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January 5, 2006

Hey Guys!

Happy New Year etc. We are now safe at the Zambezi Sun (posh hotel) at the put in and running the river daily. I’ts great and not as hot as last time we were here. A herd of Zebras outside our room today, as well as the monkey’s baboons, and Impalas that are always around. A baboon ripped the glass off the sliding glass door next door and scavanged the room for food- I just thought someone was pcking in a hurry. We keep the blinds closed in defense and NEVER walk around with powerbars visible when headed to the river. The guards carry slingshots as well as rifles . . .

The falls area is as gorgeous as ever, truly breathtaking as you walk down the trail each day. Typically the baboons line the trail and bodies bounce from bungies off the bridge while you look downstream at the rapids while trying not to miss one of the hundreds of steps. We did wothout porters the first 4 days, so we’re all gonna have calves like Serena Williams by the end of the trip – the wooden ladders that make the ‘steps’ back up make the Tallulah look like a cake-walk. But it’s all worth it. Huge green water features in a black, vertical walled gorge. What a place.

The Jackson kids are doing great – playing their way down each day and not even worried about #7 any more. Though none of us has saddled up to #9, we hope to have good shots and video by next report. It’s big, and scary, but I think many of us are ready.

Health-wise it’s been interesting. There is a terrible ‘traveler’s sickness’ going around this area and many of us have fallen victim for a few days. Marty Cronin took a beating on the put-in wall and has a wrist inury that has kept him off the water for a bit. Emily had a spell of heat exhaustion while hiking out one day but recovered quickly. And most everyone is feeling the fatigue of long days on the water and big hikes up the hill. Wish we could send photos, but internet is really slow.

Only other news is that it is Peter Weingarten’s birthday!

That’s all for the moment – hope everyone is having a great New Year.