A stopover in Mundo gave the opportunity to restock, restore and for me, to update on my travel back(b)log. I had a lot to catch up on and good, strong wifi is hard to find. The Italians are going the same path as I will, we just didn’t know where we would meet up again.
It was late afternoon by the time I left Mundo. Following the Zambezi River’s current south, that was the plan.
I didn’t get far before I found a perfect little free camp spot next to a sidearm of the Zambezi. Mirror calm waters and no wind, the sun setting a long way over the horizon. This will be spectacular. That turned out to be an understatement.
As the glowing orange ball set lower and lower, a purple ring appeared on my lens.
Not visible with my eyes, I looked through the camera in amazement.
At some stage, the sun had changed into a purple pinball over Zambia’s plains.
The first symptoms of malaria are Influenza like. And this is how I felt this morning. I didn’t have fever and felt fine apart from that, another malaria symptom that comes and goes. As I sat in an aircon Internet cafe for hours yesterday, I hoped for the best.
Crossing the Zambezi via ferry once again, I followed the sandy track south via numerous communities to ‘Sioma Falls’, a smaller version of the upcoming majestic ‘Victoria Falls’.
National Park host Samuel guided me over mini islands to the main viewpoint off ‘Sioma Falls’, explaining history and geology.
There are 7 Cascades all up, formed by volcanic and platonic activities. Add the sheer force of the Zambezi River to that and you see an impressive sight of nature’s strength. The rising sun and the distance didn’t work in my favour for slow shutter speed photos.
As I inquired about camping, Samuel said that they had a big group of Italians camping last night. I had a big grin on my face and said ‘I think I know who they are’. I wasn’t going to camp here, but couldn’t pass without saying ‘Buon Giorno’. A very happy warm welcome received our appearance, really nice.
Most of the Italians were on the beach by the river; fishing, chatting and sunbathing. ‘This is how a real easy day looks like’ I asked Claudio as I surprised him with a fishing rod in his hand. His cheerful welcome showed that he didn’t expect anything less than a cheeky comment from me.
I showed Eduardo a few fishing tricks and handed him the prepared setup. Riccardo and Pietro chilled by the river, whilst Giovanni patiently waited for some fishing action.
Back at the shady camp, I confirmed malaria symptoms with ‘Doctore Guido’. Meh, I best have a checkup. Jasmine joined me for a trip to the nearby health clinic. A drop of blood was added to a pregnancy like kit test, which added laughter to an anxious wait. Negative, I wasn’t pregnant. Needless to describe my relief. A friendly, efficient, quick and cost-free doctor visit in Africa? Never seems to amaze me. A sign of relief was obvious on Italian faces after sharing the news to my adopted Italian family.
A young school group from nearby Sesheke walked to the beach and asked to borrow the football.
It took a bit persuading, but eventually, our Italian teenagers joined them for a friendly international football game. Who wanted to miss that? Spectators from both nations cheered on in laughter, what a great sight.
The Italian boys showed a few tricks, but the home team sure had a home sand advantage. I think, the score was 4 all. A better game than this year’s World Cup final. No money, no politics, no acting. Just pure fun. That’s what football or any sport should be all about.
Three boys were sitting on some boulders to the right,
as some sand covered pretty young girls came over to join me.
Well, what can I say? Yes please!
Happy, cheeky faces, sand covered dreads and late afternoon sunlight. How could I possibly say no to this invite?
The sunlight sure worked in my favour this time.
Particularly in monochrome mode,
and shadows were striking, just irresistible for my camera. Some of my all-time favourite close-ups so far.
They weren’t shy either and happily posed in front of my OM-D.
Pushing all looking cool gestures, this was just incredible.
A group farewell photo was a must.
The happy atmosphere infected all.
Jasmine gave Vittoria a spin,
before joining Chiara for some playful antics in the sand.
Their cartwheels in the soft sand were impressive, as was Eduardo’s effort.
It was just an unexpected amazing afternoon, not much else to add. I am glad I came by to say ‘hello’, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this happy gathering for anything.
Pasta and ‘Spritzer’ for dinner and an amusing gathering around the bush tv ended the day nicely.