Our last breakfast in Joburg was not as good as the first one. The quality varies a little, but it will keep us going today. We’re all packed and ready for the next destination and at 8 AM our driver Noell is ready for our ride to the airport. At the airport a man with a cap that says “Porter” grabs us by the arms and drags us through checkin at record speed; before we know it, we’re in line for the security. We are told we will be leaving from gate A0, and make a long trek to the very end of the terminal to get there. Then Gepke finds out there are no public restrooms here, so she has to make the whole trek back again. After she returns and we settle in to wait for our flight, someone comes and announces that we need to move to gate A4, again at the other end of the terminal. By the time we get there it’s almost boarding time and we can slip right into line to board. As we go through gate A4 we need to walk a distance again and when we finally see the door to our plane, it appears to be parked at gate A5. By now we’ll be happy if we actually end up where we need to go…
But the plane leaves and does land in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe about an hour and a half later. We disembark and are herded to the immigration desks. We are luckily one of the first people off the plane so there is not a very long line in front of us. The man at the desks charges us each $50 for a 30 day KAZA visa for Zimbabwe and Zambia. Then it’s time to play the waiting game at the bagage carrousel. Will all our suitcases arrive? After seeing many pass by that we cannot claim, we finally see one that looks familiar. The second one takes almost as much time to appear later. But we have them all, and consider ourselves lucky.
The driver from the hotel is waiting in the arrival hall with a sign with our name on it. He leads us to a small van, that will take us the 20km to our hotel. The hotel looks new and fancy, with a lobby that is open to the outside. We are received with drinks and wait in comfortable chairs as they get our room ready. The rooms have the appearance of small attached bungalows and are very clean, modern and comfortable.
We get unpacked and decide to walk into town to get our bearings. Easier said than done. In an enthusiastic attempt to cross the street quickly I trip over an unevenness in the asphalt. What follows can best be described as a failed attempt at acrobatics on my end. I run to regain my balance and crash into the gravel on the other side of the road. We have to return to the room to have Gepke administer first aid. I have some serious scrapes on my hand and arms and bruises on my left leg and shoulders. The most damage though occurs to my ego. Not to spoil too much of the afternoon, we walk into town anyway, though for me it was more like limping.
Dinner is eaten at the hotel and we turn in early so I can forget feeling sorry for myself.
Next: Victoria Falls