Adventures in Victoria Falls

 

Microlight over Victoria Falls - photo by Rob McFarland

Microlight over Victoria Falls – photo by Rob McFarland

Escape travel section, Australia – July 15, 2012

This doesn’t look good. We’re heading towards a towering wall of water that has capsize written all over it.

We paddle hard, digging deep into the swirling river, hoping to power through. We hit the wave square on and the raft is flung skyward.

Suddenly, I’m paddling through thin air. And I’m no longer in the raft. Everyone else has managed to grab the safety rope but I’ve been catapulted into the middle of Terminator 2, a Class 5 rapid.

I surface, wide-eyed with fear, and look for help. Seconds later a support kayak appears and tows me through the churning waters back to the boat.

Tembo, our guide, hauls me in and hands me my paddle. “Next time,” he says, smiling, “grab the rope.”

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Partying on the Zambezi

Sunset over the Zambezi

Sunset over the Zambezi

Sitting at the bar wearing a traditional Russian fur hat, I’d just ordered a beer from a Keith Richards lookalike in a large stetson. To my right a girl was trying to decide between a tiara and a trilby, while on my left the American Indian, the biker and the soldier from the Village People looked worryingly close to breaking into a chorus of YMCA.

As dress codes go, it was certainly one of the more unusual: to get served at the bar, you had to be wearing a hat. Fortunately, there was a large range to choose from hanging up on the wall, but it wasn’t exactly the sort of thing I’d expected to encounter on a small island in the middle of the Zambezi River.

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