I stayed for four nights at Mvuu lodge where there were monkeys, elephants, hippos, campfires, the lower zambezi and………free internet! An unlimited broadband connection costs 800 dollars a month over here and so its a luxury that only the high end lodges can afford. I have basically gorged myself over the past few days. For most of the past 2 months I’ve had to beg borrow or steal other peoples computers in order to update the blog so I’ve loved having this time online. It really is great. I’m starting to think it might actually be a good idea to give up the internet for a while, because when you come back it really does seem like the streets are paved with gold and all you have to do is sift through some rubbish and bend down to pick it up. I wonder if this is how a vegetarian, tee totaller or ex-smoker feels when they finally succumb to temptation only to realise that the first bacon sandwich, cold beer or cigarette tastes even sweeter than it ever used to before?
But, just like staying up all night to read a good book till 5am or watching the latest ’24’ boxset in 24hrs I have to remind myself not to get too lost and to put it down because my eyes are hurting, my sleep patterns have gone awry and there is also a whole, dare I say it, real world out there to be seen.
And what a real world Zambia is. I have spent most of my time here stuck out in the wilderness and it is breathtakingly beautiful. Last night I sat for 5hrs watching the sun setting over the water, followed shortly by a full red moon that rose up from over Zimbabwe before it slowly turned yellow and then finally into a bright white spot light in the sky.
I’ve also sat watching the elephants, hippos and monkeys that have been in the camp every day. The animals go about their days with such power and grace and the setting here is simply stunning. Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in. Now I’m not a religious man, but if I was forced to choose then I would pick Catholicism, because if all this didn’t come about by natural selection then I think it must have been designed by an Italian.
I managed to hitch a ride out of Mvuu on Saturday with the owner who took me as far as the pontoon where I was really lucky and arrived just as a taxi from Lusaka was dropping off two guests. Seeing as he had already been paid for the round trip and was heading back anyway he agreed to take me the whole way for only ten dollars. Sweet. I had one night in Lusaka before getting on a bus for the 18hr trip up to the very north of Zambia by Lake Tanganika. For the whole 18 hours the driver played nothing but whining R&B music at full volume. It was like trying to sleep in a bad nightclub. And no-one complained. I could only think this was because he might fall asleep without it on, which I suppose is a good enough reason. The only thing I could do was put on my ipod at maximum volume so that at least I could sleep listening to something with a bit of melody. Thankfully I had three swiss girls to talk to on the way called Astrid, Britta and Corina. Or the ABC girls as I liked to call them (and no, they were not as ‘easy as 123’)
Staying at Nkupi lodge for a few days for some snorkelling and fishing before catching the ferry going further north on friday.