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Friday, 19 November 2004

And then...

Well if you’re going to get hitched then there really is no finer place to do it than on a palm island in the middle of the mighty Zambezi. At the end of the week all of us guests boarded a sizeable riverboat and set off for the island. Drink did flow, but mostly we were entertained by large pods of hippo. In fact the bride’s boat had to be re-routed due to too many hippo in the way – beats using the excuse of getting stuck in the motorway traffic. Before any of us were allowed to alight, scouts were sent ahead to check the island for elephants. Apparently elephants can swim, I didn’t know that. It was ele clear though, so we all climbed up a steep sandback and waited for the games to begin. The bride followed behind a traditional Zimbabwean singing and drumming group – way better than ‘Here Comes The Bride’. After the service we re-boarded the boat, and we all got a glimpse of what it is like to be famous and stalked by paparazzi. The Zambezi is always fairly full of riverboat tours, particularly at sunset. Most occupants of the boats come to watch the hippo and other wildlife. Today though they were intent on watching us. As we tried to pull away no less than four boats were lined up facing us, everyone on board snapping photos. Sorry to be racist but only American tourists would do that. Yes it was beautiful, yes it was an unusal wedding, but really – it was also private and personal. Luckily the bridegroom smiled and waved – he had thought about doing a moonie. The sun had set as we pulled up to the riverside where a banquet was about to be laid before us. A marimba band was playing, lights were twinkling, the dragonflies were out and then I spotted the wedding cake…very very big…and CHOCOLATE.

It was indeed a week of loveliness, but we had yet to face the journey home and the buffoonery which had occurred in our absence…