“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Day 14 - The last sunrise

Tracey rockin the
sunrise safari suit
I woke early and since it was our last day, I decided to get up and enjoy the sunrise with a brew. Tracey joined me despite it being only 615am. I was making the tea and she was outside getting a dawn nicotine fix when I turned to see her leaping about outside the window, silently, but frantically waving her arms around at me. I collapsed in hysterics. Seeing Tracey filled with that much excitement is both joyous and slightly worrying, so I grabbed the bins and went to see what she was peeing her PJs about... there was an elephant wading in the river outside the tent next door! We spent a good while contorting ourselves to try and see it better through the bushes before it wandered north up the river bank. Magic.
With little time left to pack, we sorted through all the paper work and the remaining cash for the last time and headed over to the main lodge to settle up, post staff tips and wait for our speedboat transfer to Vic Falls town.
Return journeys typically feel longer and harder to make, and this one was no different. The river journey wasn't the meandering affair we'd hoped, since two of our travelling companions were 20 minutes late, and the mini-bus transfer to the border had 3 hotel stops to make en route, collecting a total of 18 people before heading to the Zim/Zam border. Two passengers had no visa so there was a slight delay there, but it wasn't long before we were back Zambian side and driving through Livingstone high street for the last time.
It was sad to be back at the airport where it all started two weeks ago - we'd crammed a lot in, met some amazing people, been excited, happy, sad, tired, inspired, frustrated and overjoyed. It was been a huge experience and most definitely filled up the memory banks, not to mention the camera cards.
And for those of you keen to know.... Tracey finally used a loo on a aeroplane! (albeit stationary, on Jo'burg tarmac).
The two flights home were pretty uneventful (apart from a glass of red wine being sloshed all over Tracey's table and some stern words aimed at the guy who pulled Tracey's breakables bag down from the overhead storage). We watched a couple of films and tried to sleep, but thoughts sadly turned to work and the overflowing email inbox which no doubt awaits me... scared to turn my phone on... and I only have a day at the office before I'm back on a plane to Israel, dreaming of African skies.

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