Becca Cohen’s Blog



Words are really limiting right now

I’ve tried now a few times to sit and write an entry about my mid-semester break trip, but there is simply too much— I would be writing pages. I decided that this is one of those times when pictures really do say more than words. I’ve included here a brief synopsis of my trip, and links to the photo albums.

Our journey started out with a fifteen-hour bus ride from Cape Town to Maseru, Lesotho (pronounced Le-soo-too, it’s the tiny country completely surrounded by South Africa). Fortunately I had Lara Levine, a friend from camp, as my seat companion and we found ways to pass the time. We also traveled with four of my friends here in Cape Town. The bus dropped us off on the South Africa side of the border, and we walked across to Lesotho.

We then spent two days on ponies, exploring the mountains and villages of rural Lesotho. Never having been on a horse, I was terrified. Overall I think I did pretty well on my pony, in spite of him always choosing the wrong path, getting stuck on the edge of a cliff (twice), and not knowing how to make him stop running. Our guide, Tumello was really helpful and definitely saved my life.

From Lesotho, we drove to Johannesburg where we spent two nights. We stayed with Lara’s friends, the nicest family we could have imagined. They cooked us huge meals, shared about their lives and saved us multiple times when we were lost at night (exactly what you don’t want to do in Jo’burg). We visited the apartheid museum, an amusement park (it’s in the same plaza as the museum… bizarre), had a Seder, and got super lost.

We then flew to Livingstone, Zambia to see Victoria Falls! When we landed we saw the spray of the falls from the plane, and we all felt that beginning of trip excitement again. We took a sunset booze cruise on the Zambezi River where we saw the sun setting and moon rising at the same time. At the falls we saw a lunar eclipse created by the full moon, got soaked from the heavy spray (since the rainy season just ended, there is so much water going over the falls that at times the mist is so high you can’t even see them), and hiked down through boulders and streams to the base of the falls. We spent a day doing adrenaline activities— abseiling (rappelling), the flying fox (running off a cliff and flying through the air), and the gorge swing (tandem, backwards, freefall off a cliff, swing in the air).

For a total of 14,000 Kwacha each (the equivalent of $3) we bought all our food for the next two days of our trip, which were spent on busses through Namibia. On our first bus ride (17 hours), we had to get off three times to disinfect our shoes for foot and mouth disease (really annoying when it was in the middle of the night, but I saw the best stars of my life). We had one day in Windhoek, Namibia, but everything was closed for Easter Monday (except for Joe’s Beer Garden where we spent the afternoon). After a ticket glitch almost left Sven and me stranded in Windhoek, we were able to bribe the bus staff to let us on to the second bus (never have I been so grateful to be on a 20 hour bus ride).

I feel so lucky to have gone on such an incredible trip. Lara and I planned the entire thing ourselves, so it was fulfilling to see it all work out. I saw and did things that I never have and probably never will do again. It was so interesting talking to all the people we met along the way, hearing their stories and thoughts on South Africa, America, tourism, Africa and wherever the conversations went (building a house in outer space? This was how someone broke the ice with us in Lesotho). It was also eye opening seeing these places that are so different from Cape Town and learning about how diverse this continent is.

Pictures from Lesotho and Johannesburg.

Pictures from Livingstone and Victoria Falls.

The last of Vic Falls and the trip home.

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