The 3 A's... Africa, Asia & the Americas

See Virtual Tours of Zimbabwe

26feb07

Hi all.

Well after our chilled out time in Mozambique, we stepped up the pace again and made our way to Vic Falls. This meant travelling into and out of Jo'burg (which we managed to survive despite warnings from locals that we stood a good chance of having our limbs cut off if we went there) and also through Zimbabwe....

Zimbabwe was a bit strange.... We arrived off an overnight bus (we started our journey at 8pm from Jo'burg and arrived at 11.30am) into Bulawayo. We had no currency as, with the political situation in Zim at the moment, the currency is in a real mess (along with everything else in the country). So the first thing we had to do was get some currency......somehow.

Now the official bank rate is 250 Zim dollars to $1 US. On the blackmarket however the rate is anything upto 20000 Zim dollars to $1 US (seriously.....). You have to be very careful who you exchange money with as you can imagine crime is rife here... So Simon set off with a guy we'd met that had been on our bus with us... He knew of somewhere to get a good reliable exchange. So off he went down the road with this guy leaving me there looking after all our bags. I must admit that I did worry just a little as you don't really know who to trust and you hear so many horror stories. 20 minutes later though he returned 780,000 dollars richer!!!!

One thing that has struck us while in Zimbabwe is all the shortages - honestly there are queues about 1 mile long outside the petrol stations. As there is so little petrol, these cars wait in these queues for about 4 days!!!! In the shops, you cannot get milk, and bread is like gold-dust. I've seen people having to up to the office of the supermarket to pre-order loafs of bread!! It's a shame!!! We weren't going to hang around in Bulawayo for long as our plan was to get to Vic Falls as quickly as possible and get out of there. So we booked ourselves on an overnight train out of Bull to Vic Falls for that night. It cost us all of $7 to get a sleeper cabin to ourselves.... It was like something out of a James Bond Movie only just a little less luxurious....

So we hung out in Bulawayo for the day until our train that night. All in all it was quite painless really - we went to a fantastic steak restaurant for Sunday lunch and that, Beers and pudding cost us about $5!! for the 2 of us.... Now the train journey was interesting as only 3 weeks prior the train had crashed and 50 people had died.... The train boss was onboard, actually in the cabin next door to us. He told us to lock our doors and double lock them, and DO NOT open them to anyone until we got to Vic Falls - he also told us to bang on the wall should we have any problems - Just what you want to hear before settling down to a cosy night sleep!!

WE rolled into Vic Falls at about 11am on Monday morning though fresh as daisies.... we'd had a lovely night's sleep!! WE visited Vic Falls that afternoon - amazing!!! Yesterday, Tuesday, we went white water rafting on the "mighty Zambezi". I must admit, I was pooing my pants at the thought of doing this - what with my "white-water experience" when canoeing in Finland, (do you remember that Debbie and Rob??!!) I'd formed an irrational fear of any water upwards of mere frothy!!!! But it was one of those things that had to be done!! So we did it!! And it was fantastic!!!!

See Virtual Tours of Victoria Falls

We had such a good day.... WE were flipped about senseless by the river, but on most occasions I managed to hold on to the boat - whether inside or outside.... It was FUN!!! Today we are having a restful day. Tomorrow we are heading off up to Zambia, then we go on to Malawi and onwards through Tanzania and Kenya - stopping on the way to have a bit of fun of course.

Will keep you up to date and informed of our adventures...... Lots of love WEndy xxxxx