Thursday, August 26, 2010

21 - On a High

Kalandula water falls
The Kalandula Falls are indeed spectacular, bursting out of the rain forest on the brink of an escarpment and plunging some 350 feet over a 340-yard frontage, mists of spray and shimmering rainbows shooting upwards as the foaming white waters plummet down to the savannah below. A field of boulders stretches from an ugly brick lookout along the rim, all marked with the usual graffiti – Gelson loves Ermingilda, 1920 etc.- where a steady foot will get you that little bit closer to the falls, reputedly the second or third highest in Africa, and an unsteady one will get you apeing them. On the opposite side, half way up the slope, is an ugly inn built by the Portuguese colonists for an ever better view – now just an inaccessible wreck from the to-ings and fro-ings of the civil war.

The Lucala River wends its way from the falls to join the Kwanza

After such a magnificent panorama we leave on a high. The driver is on a roll. A coiling snake slithers across the road as we approach – now it slithers no more. A road-crazed hen can't make up her mind. We pass on with a wake of white feathers behind us. Still no people, though. The driver is truly chagrined – not that he hasn’t yet managed to prang a human, but at having hit the animals.

And the ubiquitous litter bugs
Back at the newly opened Yolaka Hotel, a collection of prefabricated tin huts for $104 a night, we watch the South Africa – Mexico World Cup match in the bar. South Africa scores and the barmen start dancing.

Sunset over the Yolaka Hotel

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