exploratorium eclipse dispatches
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The plane banked its wings to the left, and out the window the bush forests of Zambia appeared. We peered out of the tiny round windows, anxious for our first glimpse of the country. We'd been planning this trip for months, spending hours on the phone, sending countless e-mails to arrange the details of our eclipse coverage-- but now, for the first time, a real landscape appeared, a landscape not of our imagining, a wide, flat expanse of dark green trees and the deep red soil of eroded waterways and dirt roads. The silver curve of an immense river slid in from the horizon down from west to east, which we figured must be the Zambezi River.

arial view of Victoria Falls

A few seconds later, a sight appeared that challenged anything we could have imagined: a deep rocky gorge, like a rip in the flat stretched fabric of earth, into which the river disappeared. Where the river had been, a huge plume of white mist remained. In the total silence, we watched millions of gallons of water slicing down and away-- Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Check in with us tomorrow as, with the cheerful paranoia of customs and immigration past, we explore Zambia from ground level.

Zambezi River
Sunset projects the rays of cloud shadows over the Zambezi River.

Eclipse 2001

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