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Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At last...Zambia Day 1!

Hello everyone...I am back in the building ;) ....jokes, jokes, I wish i could sing like Elvis!



It has been a seriously disruptive week and a half with our internet cable being damaged...it wasn't only our area, half of the city had the same problem...but it seems now that they have sorted it out, thank goodness!



I had a geat deal of sympathy for the stranded people in Europe this week...we were in Verbier at the beginning of January this year and as everything was frozen, and flights delayed and cancelled, we were stuck in airports for two days with 5 kids...so I can understand how frustrating it can be. Seems that the flights are slowly resuming, and things may look up (I hope...) for this week. I have posted this pic below, because it is just wondrous to look at...unbelievably scary, yet an awesome spectacle of nature...it was taken by the uber talented Marco Fulle, and was yesterday's Astronomy pic of the day...



Onto our Zambian trip!!!!! All I can say is that we had an incredible time...it was a truly special celebration of our daughter's birthday and she loved every minute of it!



We arrived at Livingstone Airport, to a lovely warm and sunny afternoon...and I had a little smile, as we saw the airforce troops practising their marching ON the same tarmac as the airplanes landed...can't imagine that at Tambo International ;)




We waited in line at the customs area and I had to sneak a quick pic of the prohibited items...I love the phraseology, quite naive and sweet in a way...I still haven't managed to find out what qilika is...


Just outside the airport, we saw the famous Dr Livingstone and his faithful companions Susi and Chuma, ...immortalised in bronze for the world to see, the story of the missionary Doctor and his experiences is a remarkable read...well worth the time.



We were picked up by a friendly and erudite guide, Lombe, who gave us a history of Livingstone as we drove through the narrow streets...he pointed out historic buildings and that they were protected by law. I loved the bright blue colour of the taxis, which were abundant...



The pic below is of the main street through Livingstone...Mosi-o-tunya street. Mosi-o-tunya is the local name for the Victoria Falls, meaning "the smoke that thunders".
I took all these pics through the front window of the bus we were travelling in, so you'll see the odd reflection in the windows... at the far end of the street, you can see a misty cloud floating above the trees...this is the mighty Zambezi River, crashing over the edge of the cliff, and the water vapour cloud that results from the turbulence...


As we drove closer to the Zambezi Sun Hotel, we saw more clearly the falls, and the kids were beside themselves with excitement, insisting that we go there...asap!





The Zamezi Sun Hotel is set in the National Park, and your chances of seeing game are very good. They are also very child friendly (why we decided to stay there), and literally a 3 minute walk from the falls...


The hotel is really beautifully designed, in a Moroccan/African fusion style, and I spent ages taking pics of all the lovely vignettes around the lawns and passages. I'll post more of this tomorrow. This lamp was too gorgeous, I have a secret love for these fat little creatures (it must be said, however, that the hippo is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa and should never, ever, under any circumstance be under-estimated, they are cute looking ONLY, lethal in reality).


This is the lobby of the hotel, note the lovely rich colours...






Afetr checking in, we had a couple of hours to spare, so we took the kids to the pool, which was absolutely fantastic...a live Marimba band plays the most beautiful music every afternoon, and everyone enjoys a sunny spot near the pool's edge...the whole place is so carefully beautified, mosaics adorn the pool edge, lovely big wrought iron animal sculptures are found all over the gardens, and the gardens too are well maintained.





In the afternoon, we went for a guided tour of the Falls. This time of the year is high water season, and the Zambezi was maximally full, as such the Falls were spectacular. During dry season, when the water level falls, one can apparently walk across the edge of the cliff, to Livingston Island, which is a small island slap bang in the middle of the river/cliff edge...

The turbulence at the base of the falls is so great that the vapour cloud reaches high into the sky, and as we all know ;), what goes up, must come down, so you quite literally get completely drenched when you walk next to the falls. We were all given raincoats, but I realised that this was more out of politeness on behalf of the guide , than a real attempt at keeping us dry...it is NOT possible :) . I had anticipated this and had fortunately bought an underwaterhousing along for my camera, so I soldiered on , once more into the breach...er...rain...






The base of the falls is called the boiling pot, because realistically, if you fall off of the edge, you don't stand a chance...the violence of crashing water is terrible...


Everything near the falls is wet...completely wet...


The above pic was taken totally blind...I was soaked to the bone , and just pointed in the general direction of the water, and pushed the shutter button...a changing wind blew some mist away and I had a bit of a view of the falls that one cannot generally see from the other side...


A perpetual rainbow... one even sees a "moonbow"at night when the moon is full...

All along the gardens, you'll find strange yet beautiful sculptures...


We came back from this wonderful experience, soaked but happy!
I will post lots more pics in the days to come...
Lots of Love,
Heidi :)

3 comments:

Redbeet Mama said...

Hi Heidi - what a lovely tour. It looks like an amazing trip!
I received my package yesterday - I love, love, love, it. I will post about it today! I will be ready to send you your goodies by Friday.

Can't wait to see day 2.

Much love, Nicole

S said...

Just beautiful. My dad has been, many moons ago. Maybe one day we will go too, but for now your pictures and discription are fabulous!

K said...

Oh, I have to run away to the movie, but I have so much to say!! Lovely, lovely - and frightening. But then, the greatest beauties can be like that.