The horrible experience of being robbed in Victoria Falls left me in such a state stranded at the campsite with the remainder of our group that had finished their leg of the journey with ATC (Africa Travel Co.). Despite the seriousness of our situation we were ignored by the police department and security, which made the case even more frustrating and upsetting. Although the kindness we received from the other travellers was so supportive.
A lovely lady, Bella, handed Tamara and I $100 each as we were lost money wise and had no cash to get anywhere, and an awesome Canadian, Campbell gave us his smart phone. My English friend Kate handed over clothes and antimalarials, and an Ozzy, Kylie, donated toiletries. Thank you all you beautiful people; its shown me that good people come forward when others are in need.
It felt like I spent days making panicky phone calls to my mum, insurance companies, banks and embassy’s, arranging what the hell Tamara and I were going to do. Running back and forth from the camp site to the police station, spending hours giving statements, getting frustrated with the detectives not listening, and rather them making jokes about English cricket. I just wanted to scream and run away. But where to. Thankfully a miracle happened when I received a phone call from my mum. Mum’s close friend, Flo, her sister in law lives in Harare, the place where we both needed to get the hell out of this country. The only issue was the 1000KM that stood between the two places.
Two young, white, females innocently not knowing took the first option given to us, and that was to take an overnight bus to Harare from Vic Falls. We were told the detective was to be joining us on the drive up. Of course he never turned up. I told my mum the plan; she researched the company we were driving with and of course no history of the damn thing. The camp site manager dropped us off in the middle of a township, gone nine at night, prostitutes lurking on every corner, beggars huddled around burning bins, all blacks, preying on us like fresh meat. As I quickly climbed onto the bus there was the same stench I smelt in the townships in Cape Town, I really thought I would never make it to Harare. The driver only made one toilet stop in the 9 hours we drove. As I climbed off the bus I saw all the women and men squatting in the middle of the road, another world, I just closed my eyes. After not sleeping for the past 72 hours I made myself sleep on the cramped, full bus, and thank goodness I did. Tamara told me as I awoke the driver was a nut case and we made it to Harare in such quick time. I can’t even imagine how he drove.
When we climbed off the bus, seeing the only white female, I knew it had to be Patrick’s sister, Lucinda. I ran into her arms. I finally felt safe.
As we drove through her gated property Tamara and I looked at each other and thought bloody hell were in luxury. It was a beautiful house, reminded me of an English cottage but bigger. We were given our own separate building, maids to make our beds, call us for breakfast and make us tea. We went from nothing to everything. It was unreal. Lucinda and her lovely family were so welcoming and kind to us.
On my last day in Africa before flying home I spent it with the family on a lake, owned by one of their farmer friends. A beautiful place, we were the only ones there. It was so peaceful. We had a big delicious picnic, went out on their boat, tubed around the lake and jumped off rocks. A different, unexpected, incredible end to Africa.