18th October 2010
I am not well in the morning, but dismiss AH's suggestion to stay under the umbrella by the pool. I mean, how can I travel all the way to the Victoria Falls and then miss my chance to see them?
We are warned that there will not be much water as we are in low season. In the high season, there is so much water that the rising steam makes it extremely difficult to take a good photograph, whereas in the low season the rock formation below the waterfall is clearly visible.
This is apparently the 7th (or 8th?) fall that the Zambezi has carved out. The falls are working their way back through the canyon and are currently 1.7 km wide.
Most of the falls are on the Zimbabwean side where the waterflow is also heavier, but I find the falls on the Zambian side already pretty impressive.
It does not look like one waterfall, but like a collection of hundreds of miniature falls of varying strength. Some run down independently all the way to the bottom. Others merge halfway and create a fall of double impact.
In the distance I can see steam rising on the Zimbabwean side. It does look like smoke. The indigenous people were far more imaginative and descriptive when they named the falls „The smoke that thunders.“
AH is not content to walk along the designated main path – not much adventure there, after all. No, he wants to climb to the bottom of the fall to the boiling point.
„Honey, we only have 15 mins left“, I reminded him – to no avail: „That's PLENTY of time. I'll be very quick.“ And off he went.
When our tour leader asks me whether AH is time conscious, I tell him that I don't know. AH got well accustomed to time keeping back in the UK, but now he is back on his home continent, will he revert back to African time?
I hope not. When we first met, his lack of time-keeping drove me mad. Sometimes he was 3 hours late for a date.
In this case, we only had to wait for 5 minutes before AH appeared, his T-shirt soaked in sweat. He had tried his best, but realised he would not make it all the way down and back.
While we were waiting, I did my first round of „window shopping“ at the local market. I kept saying: „I haven't brought money. I have come here for the photographs“, but this didn't deter the vendors: „I know you have no money, but let me just show you what I/my grandfather has made in the local village.“
Many items were only 1 Dollar, but I wasn't in shopping mood. It was getting hot, and I was ready for a long rest.