Tag Archives: Overlander Truck

The one where I did Victoria Falls in an Overlander Truck: PART II

The one where I did Victoria Falls in an Overlander Truck: PART II

“In this life journey we meet incredible people [that] our souls connect with instinctively. Last week I travelled with some amazing beings. We shared laughs, we shared food, we shared drinks, we shared care, we shared the little we had, we shared the abundance we had, we shared of ourselves, we shared sharing. They are my teachers and my friends. God knows the love I have for them.”

– Phindi, Truckmate 🙂

My Zimbabwe Trip

I’m not sure if there is any simpler and more heartfelt and right-on way I could say this. This is literally all I feel about my journey to Zimbabwe and all the wonderful people I met and got to know and formed a weird little bond with. But let me tell you a little about the greatest overlander truck to ever exist. Let me tell you a little about the people of Truck Hercules.

Nas and Bule: If there ever were a more laid back couple than these two, I don’t know of it. Nas was the first person I actually met, and she was excellently chill and so friendly. We kept on teasing Nas about how strict she is with Bule and he just kept laughing at us. That made sense, because the endearment with which the whole thing played out between the two of them was one of the sweetest things about them.They’re both very attractive as well, so everything makes sense. And to be fair, I think Nas is strict with everyone – she made me eat my food during the last supper. ILY, both.

Lusanda: This little lady is so spirited and such a creative individual you can almost see kaleidoscope emissions coming off her, the way those smelly squiggly lines come off of cartoon characters. It is unmissable and so cool. Also, she’s gorgeous and fearless. She helped me flirt with this Swiss boy at a party on the 30th. He was really hot and I turned into a blubbering mess when I saw his biceps. Lucie was kind enough to calmly coach me. She was also one of the few crazy people who went white water rafting on the Zambezi and I will physically fight anybody who thinks that is not thee most badass thing to friggin do.

Louise and Marcel: Whymisical Louise and her awesome love, Marcel. I may have been a little obsessed with these two’s union because it is so lovely and unadulterated and just all the things. I’m okay with that though, because I was not the only one who expressed how affected I was by the two of them and their love. We’d all just look on and sigh whenever they interacted. Above all that, I had the most amazing time hanging out with these guys – they are the truest jol to hang with.

Zintle: This girl took such good care of me. It was a few days before we actually sort of hung out but once we did, I couldn’t stop hugging her because she’s so bloody pretty, like a doll, and just kindest kid in class. There are lot of random things I made this tranquil spirit do but we also sat through Dumi’s sex counselling chat together, which kinda bonds you for life. We were inseperable after that – she’s the Vic Falls Yin to my Yang.

Dumi and Phindi: I want to say our charismatic leader but that feels hitlerish. Dumi was more like a big brother/resident sex counsellor/party starter. He is a presence – like a big one. And his particular person – yes, this is what he calls her – Phindi is very outspoken and she stares right into your eyes when she speaks. At first I felt like she was staring into my soul, which made me feel hella anxious, but I remembered she’s with Dumi, which means she’s probably insane. And insane people are the best people, so I got over myself.

TK and Derek. The two lovely big boys. Anybody who knows me, knows that big boys are my fave thing (Ugh, there’s no clean way to put that statement across, sorry). One was beautifully above average tall and the other had a laugh and ass that brought tears to my eyes. They were also quite adventurous. Like we all did a few activities, but these dudes had plans like everyday to some death defying shit. Kudos. I don’t have the balls – literally. They are such cool peoples. But by far the coolest thing about them is that they were with my tent mate, Simi!

Simi: Sim-ee, Sim sim, Now you Simi – my roomie! Simi and I were the only solo ladies and that’s how we ended up in a tent together. It was the beginning of the coolest roomship. Simi, like my dad, was born on the first day of the year. Amd we all gathered around in our campsite during the last supper and watched her welcome the new year and blow out the candles on her birthday. There was champers and there were tears. It was transcendental.

