Its NEW YEARS EVE. 2016!
We wake up bright and early, enjoy a quick and dirty two star hotel breakfast before we head from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls Town. A quant little town on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s home to one side of the Majestic “Mosi Wa Tunya”, as its called by locals, meaning The Smoke That Thunders. The name comes from the ever present cloud above the falls that can be seen from miles away. It never goes away, same like the constant RUMBLE of the sound of billions of liters of water pounding the rocks below as the Mighty Zambezi River shows its Zambian passport and passes into Zimbabwe. We love Vic Falls town, leading up to this trip we had been here together two times prior in the last few years and this time would be super special as we had a mate who flew from Jozi to meet us at the Victoria Falls Carnival for New Years. We have always been blessed with amazing friends who remain supportive of our adventures and Meli comes out to meet us and have his own adventure too.
We miss the party train that goes through a game park all the while with DJ’s blazing tunes in every cabin as party animals jump on the roof of the old school classic steam train and watch elephants look on in wonder as the sun sets. We had called Meli and told him we wouldn’t make it to the Falls by the evening of the 30th and that he should go check the train vibes out.
The ride to Vic Falls is amazing! We find these unoccupied mountain passes, lush with greenery and amazing views as far as the eye can see. The weather gods have finally seen us and they beam upon us with ray upon ray of golden African sunshine. The ever ready KLR (our weapon of choice for this trip) is loving it too as she THUMPS along mightily as we head into the most amazing descent into Victoria Falls town. We are met by a huge board saying welcome to Victoria Falls Town, we begin to see the cloud above the falls, as we edge closer you can smell the humidity in the air. The warmth of the area, the hospitable nature of the locals as well as the excitement the entire town holds over the New Years period. The streets are teeming with all sorts of accents. We note a lot of Europeans, South Africans, Batswana and other smaller representations. The GPS says we are about 500m from our BnB. We turn the second last corner and low and behold, there’s Meli walking the streets. It’s been three full days on the road and we have not seen a familiar face since we left Jozi.
The rush of joy and relief and the comfort of familiarity is so overwhelming. He points us on and we drive into the yard.
We stayed here once before, many years
ago in 2013. The owner/manager, a young guy around our age is glad to see us again. His recognizable face too gives us much joy. We change into summer gear and crack open some ice cold Zambezi beers. This is going to be home for the next two nights. We are beyond excited. In total we have covered about 1900km. We are thankful for travel mercies and the blessings from our ancestors.
The truly overwhelming part of this whole experience we realize is that we aren’t the only ones going through the motions. As soon as we settle in, and turn our phones back on, we see text messages, voice notes, online posts and pics, missed calls and voice messages, all wishing us well and keenly wanting an update on the journey thus far. As much as it’s us two against the open road and life itself, the best thing about family and friends is that you are never truly alone. We pack away the heavy bike gear for the next two days, and head out to party as we had when South Africa won the World Cup 2010 bid. Phillip is upon us again.