swept over the falls, including the occasional hippo, are frequently found swirling about here or washed up at the north-east end of the Second Gorge.

I was thankful for all the cardio workouts I had been doing at the gym... It was a rough climb down. Being part mountain goat would have helped, but alas, it was up to us to figure out a path down the jagged rocks to get to the bottom of the gorge walls. It was worth it, and the climb back up was much easier - as far as navigating the rocks. This is where the cardio kicked in! I was the second one up to the top - just a minute behind my husband.

Once we finished with the Boiling Pot, we made our way around to all the scenic overviews of the Falls. One could stay dry at the higher levels, but if you wanted to be in the 'mist' - serious rain gear was needed. I got wet, even wearing the raingear. The sneakers I was wearing had to be tossed when we got home. They didn't have a chance to dry out while we were in Zambia and after a day and a half in a plastic bag, well, you can just imagine the stink. Even 2 washings with bleach didn't help!

This one of Ed cracks me up - If you look behind him, to the left you will see a baboon sneaking behind him. I kept seeing the baboons, but every time I told Ed, Marty & James - they never saw them!

I finally caught one of the baboons in the act!

This is the market that is at the entrance to the Visitor's Center at Victoria Falls.

Next post will be the Village Walk James and I took with our guide, Victor.

1 comment:

sharonkenney said...

Just breath-taking. OMG.. I love the falls.. What a sight.. love all the pictures.. Gr8t job taking the pictures.... God's true beauty....