Our time in Valencia is coming to an end, at least for now.
On June 1 we are joining two other RPCV (Returning Peace Corps Volunteers aka ex-PCV’s) who lived near us in Panama for a two day train trip across Tanzania. There might be some wildlife along the way but mostly small viallages, open expanses and hills. That journey ends in Zambia, where we meet up with our nephew who is a PCV there. We spend a week in his village (just six houses there) before traveling across the country to Livingstone. This is the location of the famous and fabulous Victoria Falls. Tons of wildlife in the river and nearby.
There are lots of critters in the area including elephants, giraffe, zebra, antelopes. Lions and leopards are rarely seen. There are also vervet monkeys and lots of baboons. The river above the falls has lots of hippos and crocodiles, the latter weighing up to a ton! There are otters and a wide variety of raptors and waterfowl. Riverine forest is found above the falls, Mopane woodland savanah dominates the area however. We are staying in a backpacker hotel just 8 km from the falls and so we can go often, with transport provided by the hotel.
We return to Madrid after an 8 hour visit to Dubai, where we hope to ascend the world’s tallest building. After an overnight in Madrid (we are leaving our big bags with a friend there), we fly to Paris. We are renting a friend’s flat in Courbevoie for the month while she is gone. Courbevoie is famous for the impressionist painting executed along the river.
After Paris we are in Trieste for a month. Trieste is almost due east from Venice on the Adriatic, on the border with Slovenia, and 90% of rural dwellers speak Slovenian, while Italian dominates in the city. Trieste was part of the Austria-Hungarian empire from the 14th century until it was ceded to Italy at the conclusion of WW1. It has a mild climate, with a high of 28C (low 80’s F) in the summer. We have never been there but it is a city well worth visiting. Since it borders Slovenia, it and Croatia are readily visited as well. We have rented a one bedroom flat near the old port.
From September – late December we have rented a flat in Rome from a couple visiting New York during this period. It is a small house near Tiburtina station and a tram line. Trains and trams are generally faster than buses, which must contend with tons of traffic. We are not near a metro. Where we go next year has yet to be determined. We do think Valencia is in our future, however.