Field Trip: Zambia, Part II

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Morning was spent with my toes between squishy mud, trekking to witness the power of Victoria Falls for the first time. The afternoon found me picking my way across the Zambezi to experience the spectacle closer than I could ever imagine. Yes, I fell in that river. But, I fell in love with rainbows. I'd scratched myself up pretty badly when I slipped off the mossy rock and into the cool water. When I finally returned to the car, the taxi driver made me sit on floor mats to protect the seats from my soaking wet backside. We stopped at Shop Rite supermarket where I bought some antibacterial cream to combat the cuts and a premium beer to dampen the pain in my leg and arm. Because I'd signed up to take a sunset cruise along the Zambezi on the African Princess, there was no time to be idle and lick my wounds. The soothing rain shower head at the Protea revived me enough to care less about my scars and more about my evening.

On the riverboat I met up with Ellie, the single Australian girl from the Livingstone Island group. We swapped stories and lamented the loss of my waterlogged camera over juice as we waited patiently for the first promised sitings of hippopotamuses and elephants. Good natured crew winked at us as they slid extra helpings of appetizer plates in front of the 'larger' guests as if to say, 'Watch this.'

Happy hippos swam near the boat and a family of elephants obliged us by coming down to the water for a drink. It was wonderful to see them in their natural habitat, far far away from manufactured city zoos. Some of the passengers bragged that they'd seen larger, grander herds. I was happy to see a few. I was in Africa!

I apologize in advance for the grainy quality of some the photos, but I was 'stuck' using my humble iPhone while the camera dried out in a bag of rice.

That's when the magic happened and I witnessed my first real African sunset.  Childhood memories of Burnt Orange and Burnt Sienna Crayola crayons painted the sky with the setting sun.  Wine flowed in celebration as the mood lifted with 'Oohs' and 'Ahs'.  Breathtaking.  But that wasn't all… The ship's captain instructed us to turn 180˚ and see the full moon rising.  I couldn't recall when I'd ever viewed both in the same sky with such clarity.  If I had, all its brilliance was wiped out by this spectacle.

Brilliant sunset

Even the most jaded traveler took note.  How could one not love such a beautiful sky?  In full appreciation, my heart warmed to every magnificent hue.  Fortunately, I was and will continue to be blessed with many such moments.

À la prochaine….