Water and vine

My last post was about the enormous water masses at Victoria Falls. Well, the little river Eygues that flows near my village Mirabel-aux-Baronnies in southern France can’t really compete with the mighty Zambezi. There is no water fall, for instance.

The name Eygues (you can also spell it Aygues, Aigues or Aigue if you like) means “water”, by the way. Not a very innovative name for a river, but of course it is descriptive.

What is nice is that you can go for a walk along the river, there are six parts totalling some 30 km or so. It starts – or ends – in St Maurice-sur-Eygues, where you will be immersed in the vineyards and can easily, if you are a wine lover, start dreaming about the end product of the grapes.

Don’t you agree that the grass looks like a signposting saying “Look this way”?

I actually did look the way indicated by the grass, and discovered some photogenic leaves:

If  you would like to immerse yourself in the river after the strenuous (no, only joking, it is rather the opposite of strenuous) vineyard immersion, I’m sorry to disappoint you: at least around St Maurice it is not allowed, nor is it particularly inviting with all the shrubs and thorny branches you would have to pass through:


‘Welcome to Namibia’, said my phone as I entered Zimbabwe

I thought my phone had gone completely mad: within a minute or possibly two I got the following messages: ‘Welcome to Zambia’, ‘Welcome to Angola’, ‘Welcome to Zimbabwe’ and ‘Welcome to Namibia’.

The thing was that I wasn’t in any of these countries – I was in Botswana. In fact I had already been in Botswana for a few days, without any welcoming messages at all from my phone. But now I was in the north, on my way from Chobe National Park near Kasane to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

A look on the map explains the total network provider confusion: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana converge in Kasane, and Angola certainly isn’t far away (but still a bit too far to be welcomed into, in my opinion).

But I was on my way to fulfil a dream. Victoria Falls had been a mythical destination for me since I was a child and now I was on my way there. People talk about bucket lists these days. I don’t like to tick boxes on a list, unless it is a shopping list or similar; I like to have dreams and see some of them come true. What is life without dreams?

And magical it was. And fun, especially the helicopter ride I decided to take.

This was in January, so the water level wasn’t at all at its highest, but oh did I get splashed! Normally I’m terrified of heights, but for some obscure reason here I wasn’t. I stepped out as far as it was allowed to look down at the falling water masses.

On the way back to the lodge in Chobe the same messages were repeated. ‘Welcome to Zambia’, ‘Welcome to Zimbabwe’ (which I had just left), ‘Welcome to Namibia’, ‘Welcome to Angola’. But this time the correct one also appeared: ‘Welcome to Botswana’.