Zambia (December 14, 2009)

Well, it turns out it was harder getting to Zambia than we thought.  As we wrote below, we had made a reservation on the Nam-Zam Express bus that was to meet us in Grootfontein “at the gas station sometime between 8 and 9pm”  When the bus finally arrived a little past 10pm we were told two things:

1.  The bus was full (although our reservation had been made and we did in fact have a seat assignment though there were other people in those seats.) 

2.  There was a second bus coming and the first bus would wait until the second bus arrived.

So we waited and waited until 1:30am when the second bus (finally!) arrived.  (Turns out it had broken down shortly after the previous stop.) However, the second bus was also full.  At this point, we had been at the gas station for 6 hours (at least it was a Total Gas station—see Namibian entry.) Seeing the looks on our faces, the bus man then told us we could get on the first bus and just to find any seat—unfortunately, this meant sitting on the edge of the window right by the door (not so much a seat, but we could not spend any more time on the gas station.)  A very uncomfortable 600km later (made slightly better only by very soothing Zambian music and an elephant running out in front of the bus), we arrived at the Zambian border.  From there, it was an easy bus ride to Livingstone.

In Livingstone, we met Chris Bradford and Pallen Chiu and immediately headed off to Livingstone Island where we were told we would swim in a “natural pool” overlooking the falls.  (Meg pictured an infinity pool at the hotel.)  It is hard to truly describe the experience—first walking up to see the falls with a complete lack of barriers and then swimming out to a pool at the edge of the falls and then dangling headfirst over the edge of the falls! It was truly a unique experience.

 Then add on sunset over the Zambeezi river, a ramble through Victoria Falls National Park, and a bungee jump over the Victoria Falls bridge and you have a winning weekend. It was Meg’s first bungee jump ever- though she was a little nervous despite Jed’s cheerleading 

 But in the end she jumped off the bridge like a champ. Not bad considering it is the 3rd highest bungee jump in the world.

After the falls, we began a series of long bus journeys through Zambia, getting to see some of Lusaka (in the rain and a power outage) and some of Chipata. While not as empty as Namibia, Zambia isn’t crowded either, though one sees many more roadside huts (made of mud brick and straw). Zambia has a real and identifiable national cuisine, which was a tasty change from the more internationalized cuisine of South Africa and Namibia. 

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