Tuesday – 07/05/2013

Victoria Falls Station

From the moment we stepped through the gates at Shoestring backpackers we knew we were more likely to be getting high over a few beers at the bar than having high tea looking over the falls. It would do though, we just needed a place to lay our belongings so that we could set off to explore the smoke that thunders. We took the morning easy; I enjoyed a swim in the backpackers pool it seemed I was to only one staying there foolish enough to risk the murky water, while Will and Debora relished the first warm shower they had had in months. After lunch we took the short walk down to the falls.

The Falls has its own rain forest climate. 

Entrance to the falls was $30 for foreigners but if you could provide a South African passport you could pay $20, I had left mine at the backpackers and my attempts at proving my South African nationality with my UK drivers license were in vein. It was a $30 well spent, the falls were magnificent. Since it was the end of rainy season they were in full flow and even walking down the path to the entrance gate, about 1km away we were cooled by the fine mist they produce. At the park gate we were greeted by a barrage of vendors trying to rent out ponchos and warning us of how wet would get if we didn’t take them, we opted out as we naively thought that our rain macs would suffice.

We spent a couple of hours wandering the damp paths which crawled through the engulfing rain forest, stopping at each view point to steal views from every angle. The further along we got the thicker and heavier the mist became until we reached one point where standing in the mist was more akin to standing in a torrential downpour. Soaked through Debora and Will trudged back to our home for the night whilst I hung around the falls to see what the magic hour held in way of photo opportunities. Finally the damp got to me too and used the last of the sun’s warmth dry out a little as I strolled the path back to Shoestring.

Will getting soaked.

Will and Debora post soaking. 

After the non stop drinking week in London and then the liver destroying experience in Harare I had promised myself that I was not going to drink until I reached South Africa. It was a feeble promise and the influence of traveling in warm climes and staying at a backpackers with and inviting bar overwhelmed it easily. Will and I passed the evening effortlessly. Perhaps it was our common interest in windsurfing that provided the connection that allowed us seclude ourselves in conversation near the relative calm of a lonely fire while the younger patrons of the establishment got giddy on life fueled by travel and cold beer.

The Majestic Falls
Does this mean there are two pots of gold?