Wandering and Wondering

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dr Livingstone, I presume?

As I write this I am in the town of Livingstone in Zambia, named after the famous explorer. For the last couple of days I’ve been risking death in the name of thrill seeking. The day before yesterday I did a gorge swing. Similar to bungee jumping, this involves being attached to a cord that is suspended over a rather deep gorge. I then stepped off the edge of the cliff and free-fell for a few seconds before being saved by the cord and swinging out over the gorge:

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Not content with the possibility of falling to my death from a great height, my next challenge was white water rafting on the Zambezi river, one of the most challenging rafting locations in the world – if the grade 5 rapids don’t kill you, maybe the crocodiles will. The day started off pretty well, and I managed to stay on the raft for the whole morning as we traversed the first 10 rapids. In the afternoon, however, the raft flipped on a rapid named the “Terminator” and I found myself in the middle of a raging torrent with nothing but my life-jacket (and thank God I had that) to keep me afloat. Needless to say that I survived. A couple of rapids later I was thrown out of the raft again, but this time I managed to keep hold of the raft and was hauled back in. At the end of the day I was extremely glad to reach the end of rapid number 23.

Today I visited one of the 7 wonders of the world: the Victoria Falls.

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The walk along the main trail along the top of the gorge opposite the falls was ok, but it was much more fun wading thru the river up-stream from the falls, where I was led to a sheltered pool at the top of the falls. The guide climbed to a point roughly 10 metres above the pool and jumped in. Normally I would think twice about following him in, but after jumping off a cliff a couple of days before and rafting the Zambezi yesterday it didn’t seem all that scary, so I followed him in without a second thought.

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Tomorrow we leave Livingstone and travel through Zambia towards Malawi.

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