The Danish kids: Lars, Camilla and Simone. Lars and I sat next to each other on the bus, so we clocked in quiet a few hours in each other’s company. What were we doing most of the time? Sleeping. It’s almost like we were competing or something. At some point it felt like it was contagious and eventually our sleep times just started synching. Lars is so polite that he would feel so bad if he fell onto my shoulder by mistake – what a sweetie. Camilla and Simone were travelling with him and they remind me of doves, the way they’re so pretty and soft spoken. Made me think the whole time, are Danish people really quiet or are South Africans just really loud?

Mas and Nthabi: The two ladies with the dreads that went down to the arches of their backs #longdreadsdontcare – I’m being biased about this because I have dreadlocks, duh. Mas takes brilliant instagram-worthy photographs and she was always the first to wake up, and Nthabi is sweet but she was the first to be visibly gatvol when we got to the 1000 metre long queue at the South African border. I dig both of them – for all those reasons –  hugely.

Tim and Tiega: First of all, they sound like a sitcom, what’s not love? Also, they’re close friends and make me think of Portland, USA twenty-somethings… How I Met Your Mother, anyone? (I know its set in NY, don’t be a smartass). I just wanna make a show out of them because they’re so damn cool and wonderful and fun to chill with, godammit!

Harley from Australia: Harley, Harley, Harley… our charming Australian friend. There is so much to say about the upbeat, lone-wolf Mr Straya, especially from an American perspective, I think? 😛 But, what happens on Truck Hercules stays on Truck Hercules. We didn’t let him forget though  – in fact we had a right lekker time with it. It was nice – he was nice.

Ofentse and Thuli: Ofentse runs and Thuli is the queen of taking pictures. Ofentse is one half of the magic duo (the other half being Dumi) who prepared the last supper for us, the biggest gesture of our bond as Team Herc. And I don’t think there’s anybody on the truck who didn’t get a chance to be involved in an impromptu Thuli photoshoot with all her professional Kardashian poses. I think I took like 20 pictures of her at one spot at the Victoria Falls National Park – and it was my pleasure because she is a delight to be around.

Pete and her sister: Pete’s sister was quiet and honestly even when everybody was complaining about the heat or the queues, she also complained but with a smile. How? What a lovely lady. Pete was our resident photographer – she had like a real camera, not just a phone. And she was also more obsessed with mosquito spray than the rest of us. Great gals.

The older dudes: The suppliers of sage advice and unlimited red bulls. These guys were obviously more travelled than us, especially in Africa and they always had something really helpful or really funny to say about the places we were visiting. And I’m not mad about the cold water and energy drinks that they offered us during those smoulderingly hot days either. Hearts.

And last but not least, our drivers and uncles for all intensive purposes, Amious and Munya, four words. THEY. ARE. THE. BEST. I have been truly lucky to have met all of these funions and I appreciate that they exist and that they are all awesome. I love you, guys and thanks for the memories… *sniff sniff*

Overlander Truck Hercules Zimbabwe

Photo cred: Pete 🙂

The one where I did Victoria Falls in an Overlander Truck: PART I

The one where I did Victoria Falls in an Overlander Truck: PART I

I spent the last four days of 2015 and the first three days of 2016* seeing, Botswana, Zimbabwe and a little bit of Zambia. Of course I’d love this to be a super normal and straightforward post about the sites and sounds of this bizarre trip but it isn’t the sites and sounds that made this trip what it was for me. It was the people, and if you called me cheesy just then, I wish adult chicken pox on you, because this is very serious and I’m in my feels right now, k?

But let me indulge you.

This may take long and may even be strange for some people to read but I think, by now, you folks bother with this blog because you enjoy my strange stories. The overlander truck carried 25 other people who were complete strangers to me and most, to each other. But you spend 7 days eating, drinking, partying and sleeping with 25 other people in the bush (don’t be dirty) and all the rules and lines of everyday living and social codes are blurred (again don’t be dirty).

