God’s Good Pleasure
What a wonderful variety in this world. Pictures cannot do it justice. There is variety of landscape, of people, of living, and then there is Mosi-ao-Tunya, the Smoke that Thunders, or Victoria Falls.
I started out early this morning and got to the bus station a little before six. This allowed me to get a window seat again, which made more sense for this journey than it did for the airplane flights. I had 6 ½ hours to look out the window at the countryside of southern Zambia between Lusaka and Livingstone.
It is not an exciting drive. I am not sure what to call the landscape, but the name of an old TV show kept coming to mind, “High Chaparral.” There are a few rolling hills with grassland and scrub trees. Yet the trees look a little different, and the grass is all brown. The different part is how people live. I had seen the pictures of the small African villages or compounds with the round homes with thatched roofs. I had seen a few between Ndola and Lusaka. On this stretch there were numerous ones.
Six and a half hours is a long time on a bus, but it is a good way to see what the country looks like. It got a little more interesting near the end. When there is only one paved two lane road through the whole area, what do you do when the road needs major repair of resurfacing? It seems the only option is to carve a bumpy two lane dirt road through along the railway for about 25-30 miles.
Finally, we made it to Livingstone. After waiting a few minutes to get into my room, I quickly ate the other half of the sub from last night and headed for the Falls. Sunday seems like a good time to go there. It was not busy. The Falls are incredible, and there is no way to take a picture that fully shows them. I must have taken a couple hundred pictures to try. It is a good thing that digital pictures do not cost anything.
Mosi-ao-Tunya is what the Africans called them. It means “the smoke that thunders.” This makes a lot more sense than Victoria Falls, which is what David Livingstone named them. Whatever you call them, they need to be experienced to appreciate them.
I tried to experience them in a variety of ways. I walked the footbridge through the mist and then out to the end point of the Zambian side of the gorge. Then I played part mountain goat and climbed down the rocky path, waded through streams, and climbed over rocks to get down into the gorge where all the water from the Falls converge. It is called the Boiling Pot. It is quite an experience to get there. I am glad a local decided to become my guide for a tip or I never would have figured out how to get there. Most of the lower path has been washed away and replaced by large boulders.