With the contracts going well, and Basil Read Construction coming in at the lowest for the tender for Maun Development – Phase Two, (being already present in Maun meant that we could cut down on site establishment), John Riley organised a free flight for ten of us for a weekend at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. To our own account was accommodation at the posh Elephant Hills Hotel.
We were flown up on Saturday, 28th November 1992; an hour and a half’s flight, culminating with a circle over the Falls before we landed. Amongst others were John, Andy Dry and his fiancé, Allison Noone, and Paul Walker. Non-Read people were Peter Perlstein, Peter Deaconos and his father.
Once through passport control, a courtesy bus from the hotel picked us up to take us all there where we booked in and had a magnificent buffet lunch. Keeping in mind that Sheila and I were country bumpkins, this opulence was rather uncomfortable!
Despite not having played golf for something like six years and had never even gotten as far as establishing a handicap, I joined the others and played 18 holes on the famous Elephant Hills course. John, Andy, Paul and I made up the four-ball, while Sheila and Allison walked the first nine with us. The course was strewn with baboons, monkeys, warthogs, waterbuck and impala. Wonderful.
After superb steaks at The Cattleman in Vic Falls, we returned to the hotel to inhabit the Casino there. Sheila and I were too timid to attempt anything other than the slots, but the others all seemed to gain more than they lost at the tables.
We had a swim in the pool on the Sunday morning, then breakfast in our room before joining Andy and Allison on the courtesy bus to Vic Falls to browse the craft shops. Stone and wood carvings were abundant and excellent, but we decided not to weigh ourselves down, keeping our purchases to a couple of crocheted table-cloths.
We walked to the viewing lookout to see the Falls. Even with the mighty Zambezi running low, they were magnificent.
We arrived back in Maun just before dark after a thoroughly interesting weekend. Our dogs wagged their tails off; so pleased to have us home.