Monday, October 19, 2009

The Mighty Zambezi

Every night at Shoestrings Backpackers in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, they show the video of that day's rafting trip down the Zambezi River. We came back from dinner just as it began to play. The crowd was a rowdy one and it sounded like they had had a blast. The video confirmed this. We hadn't thought much about rafting but after watching the huge rapids we knew we had to run the Mighty Zambezi.

Early the next morning, we climbed down the gorge to our put in just below Mosi-oa-Tunya. In our boat were two Swiss couples and their overland South African guide. We were led by Colgate with his pearly white smile. The big water started immediately and didn't stop all day. We flipped the raft on the sixth rapid called the Devil's Toilet Bowl because of the whirlpool in the middle. Temple's head popped up with a shocked look on her face. Later, Clay took a swim on the longest Class V of the day called Gulliver's Travels.

We both felt at home on the raging river. Even more so when we took out for lunch and were greeted by a local boy in a red shirt that read, "Athens: a drinking town with a football problem."

The last rapid of the day was Oblivion. With a series of three huge waves, it's easy for a raft to cut a complete front to back flip. We hit it perfectly though and the big wave crashed all over us as we sailed safely through. At the take out we thanked Nyami Nyami, the river god, and the Mighty Zambezi for a thrilling and safe passage. Then, we climbed up the steep gorge wall and headed back to Shoestrings to relive it all over again.

(The images in the slideshow are screen shots from the DVD)


foster said...

Now I have even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving morning! That was some big water!

Ted said...

WOW! This reminds me of our Colorado River trip but with a whole lot more water and BIGGER Rapids. What a thrill.