The Most Incredible Experience, twice!
Yesterday after a bit of traveling and immigration check ins, we finally arrived in Victoria Falls. Before we arrived at the hotel, we had lunch at a traditional African restaurant. Now, I'm not the most adventurous person when it comes to tasting certain foods but as long as it's not spicy, I'll try it. Since I've been here, I have acquired a taste for polenta, the African preparation of polenta. One thing I draw the line on is Mopane worms. Yeah, yeah, they're full of protein and don't taste bad, blah, blah, blah.... I'm not going to do it! One thing I have definitely reacquired a taste for is Fanta Orange. It's very popular here. Finally, something we can agree on.
We were able to check into our rooms right away and we were meeting later for a trip to the falls. Once there, I was extremely inspired by the mere mass of all the water flowing and it wasn't even the high water season. They give you the option of wearing ponchos but it was so hot I didn't even mind getting soaked. It was breathtaking!
On our way out to the exit, I came across this fella. Baboons and monkeys are here and everywhere. If you wear or carry anything bright colors, they come right up to you and pull on your clothes or try to take whats in your hand.
When we were given options for excursions in Victoria Falls, the first thing I saw on the list was Elephant Interaction. I didn't have to think twice and signed up for it right away.
We were picked up at 6:15 this morning. Seeing that I did't get much sleep last night (up at 2am and couldn't go back to sleep), getting ready in time wasn't an issue.
When the drive arrived, he handed us all fleece lined ponchos. I looked at him like he was nuts, but I figured he knew what he was talking about. Boy was I glad he gave us those. We were riding in an open safari truck and with the wind, it must have been closer to 50 degrees.
We arrived at the reserve and it was a gorgeous place. Some of the group rode elephants and the other half chose the interaction. They gave each group a briefing on the elephant and we were off.
I have always wanted to be this close to an elephant and as soon as they brought them out, I began to cry. I love these animals so much and to see how well they are treated and loved it was beautiful.
I was with an elephant named Doma. He was 45 years and had been rescued as a baby elephant. He was on a farm for a short-time and then brought to the reserve.
I had never been this close to an elephant let alone feed and pet one. He was so gentle quite a messy eater. He got mud all over me, but I didn't care.
When we were through, you had the option buy a print of his foot, on recycled elephant dung paper. So I did.
One thing that happened that was unexpected was a wild dog siting. They were right across from us. It was on my list but I had given up all hope.
Tonight is our last night together and it's dinner on a river cruise. I can't believe this trip is just about over. I've been planning it for 3 years and just like that, 3 weeks later and it's over.
I have never been affected by a vacation in such a positive way before in my entire life. From meeting the villagers in Hwange, to the kids at Jabulani School and being taken by the hand by Aguilla. That little girl touched my heart so much.
I've also met some wonderful people that are part of this tour. All of them are so well travelled; they can travel with a carryon. A trick I will one day need to learn.