Monday, November 29, 2010

A Goodbye Cruise

You would think all I did was drink while I was in Africa at this rate. Brett and Oliver met back up with us later in the day after Miki and I returned from our canoe safari. Hugs and apologies led us to a makeup date on a booze cruise into Zambia. It was just across the river, but our passports were always hungry for new stamps, so a-cruising we would go. We saw a most beautiful sunset as we chugged along the Zambezi above the Falls with many, many drinks in hand. One too many for poor Miki, as she was a fallen soldier half-way home. Not sure if the border guards appreciated cleaning up after all the booze cruisers that went through that border, but the economy was grateful I’m sure!
Miki’s groans were joined by the rest of us, as we begged for sleep under a blazing light post in the campground where we had set up our tents. At 3 AM we tossed and turned laughing at our fate, but by 5 AM we blissfully crashed again. Brett pushed on to get a view of the sunrise from the falls, but I could not muster the strength to walk, let alone goggle over a new day. Miki and I would make a trek to the falls later in the day to get our fill of the magnificent view and feel the spray of the Zambezi’s water on welcome cheeks.
This was our Coup de grĂ¢ce for a journey that had spanned just over 3 months. Miki would depart the next evening on a Translux bound for Johannesburg. It saddened me that she would no longer be my travelling companion, but fate had thrown her in my path and for that I would be eternally grateful. When I had concocted a journey to Africa the year before, it had held no one in it, but myself and  relatives to meet. I had never dreamed that I would be back-packing around the African continent with someone I barely knew from high school, an Aussie bloke and whatever other travelers we came across. She helped me to get comfortable in my backpack’s straps and have the confidence to strike out on my own. With a heavy heart I wished her well, but knew that when she left the next evening I would wipe away my tears and turn to the next bend in the road on my African Adventure.

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