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Pip&Judi’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 21 Aug 2005

Location: Victoria Falls, Zambia


Today we went for a walk. Boring??!

Read on.

Today was the madest craziest thing I have ever done in my life.

We went for a little stroll and a swim with a difference. Having met our guide Omega by the banks of the Zambezi jude and meself set off for our after lunch stroll. We had to paddle across a small 'weir' by way of a traditional African dance (that's side stepping very slowly by the way) to start with and then crossed some rocky terrain that was broken by a fast flowing current, even the odd bit of white water. Gradually after 20 minutes or so the water started to get deeper and faster but we stopped for the obligatory photo - even managing to capture the end of a rainbow.....believe it or not - right in Judes palm - so they DO exist. We have it on film.... I have found the Treasure at the end of my rainbow!!
It is blonde, blue eyed and holding it in the palm of her hand (the rainbow that is!!). Check the photo if you dont believe me!

At this point we took a few snaps of the falls - then Omega asked us to take our clothes off and leave them on the rocks (we had swimmies on by the way) as we were going for a swim. ......
...but this swim was against a fast flowing current, nearly 6ft deep water and only 35 yards from the TOP of Victoria falls in the middle of the Zambezi!!! We had to try and swin about 30 yards to a small grass knoll - with a broken arm Jude had no chance and as her slightly terrified face went back passed me I grabbed her bikini bottoms. Sorry Jude! But she got the wedgie to end all wedgies but I was not letting her go!!! We were all of 3o yards from the top of the falls now!! Obviously me being brave as a lion decided there was absolutely no f'ing way I was going to give it a try!!! Ladies first again and all that!!!

Anyway - we thought it would be better walking to our final destination - The Devils Pool on Livingstone island - so we waded through thigh high rapids on a rocky knife edge then clambered onto a large rock. At this point all sense of reality disappeared as Omega screamed like a mad man then 'bombed' into the river just 6ft from the edge of the falls!!!! he surfaced, laughed, looked at us with wild mad eyes whilst sitting on the edge of the falls and said "come on in". I cant publish my response !!! ...but it was only 2 words.

.....but hey we're on holiday, Judes got a broken arm, so yeah, you've guessed it, in she went!! sadly this left me little choice but to go in too. We were swimming in deep water at the top of the Falls. 10 ft to our right we're dead. 5 ft to our left, probably the same outcome. Just where we were we were "safe". Yeah right!!
Splashing, screaming and hollering like lunatics we waved at people on the opposite side of the gorge - we cold see them watchimng us through binoculars and in disbelief that there were people SWIMMING right in the centre of the falls in what to them must have looked like a suicide attempt.... they were screaming when I inexplicably thought it would be fun to 'bomb' Jude and clambered onto a rock then leapt into the falls from a rock. At one point we leant over the rock shelf holding us back and my hand was in thin air 350ft poking out of the front of the falls.

we spent about 20 minutes here and it was a completely sureal experience - luckily we got some pictures before my pocket camera got drowned!!! It was a swim that Ihave had nightmares about and dont think I'd ever repeat. I nice cold beer on Livingstone Island after calmed the nerves but the adrenaline was pumping for hours after. Thanks Omega for a mad afternoon that will never be forgotten but will long be talked about.

The Taxi home shared with 9 passengers plus the driver (in a small 4 door Toyaota), 3 in the passenger seat, 6 in the back and the driver gets his own seat....thankfully... just seemed perectly natural. Africa!! We love it!!