Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
101Trip End Ongoing
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Shortly after getting settled into our rooms, yes ROOMS - this means matresses and pillows and all of these other strange modern luxuries that are so much more comfortable than canvas walls zipped up and domed over you as you lay on a thin mat on top of rocks. We set out for the craft market to check out the prices and prepare for some real shopping the following day
It was necessary for us to get some Zim dollars for small use such as Internet and drinks around town. Being as the banks were corrupt as the government, none of us had a hope of getting a good exchange rate. Luckily for us Bernard, our guide, was originally from Vic Falls and he knew some of the people. We found ourselves entering a back room of the hostel and one by one we were greeted by two local men with dreads and very large bags of "money". They were very friendly and gave us a much better rate than the bank. Our $40 Canadian, turned into three HUGE stacks of Zimbabwean notes for a total of (Place pinky finger to lips and insert Dr. Evil's voice here) "Five Million Dollars!" We were quite bewildered to be carrying so many bills away with us. It was such a thick couple of stacks that if we made it one stack, we would not have been able to get our fingers completely around it all to carry it. This will be the first and likely the last time we can say we were millionaires. Our bewilderment turned into minor panic when we noticed that every bill had an expiry date of December 31, 2004. We quickly found Bernie, feigning smile and showed him the money that his 'friends' had exchanged for us. He smiled at us and explained that all the Zimbabwean dollars had an expiry date on them because they were hoping to improve their economy by that date, but obviously never did. Phew!
Being brand new millionaires, we decided to flaunt our wealth a bit. Here is a price list of what we bought in our two days there.
(Please read the following in Dr. Evil voice)
Internet (30 minutes)......$90 000
2 Coca Colas...............$200 000
Supper #1..................$350 000
Supper # 2.................$350 000
3 Beer.....................$480 000
The next day we woke up and were excited to go to Victoria Falls
1) It is from the Zambizi River
2) Total distance across the falls is 1.7km
3) The falls plummit 95 meters to the base
The area around the falls was set up beautifully. The 1.7km was an arrangement of curving walking paths, which veered off to various viewpoints of the falls along the way. Before you actually enter the area, people are selling raincoats and ponchos due to the spray from the huge plummit. Thanks to the typhoon that followed us up Vietnam, we both still had our ponchos and were prepared for a bit of a drizzle.
It ends up that when the wind changed even so slightly, we would lose our amazing view of Vic Falls and be absolutely drenched by the spray
We finished our amazing mini-trek of the falls by watching one brave (or stupid) soul bungee from the bridge seperating Zimbabwe from Zambia. This same bridge also had a spectacular view of part of the falls. It was great to see this person dive towards the water and bounce back up through a colorful rainbow. We can just imagine how it might have been for the jumper. (Wonder if it tasted like Skittles...)
After our fantastic visit to the falls, we headed to the market. We were on a mission to buy our final gifts and souvenirs. Being the wiley veterans that we are, and because we went to the market the day before, we now knew the ropes here in Victoria Falls. Many of the people selling their items were willing to trade to bring down their prices. One man was so persistant, that he followed us out of the market offering us a great deal for my shoes. We looked at each other, looked at my shoes, shrugged and I walked home bare foot with an extra souvenir.
Hugs and Love,
Dana and Trevor