17 July 2009

Living it up in Livingstone

After 3 days on the road, arriving in Livingstone felt like crossing the finishing line at the end of a marathon.

Thanks to some roadworks, a large part of the journey on the final day had been over dirt tracks. When we finally stepped off the truck it looked like we had just come out of a sand storm. Everyone was absolutely filthy and had a nice head to foot coating of fine red dust. Thankfully we didn't look too out of place as we were staying at a campsite called Grubby's Grotto, which was both grubby and grotty.

The best thing about Grubby's is that it's fairly close to town, meaning that we could easily walk into Livingstone for some entertainment. On Wednesday evening 18 of us hit the town for a very cold drink at an open air club called Steprite. Luckily we were able to get a charcoal burner to huddle round to keep warm. Who would have thought that Africa could be so cold!

Last night all 22 of us went into town for an evening at a really quirky 1930's cinema called the Capitol. On a Thursday they have a special offer where you get to see two films and have a meal for the bargain price of about £3.50. We got to see the very funny Jim Carey film Yes Man and the very long Baz Lurman flick Australia. For those who have seen Australia, the Hugh Jackman character Drover and our truck driver Gav are indistinguishable from each other.

The cinema was a proper old school affair with a big balcony and tatty red velvet seats. We even had an introductory spiel from the manager and an interval where the usherette came round with drinks and snacks. When was the last time you saw service like that in a cinema back home? The only thing missing was the Pearl and Dean theme music and we would have been right back in the 70's.

Today we officially left the overland expedition and struck out on our own again. Although the truck will be in Livingstone until the 20th, and we'll be here until the 21st, we needed to find some alternative accommodation. In total 3 of us are leaving the trip here but as 9 more people are joining we needed to make way and give our tent back. We've moved across town to a place called Jollyboys where for the first time in two weeks we have 4 walls, a roof over our heads and the luxury of a proper bed. Good times!

As we left Grubby's our fellow truckies departed for an evening booze cruise, which Amy had declared to be a fancy dress event. Everyone had bought costumes for each other from a market back in Malawi and some of the results were more than a little scary.

Now that we've left the truck we've got to start thinking for ourselves again. All the exciting stuff like how to get from A to B, where to go to eat and what to do to entertain ourselves. Tomorrow night we're probably going to take in the excitement of the Capitol cinema again (they're showing Twilight) and then on Sunday evening we're going to go back over to Grubby's to say goodbye to the expedition before they depart for Botswana in the morning.

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