Wednesday – 08/05/2013

I set off on foot this morning after having breakfast for the first time since leaving Sweden, consisting of a mix of wheetabix, bananas and peanut butter, it would be needed as I was to endure a 20hr bus journey to Windhoek later in the day. My aim was to walk over the border into Zambia and from there get a taxi the next 10km into Livingstone where I was to catch the bus at midday. Looking even more like a pack horse than before as in addition to my bags I now had a plastic shopping bag loaded with supplies for the journey. These included half a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, bananas, juice, left over box of wheetabix and a bag of peanuts.

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Crossing Victoria Falls Bridge.

By the time I got to through Zim boarder post and on to the bridge over the Zambezi joining Zimbabwe and Zambia all I had left was the bag of peanuts. The rest had given in to the relentless requests of the locals for me to trade my food with them for various trinkets they had on offer. Not wanting to add to my load I just gave them the packet which resulted in a jovial wresting match among the traders as they grabbed what they could. By the time I had made it across the bridge the bag of peanuts was gone and in its place was a Nyaminyami necklace.

Damp from the fine rain mist from the falls I continued on to the Zambian border, the entire journey must have been about 3km and provided plenty of entertaining interactions along the way, there was even a group that wanted their photo taken with me. My favorite though was the fella who muttered to his with, “tourist” as I overtook them on the bridge. To this I turned back and said “traveler, not tourist.” This resulted in a briefly extended explanation about where I was from and that a tourist is someone who has a home to go back to after their stay in a foreign land, while a traveler is someone who continues to move from place to place, with no specific place to go back to. He was happy with this explanation and we both chuckled as I left them behind to contemplate the definition further.

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Mist from the falls rains down on the bridge.

As I stepped through the Zambian border control I spotted an Intercape bus being loaded with bags, this struck me as odd since the lady on the phone the previous day distinctly said 12pm in Livingstone across from Barclays bank, it was 11am. Before I could even formulate my inquiry to the staff members loading the bags one of them came running up to me and in a pant asked if I was going to Namibia and where my friend was. With a curious look I said yes to the Namibia question and gestured that I was traveling alone, he wasn’t paying attention anymore as was already taking my bag off my back and loading it on to the bus. I explained that I did not have a ticket, to which they said no problem I can pay on the bus. It would be R520, I explained that I only had USD on me or card, they said I could not pay on card, but would be able to change money at the border post and should just get on the bus. Not 5 minutes after I got on the bus we were rolling away leaving the thunder of the falls to the tourists. One of the bus staff came and sat down in front of me, turned and said, “lucky break my man.” I don’t know if it was me or another they were waiting for, but I certainly got a lucky break as the next bus was only in 4 days time.

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Stopping at the Namibian border post.