Vic Falls Finale!
By Matt Stanford and Kyle McDonald
Traveling, working dirty and working clean, late nights, big falls and near death swims is what our week in Victoria Falls consisted of. It was an eventful week of work and play. As one says “work hard play hard”
The first day was a long one traveling through the border from Botswana into Zimbabwe. We finally stopped at rest camp and set up camp. The boys straight away went out and explored town. Ross and Andrew successfully found a small bar not too far from camp. Most guys spent the afternoon relaxing in preparation for the first night out. The whole intake went to a small place called Shoestrings where we experience the likes of tourists and locals, as well as some amazing local art. The night started off slow but in the end some Uruguayan ladies rocked up which seemed to get the party started. Tuesday was our chill day and went to see the falls before we headed off for work on Wednesday.
It was a first sighting for most guys, which was pretty amazing. The water level was not very high yet we did get a little bit sprayed from the mist. A couple of photos were taken and we watched a few people bungee jump but no Questors did it. Seeing the mighty Zambezi was amazing.
We were all set off into our separate groups for different work experience. Most guys went to hotels for work while some went back to Zambezi Sands and others went to do construction, which for them ended up going on game drives. Some guys went to a crocodile farm. Some of the hotel guys had very early starts and others went in late. House keeping and bar tending is what they were sentenced to do for their days. Some were lucky enough to go to the fancy hotels and get fancy food all day. Unluckily for the guys on the croc farm all they got was a pie and a bruised apple kindly brought out by Mr. Marffy.
Angus and Brandan were lucky enough to do construction which they thought was going to be making cement and brick laying. To their surprise they went Hwange National Park to check out some structures to see if they were damaged or not. It must have been tough work for them sitting in game vehicles seeing amazing game and having a beer in the evening. The croc farm guys had a very exciting first day. As they arrived they were sent to select crocs to check their skins. We then went to help out at the slaughterhouse. Kyle was sent to do the tough job… Matt was sent to weigh and pack fresh meat. Hugo and Harry had to unpack and pack already frozen meat. On Friday we got a full tour of the farm and saw what the crocs go through from hatching to culling. The croc farm has 37 000 crocodiles at the moment. Ross, Haydn and Justin went to Zambezi Sands again and had some lucky fishing, Justin manage to catch 22 tigers in the three days Haydn unfortunately only caught 1 but also caught a bream (with questionable methods) so he got the species award.
Friday night was spent at a local bar called the Boathouse where we got to introduce ourselves to the locals and play a bit of darts against some past Questors. Then back to Shoestrings for the end of the night.
Death defying rapid swims!!!! White water rafting on Saturday was full of fear, humor and excitement. We were split into groups of 7 in a boat. We had a short hike down into the river below the falls. We had our safety talks and then we were off… the first rapid was great fun as none of us were expecting such big waves. A few rapids down the guys started to fall out. I personally watched Brandan, Mr. Randle, Angus and Liam fall out on a small rapid, which resulted in much laughter. Rapid number 7 was one, which we could choose to do. All the boats in our group decided to do it. Unfortunately some guys fell out on this rapid and could not hold onto the boat. For Kyle and Brandan it was a scary time as they were held under for what seemed to be ages but just a few seconds. Brandan came up as white as a sheet and was not keen to go any further but after regaining his confidence he had a great time. We went down over 20 rapids in the day and after the last one we had to hike out, which was 750 m nearly vertical climb. Some lovely cold refreshment was waiting at the top for us with a cooked meal. It was an experience that none of us will forget, other than Joel who unfortunately could not come with us as he had just been discharged from hospital after having a lumbar puncture. While visiting him in hospital the night before some guys had a bit of fun and played with the beds and Andrew almost got folded in half. Stanford fell asleep and luckily the guys woke him up before they left else the nurses might have had a rather big fright.
Vic falls was our last trip together and all in all it was spent well, with great humor and a lot of hard work. We had our last trip in the over lander and some are rather grateful for that.