On Monday, we set off on a 650km drive from Benoni to Palapye, Botswana. Funny story; I was running late because Nkee and Sibo made me drink, the Sunday. Luckily, there was somebody who was way later than I was. If I’d missed this trip, I would have hung myself on a loose clothesline with some wet toilet paper.

I found Botswana okay enough. I think this is because I find ocean-less countries kind of underwhelming. Like, where’s your beach, bruh? Sun’s out, guns out? No? Mmkay. Also, we were so exhausted from the journey that even if there was pretty shit around, I wouldn’t have cared. We all just got off the truck, pitched our tents (not really, I got ahold of the demonstration tent like a boss) and headed to the bar, where we got treated to some nicely highly priced beverages. The Rand is not having a good time.

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We woke up bright and early the following morning after a quick brekkie and started the 850km drive to Victoria Falls Town, Zimbabwe. Needless to say, it was hot and draining but everybody was a good sport about it, especially because we got to see a few elephants every now and again.

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We already had big plans for when we arrived in Vic Falls – we were going on a party train. Yeah, I know – we actually hopped on a train with a bar area and a dance floor in it and guess what happened next? It took us to another party where things got nice and messy. You wish you were there, bru, no doubt. I have no clear recollection of the party train ride home, I remember a winding railroad, lights and laughter and giddiness.

Breakfast was at around 10. The weird thing about festivals is that you can sleep really late and wake up at a normal time and not feel as crappy as you would at home. In the day that followed we visited, of course, the great Victoria Falls themselves and it was majestic. I usually only use the word majestic to describe a horse’s mane or godly arms on a dude, but man… this is where that word belongs. As we walked through the rainforest, snapping pictures and marveling at our surroundings, I thought to myself, this is so touristy but this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. It was low season in December but there was still so much water and spray, I vowed to come back during high season one day. I literally felt like the water, falling heavily as I walked those paths, was cleansing me – no joke, and I felt the most elated I’d been in a long time.

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After taking all of that natural beauty in, we walked over the border to Zambia to lunch there. It pains me to say, I underestimated the sun and the walk and how much tourists get hustled for money. And mostly, during the whole trip, I underestimated just how much the Dollar was currently tearing the Rand a new one – all that RAND>DOLLAR>KWACHA exchanging had gotten me famished. It took us a bit of a walk around to find a nice air conditioned restaurant in Livingstone but we were very happy when we did. The walk back wasn’t as bad and we got home just in time to get ready and go party hopping all around Vic Falls Town. There were many parties, there was a Swiss boy and he was beautiful. It was mint.

It was so mint that we spent the following day vegging next to the pool, with our overpriced slushies and ciders. For the whole day. And played a game where I ended having to jump into the pool with all my clothes on. Eventually everybody jumped in too but I was bummed because I hate the game we were playing. Card games… ugh. At night we got onto one of the many shuttles transporting all the campers to the venue where the big finale concert was taking place. There was no alcohol allowed inside so we had to down our drinks at the gate. Or did we? Well, let’s just say, there was a part of the wall that the security personnel were neglecting and I was rolling with a bunch of badasses, and I’ll end it there. There is never really much to say about New Year’s parties because we’re all too busy getting into the fun of it all – and boy did I get into the fun of it all.

I think all of that fun and all that happiness surging though my skin helped me not to kill myself on the drive back to Botswana and further back home to South Africa. The border was dreadful and our truck had turned into a sauna, everybody was gatvol and nobody was chattering anymore – we had all become zombies. It wasn’t until we saw the network bars on our phones come alive and the last border behind us that our humanness was restored. And we arrived in Benoni, so happy to be back in SA but equally so happy we had gone to Zim and travelled with the world’s most amazing group of people and seen one of the world’s most amazing sites. And also Bots 😉

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*(this has been backdated for continuity and such, kthanksbye)