coldturkey

At times writing is effortless. Other times nightmarish. But it's always therapeutic.

Victoria Falls

with 3 comments

It’s November. This is Zambia. All green, people as friendly and quiet looking as usual. Lusaka is green and English. I’m around for just a few days and will have to go see the famous Victoria falls. Sydney is my guy in Lusaka. The only of two gentlemen left in the world. I tell him the plans and he is doubtful.

-When do you want to go?, he wants to know.
-Friday and be back Saturday. Is it possible?
-Yes it is. So you travel at night…where will you spend the night?
-Not sure but as long I can make it Friday night, good.

Friday 7pm I buy a ticket from Madzhandu Bus Service at the Lusaka bus terminal. It’s orderly and clean. I get my street dinner; fruits and super fat smokies. 8.30pm I board, squeeze the rubber soft LG earphones inside the ears, choose the album, wrap the scarf warmly round the neck and recline the seat. The blue bus is as comfortable as it is new and at 9pm – precisely the time indicated on the receipt – the 6 hour journey begins.

It will be a smooth ride on the new Lusaka – Livingstone road with several pit stops. At the appointed time, the conductor – sounds bad to call the good man so – serves biscuits and apple juice. I know it’s real apple juice because I’ve had fake apple juice before. Zambia is great. I look up and notice reading lamps for every seat. [The last bus I rode in had head lights only. The rest were passenger procured lights aka torches and matches]

At 3am we hit Livingstone. Vibrant Livingstone. I have 3 hours to waste till dawn and then go looking for the falls. Choice is to enter a club and watch people till morning, which is what I do. Rhapsody; I don’t like it so I look for another. This one is a hall with nothing but the counter; no seats no tables. I then find Chez nTemba. Chez nTemba is cross border and very popular. It’s big as well in Lilongwe, Lusaka and Kinshasa. That’s where my night ends. I perch my backpack and myself on a stool and chase hours with Schwepps after Schwepps.

I see white guys with dread locks, shy hookers, lame dancers, good dancers, poor dressers, patriotic DJs. Hookers fascinate. I find them enigmatic and very bold. This one is tall. She speaks Nyanja. I miss all the words and tell her so. She leaves. I then turn to a guy on my left after noticing we are both just staring. He is a South African on his way back home from Lusaka through Sesheke, Windhoek and into Cape town. I tell him I’m from Nairobi and we bond even more. He too is waiting for the same morning.

Morning comes and I find a cab guy called Admin. What an apt name for a taxi driver! He is Admin the Admin. The real Admin. Once again, typical Zambia friendliness. He is a young man with a wife and an year old son. We chat. We head for Victoria falls. Mosi oa Tunya or The Smoke that Thunders. I’m excited as we take steps past Livingstone statue, down the path to the face of the breathtaking falls and behold;

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This is November so the Zambezi river doesn’t have enough water to produce the thundering smoke. Across you can see Zimbabwe and the bridge with the 110m bungee jump. I have to catch the 9:30am bus which comes from Namibia with just a few empty seats left. Miss it and that will mean waiting 2 hours for the next. We go back to Livingstone, get a ticket, breakfast and wait.

Much of Zambia’s rural is uninhabited. Stretched fields with nothing going on. I’m told people here don’t develop their rural areas and a majority get lost in Lusaka. Some of the people chased out of Zim by Uncle Bob have bought land in Southern Zambia. About 8 hours later, it’s Lusaka again.

I hope with Providence grace, I’ll be back for the bungee.

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Written by coldturkey

March 22, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Posted in here and there

3 Responses

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  1. Love the pictures

    kenyansista

    March 28, 2011 at 7:32 AM

  2. wow!!…those photos are just filled with amazingness(non-existant word i know…hehehe)…seriously, am totally jealous. Kwanza the one with the water mist rising, and the one with the clouds…i love clouds…all of them. beautiful!just beautiful…i see you have mad skills capturing scenery..

    in other news, its funny i never thought the dudes sitting in the club,just staring,..could be waiting to pass time and catch a bus in the morning…lolest.

    yellasoul

    April 1, 2011 at 9:05 AM

  3. Now this is what we call rugged beauty…a place my mind can get leisurely get lost in. I’m envious

    Nyambura

    April 6, 2011 at 11:01 AM


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