Sunday, December 11, 2011
Victoria Falls - Part 1
We started our journey To Victoria Falls on Thursday morning (yes, actually this past Thursday, December 1st) and I am surprisingly writing a somewhat up to date blog post- ha ha. We got up at 6 am and headed on our way to a town called Bulawayo. It is supposed be around a 5 hour drive. It took us about 6 1/2 hours. It wasn't the pee breaks, or the kids...it was just Africa. Police stops were often, not checking us- just other cars due to the holidays. We also had to stop for gas as often as we could as gas stations were FEW and FAR between. When we saw a gas station that actually sold Unleaded Petrol...we had to stop and fill up. It was either that or bring the extra gas cans with us in the car. I say luckily we didn't have to smell gasoline for our whole trip but honestly, we pushed it a few times and the gas cans would have been nice. The roads were fine, nothing horrible...bumpy, but OK. For our first trip out of town, it was a somewhat pleasant surprise. I say this, but Mom, who if you didn't know came to visit us WITH PIPER a few weeks ago, (Hooray!!) and actually sat in the trunk of our 5 seater Toyota Hilux (4-Runner type car). Yes, she sat in the TRUNK! So, needless to say, the not so bumpy roads for us (Africa travelers) were OK, but for her...not so comfy. She said it was fine, but by the end of our whirlwind 4 day vacation where we drove (Tom drove) 3 out of the 4 days, I am sure that bottom was seriously hurting. Sorry Mom :(
So, back to the trip. We stopped in the town of Bulawayo for the night. We stayed at an amazing resort called Camp Amalinda. Our rooms were actually inside rocks!! It was an amazing experience! And lucky us, we were the only people at the camp that night. Tom and I actually got upgraded to the honeymoon suite- So cool! and Mom and the kids stayed in a beautiful and very large family suite. Yes, Kudos to Mom for keeping the kids in her room (THE WHOLE TRIP)! Thanks again Mom!! :)
As soon as we arrived, we took a swim in the pool, had a drink to relax and enjoyed the scenery. Before dinner, Tom took Chase fishing at the lake while Zebra watched - can you believe it? And Gam Gam and Hannah had massages! So nice!
Here is a picture below (blown up so you can see) of the kids swimming with Tom. Do you see the Zebras? They are there eating grass and the kids are just swimming. The kids did see the zebras, don't worry- the excitement just wore off quickly. Love this pic!
The zebras are near the rocks.
Our honeymoon suite bathtub...outside, in the rocks.
We left Friday morning from Bulawayo feeling pretty refreshed; however, a little tired from the massive amount of bugs that were in the room, even though we had a mosquito net over our bed. And also we had no air condition. It was still pretty neat, but yes, we are spoiled and yes...it was hot, about 20 degrees warmer than Harare. We were then ready to make another supposed 5 hour drive to Victoria Falls. The trip took us about 6. This part of our trip however was a little different. Not one person warned us of the LACK of ANYTHING on this road! We might of seen a gas station, but it was so run down and of course, did not have Unleaded Petrol. We still felt somewhat assured that since we did fill up before we left...we would hopefully be ok. The reality is - we cut it close, really close. It was a long road with nowhere to stop. We did go to the random gas station that actually had cokes and an outdoor bathroom, but afterwards we talked about how we needed to be hosed down from head to toe with disinfectant. Yes- it was that bad. Hannah actually decided to pee in the dirt outside the cement frame for a bathroom that actually had a hole in the ground for the toilet. It was sad, but true. The realities of Africa I kind of forgot about, I guess. We made it to Victoria Falls, quickly filled up with gas, at the only ONE of TWO gas stations they had in town and the only one that, you guessed it- had Unleaded Petrol. And after dumping out stuff in our rooms, we then went immediately to the hotel pool for a swim. We enjoyed a nice afternoon at the pool and then headed to a neighboring hotel for our tourist BOMA Dinner.
Below are pictures from an interesting evening of food like crocodile tail, guinea fowl, warthog and for Tom...A WORM!! We also had entertainment. There were dancers and drummers too. Chase and Hannah got their chance to drum and had an absolute ball. It was so fun to watch.
Chase drummed straight for about 30 min. never missing a beat. The girls behind him in the picture were taking pictures with Chase too. He was so focused and everyone was talking about him watching him.
Look close at the food labels- crocodile, impala and guinea fowl. We tried most of them. They were not bad, but probably wouldn't taste it again.
Hannah wasn't afraid to dance and shake a little of her booty- as you can see. She wouldn't do it with the dancers out there, but as soon as they left- she ran out and did a little shake.
Tom eating - the worm. gross! He was obviously more adventurous than us, and he also tried the warthog and a few other things. He said the worm tasted like dirt...go figure.
Mom and Hannah- SO CUTE!