Saturday, January 03, 2009

I blessed the rains down in Africa

Ok, after some pressure to write a post about Africa, here goes... (you can play this in the background if you wish - sidenote - I got an ipod for Christmas, so I've been uploading all my cds, and I have rediscovered Howie Day. I remember going to a Tori Amos concert with my sister about 7 years ago just because Howie Day was the opening act. He's crazy talented, but I think he's had drug problems, and he was associated with Britney Spears for a time, so he's pretty much gone down the shitter.)

Anyway, back to Africa. Africa is a continent, and it turns out, it's pretty huge, and it takes forever to get there. I believe there was something like 36 hours of travel time (including layovers in London and Johannesburg) to get where we were going (Zambia) where we took a helicopter tour of Victoria Falls.

This was our 'hotel' room in Zambia.

The following is where I was afraid there was some crazy big bug ready to jump out and kill me.

It turned out that there really weren't that many bugs around. We did happen across a grasshopper so big you could have ridden it, but it was fairly benign, so it was all good. There were some flies and mosquitos, but it wasn't that bad.

From Zambia, we went to Botswana, where the majority of our tour was. Botswana is a stable, "successful" country (I put successful in quotes because I mostly determine success based on the number of reality tv shows that originate in a particular area, so, by some people's criteria, it is successful, however, I feel it's questionable.) Botswana is right next to Zimbabwe, which is a shit-hole by most people's standards, and was blamed for the robbery that took place in one of our first lodges. Basically, the single room 'hut' next to ours was broken into in the middle of the night and robbed. Apparently there was no key to that hut, so the theory was that it was a bit of an inside job. Regardless, I was awakened in the middle of the night by yelling and banging and it was really quite terrifying. I can handle having things stolen while nobody is around, but having people steal stuff when the victim is sleeping with the threat of being shot (they claimed to have guns) is a little different. Regardless, I'm kind of glad that we experienced that, as it was a wake up call regarding the fact that we were no longer in Canada. Desperate people (from Zimbabwe no doubt! We hated those punks from Zimbabwe) do desperate things, which I'm not used to here.

Anyway, this is getting long, and we're only on the first night, so I'll just throw up some pictures and say that it was quite an experience to go to Africa, and if anyone is interested in wildlife trips, I really can't imagine anything being better. The number and concentration of animals was almost overwhelming at times and it never really got tiring watching a herd of them walk by.

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