Ntumbacusi Falls

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One of the lower stretches of Ntumbacusi Falls

Zambia’s Independence Day is October 24. This is also the day that Zambians tell you the rains start. Every year. According to older Peace Corps volunteers, this is hardly ever the actual day of the wet season’s first rain. No matter, everybody still predicts that the rains will come on the 24th. Something like the Zambian version of Groundhog Day.

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My trusty steed and I

Rain or no rain, I decided to celebrate by going camping at Ntumbacusi Falls with several other volunteers. This gorgeous series of waterfalls is a favorite camping spot among Luapula volunteers and is only 55 kilometers away from Nshinda. Within easy biking distance! I thought happily. Later: I forgot about the hills, I remembered ruefully.

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Looking downstream below the falls

Oh well. On the 24th I started biking at 5:30am and arrived at the falls three and a half hours (and a couple of burning calves) later none the worse for wear. We had a great time swimming and exploring the various falls and eating tons of food over the next two days, and then yesterday morning I rode back shaving 40 minutes off my time from Thursday.

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It's caterpillar season; these guys were everywhere

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The bamayos will soon start selling these on the side of the road as relish

A fun excursion and a welcome respite from this heat. I’m still waiting for that Independence Day rain.

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At the big falls

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