Thursday, July 10, 2008

Livingstone, Zambia

I spent my last couple of days in Tanzania staying in Stone Town, Zanzibar. I met a couple of Scottish med students, and between our various tours and activities, we managed to get dinner and drinks together a couple of nights in a row. I'm glad I met them, as they gave me some much-needed company. Two days ago, I flew from Zanzibar to Johannesburg. At first, I wasn't too keen on spending a night there (horror stories of violent crime, at least in the city center), but I stayed in a backpackers lodge for the first time about 2 kilometers from the airport. It actually was great to stay somewhere fairly Westernized for a night - the shower was so hot, and the water pressure was so good, that I was nearly scalded and knocked over at the same time. Wonderful!!!

Yesterday, I flew from Joburg to Livingstone, Zambia in the center of Southern Africa. We were greeted at the airport by traditional dancers (who were there to greet someone more important, but that's okay), and I was picked up by a shuttle, along with two other girls, to the Jollyboys Backpackers Lodge. What a great place! A pool, lots of places for lounging, a bar/restaurant, gift shop, internet, a desk where you can book all your activities, a book exchange, and it's full of people. This is my first time backpacking, and I have to say, I rather like backpacker 'culture'. I'm staying in a dorm room - 4 bunk beds which hold 8 people - for $10 a night.

Last night, I very spontaneously decided to go on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River with an Australian girl I met on the shuttle from the airport. I'm glad I went with her, and didn't decide to go another night when I didn't know anyone, because it was a very small crowd. It's nicknamed the 'booze cruise', and we had unlimited drinks for the 2 hour cruise, along with a barbecued dinner. We met a couple of Japanese guys who are in Africa volunteering for 2 years. After the cruise, we had a few minutes at a campfire with a few performers playing marimba and other instruments in the background. The ride back to Jollyboys was interesting, but so much fun - riding in an open-sided safari car along a fairly bumpy road, belting out songs at the top of our lungs (and sounding terrible while we did so) and laughing a lot. We chilled with our feet in the pool for a while when we got back, then hit the sack pretty early.

In a little over an hour, I'm going to see Victoria Falls! More updates soon.

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