Uncategorized

19/04/10, stage 60, Ruze Chalets to Livingstone

Our 60th day on the bike. Our last riding day before we have three rest days in Livingstone. An easy day on paper. The profile appeared to be flat, gradually downhill, with only 500 meters of climbing and a 1000 meters of elevation loss. But no easy days on the Tour d’Afrique though. It was still a 150k ride on undulating terrain and the wind seemed to be turning all the time, making it hard to get into a nice rithm. Roads were as monotonous as they were yesterday…

I reached the turn to camp after some 5,5 hours in the saddle, at around 1230. I didn’t want to go to camp though, because I was now in Livingstone, famous for the majestic Victoria Falls! And I’ve reached Livingstone by bike! Camp was located some 7k away from the falls though. However it felt like a shame to not end the day at a wonderfull site like Vic Falls after all the hard work we’ve put in to get here, riding another 500k in the last three dags. So I texted Tallis that I made it to town, but that I was making a purposefull deviation to see the falls. And that’s what I did 🙂
I don’t expect people to understand, but sights like these are so much better after a long day in the saddle. Legs hurting, body and clothes sweaty and dirty. The fine mist of water droplets sprayed into the air was already visible from a distance. The smoke that thunders. Mosi oa Tunya. And once I got closer I could hear the thunder. Water dropping 108 meters down, over a length of 1,7 kilometer makes a lot of noise. I paid the entrance fee to enter the park surrounding the falls and left the bike locked with the security guard who checked my ticket. I followed the trail to see the falls up close. I passed the raincoat shop. No raincoat for me. I made my way to the knife edge bridge and got my first proper view, while getting soaked by the mist, washing away the dirt of the day. The best shower you could wish for after a TDA day!
It’s not possible to describe it. Pictures fall short. There is just this wall of water falling down and there is no end to it. You can’t see the bottom of the gorge and you can’t see the end of the falls. It all disolves in the fine spray of water that comes back up after hitting the bottom. And when the sun shines there are rainbows everywhere… I’m in Livingstone, Zambia, Africa, standing where Livingstone first witnessed this sight and where Rhodes built his bridge. And I got here by bicycle!
Reaching the falls is a milestone. In terms of distance we’re now a little over two thirds done. Some 3250k to go till Cape Town. We’ll get three days of rest now, to re-energize for the last bit of the tour, and to explore the wonderfull suroundings of the falls. We expect to reach our final destination in a little over a month. It’s three months since I left home. I’m not sure if I ever expected to make it this far. However I did 🙂 And we’re not running out of incentives to keep on cycling. The elephant highway in Botswana. The Kalahari desert. The Namibian desert with its massive sand dunes. Fish River Canyon. Namaqualand. The first view on the Atlantic Ocean. Cape Town…. We’re not done yet 🙂

The hustle and bustle of a TDA morning, under and African sunrise. Cyclists heading out, riders washing their morning dishes, landcruiser waiting to hit the road, main truck waiting to be packed…

Same long road as yesterday. 152k of it + 14k detour to see the falls…

Livingstone!

Always on the lookout…

First view on the upper Zambezi river, the thundering smoke clearly visible on tbe horizon…

Following the trail to see the falls…

Many baboons 🙂 very tame

There it is!

You can’t see the bottom, nor the end… 

From a distance, Knife edge bridge

Rhodes’ Bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia). The spray of the falls falling on the bridge, just like rhodes envisioned…

The whirlpool, lower Zambezi river. Falls are to the right…

We are camped at the Zambezi Waterfront. Beautifull sunset…

I really hope they don’t mean us TDA riders…

0 comments on “19/04/10, stage 60, Ruze Chalets to Livingstone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: