We are in Livingstone – drove down on Friday. Friday was Women’s Day, so the hospital was “closed” – admin, at least! There are still patients on the wards, but no surgeries, no office staff, etc. The drive went well – paved roads, in pretty good shape. On the other hand, there were lots of big trucks, going very slowly uphill, so Tim did a lot of passing. A bit nerve-wracking. Also, about 6 police checkpoints. And pigs, goats, pedestrians selling everything (beer, fuel, live chickens & doves, baskets, produce, etc). So not really a “normal” drive!
Checked into our lodge (hotel) & went out for GREAT Italian food – really nice.
On Saturday, we did a few errands (diesel, water, sunscreen), then went to Victoria Falls. We walked past a bunch of small stands, selling baskets, jewelry, textiles, paintings, copper articles, etc. It looked like the same things we can buy in Lusaka, and I found out later, that many of the same vendors drive up to Lusaka to a Sunday market at one of the shopping centers!
We also passed several baboons in the carpark – a sign of things to come! We saw more in the park, and there are signs posted to not carry food or picnic – they will steal your food! Apparently, they gang up on you to get any food you have – some distract you, while the others steal it. I guess it’s scary, rather than funny – we were happy to not plan a picnic.
We entered the Falls area, passed a statue of Stanley Livingstone. As we walked down the paths, we saw many people who were soaking wet. We had heard about 2 places to swim at the Falls – one way down below the waterfalls, called the Boiling Pot, and one at the top of the Falls, called the Devil’s Pool. We know people who have gone into both – but not at this time of year! I don’t think either of them were open – there is just oo much water! We are nearing the end of rainy season, so there is a lot of water in the Zambezi River – sort of like spring runoff in VT. Anyway, we still didn’t understand just how much water was going over the waterfalls – we assumed that the soaking wet people we saw had done something out of the ordinary. Were we wrong! It’s unbelievable. So MUCH water – we got soaked, too, despite foul weather gear jackets!! The spray rises up, as well as comes down like HEAVY rain – so even though the jackets are waterproof, water came up from below! We stopped at several lookout points – we were able to catch glimpses of the waterfalls, but mostly, it was like standing in HEAVY rain and mist.
We walked along across from the Falls, then crossed a bridge, still across from the waterfalls. There was 2 inches (at least – really – Tim says!!) of water on the path and on the bridge – and buckets of “rain” (= heavy mist & splashes) coming down – we really couldn’t see anything, although it was thrilling to be walking in water from Victoria Falls!
We backtracked to the statue of Livingston, then we walked then we walked across to the top of Zambezi River. Right along the edge, it was really wild, with rocks, trapped tree trunks – lots of wave and currents.
A little bit further back from the edge, you can still see the strong current of the water, but you can also see people sitting on the edge, in a slightly protected cove, dangling their feet in the water. A bit further back from that, a child was swimming – I could hardly bear to watch!
Here is a picture of Victoria Falls on the right, the mist in the middle, and where we walked on the left – the waterfalls are all runoff from the mist! If you look closely, you can see the bridge we walked across, earlier in this post. The mist and spray crossed in waves – clearly, we crossed during a period of much heavier spray!
“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” Isaiah 40:12