After leaving Nyanga, we take a side trip into
The view is awesome! Goosebump awesome! Mile after mile as far as the eye could see are people, rondavels and crops!
Every scrap of land seems to be under cultivation, even on tiny terraces on steep hillsides, and, in this area, we see a lot of bananas growing, in addition to the usual mealies. Because the rainy season is just starting, everyone is in the fields getting ready for planting. We see people ploughing with yokes of oxen and lots of people working their plots by hand with badzas (grub-hoes). Because the country has suffered from drought for several years, everybody is very happy that the rains seem to be arriving this year. One question that we keep asking each other is how can people who live in mud huts always wear clothes that are so spotlessly clean and tidy. People typically wear white shirts or blouses and they are always immaculate. We have yet to see a dirty person anywhere in the country.
Rondevals in the Honde Valley
Heading for the field
We saw our first Vervet monkeys and baboons here!
In our room is a small complimentary bottle of an excellent local Chenin Blanc, which we manage to dispose of before dinner. At dinner, we have braised oxtail, new potatoes, broccoli and fresh eggplant, with a Muykuyu Merlot that was to die for! We could be talked into staying here does anyone want to buy a nice farm in Oxdrift?
The next morning, we drive around the
A very beautiful drive taking us through some amazing countryside. The forest closes in over the top of us in some places and I feel I am truly in the African jungle! Light filteres down through the leaves and vines giving a soft, ethereal effect. What a thrill! At the end of the valley, the road climbs up through tea plantations, coffee estates and then forest, again. The pavement ends, the road gets narrower as it gets higher and we wonder if we have taken a wrong turn somewhere, but eventually we get back on the pavement again.
From the top we can look out for miles over Mozambique. What a beautiful view!
Down into the Burma Valley
Tobacco curing shed
|Banana plantation||Banana tree|
We drive into Mutare, find a bank to change some money, fill up with petrol and point our Peugeot south towards the Lowveldt.
From Mutare, we head south into the hot, dry
area of the country, which is called the Lowveldt.
Almost immediately, the terrain changes to desert and we
see our first baobab trees. The
baobab, more than anything else, will always evoke
People love the baobab trees and look after them much like the saguerro cactus in Arizona. It is illegal to damage one and if there is a baobab tree where you want to build a house, you have to build your house somewhere else.
|The Lowveldt||Baobab tree|
The Lowveldt is very dry and very hot, but many, many people live there.
There seems to be nothing but dust and rock, but there are people everywhere and many villages.
goats, donkeys, sheep and the occasional cow graze on the side of the
road. One remains very alert
while driving, because cars do not have the right-of-way!
Some areas are irrigated and the contrast is startling.
Suddenly, there are fields of corn standing 6 or 8 feet high.
Obviously, the soil is very fertile and only needs water to make
it produce. Apparently, deeper
in the Lowveldt, towards the South African border, they are getting fantastic
yields of sugar cane, bananas and other tropical crops where ever they
manage to bring in water.
Our destination for the night is Kyle View Resort:
a rustic sort of a place, which looks out over the
Actually, it probably was a five-star place in its heyday, but is in need of some renovations.
The power had gone off when we arrive and they give us candles to use in our room. Later we have dinner on the patio (by candlelight).
The patio looks out over the dam (reservoir) and it is very beautiful in the moonlight! Very romantic!
|Kyle View Resort||Our rustic cottage|
local company is holding its staff Christmas Party on the same patio,
complete with a braaivleis (Afrikaans
for barbecue) and a great deal of beer.
The ambience is very dynamic! We
met a couple from