1st BULAWAYO (PIONEER) SCOUT GROUP PIONEER TRAIL Magazine (Apr 2006)
With thanks to:- Editor, typist, distributor - Leon Wuyts
In January the Troop bade farewell to Patrol Leader Paul Carlson. Paul obtained very good
grades in his 'A' level examinations and has set his sights on going to Australia, later in the year,
to attend university. All the best for your future, Paul.
Our monthly hikes continue to achieve
their goal of teaching each of us to
become self-dependant, yet at the same
time dependant on each other, to see
more of our country, to appreciate the
beauty of the bushveld, the granite hills
of the Matopos and most importantly to
mentally relax and have fun. We have
already undertaken our main hike of the
year, which is our Chimanimani
mountain hike and expedition. This was
made possible through a number of
generous donations, the main one being
from a Scouting friend in England. Neil,
who is actively involved in Air Scouting
in England, has visited Zimbabwe,
reads our magazine, and offered his
help in whatever way I saw fit. Well the
Chimanimani hike/expedition of six days
duration was top priority. Why? Our Scouts saw places in Zimbabwe they never thought existed
and met really friendly, helpful rural people. A letter from one of them appears in this edition. Our
Scouts hiked in the mountains along Zimbabwe's eastern border, soaring to 2440 metres (8000
feet) above sea level - Bulawayo's altitude is 1371 metres (4500 feet). They had the opportunity
of swimming in the crystal clear streams and lakes of the mountains and lived together
harmoniously for six days - quite an achievement.
During the campfire, Leon
Wuyts was promoted to Patrol
Leader of Eagle Patrol, and he
was also presented with his
Advanced Scout badge. Scouts
Dylan Sandwith and Chayce
Zangel were presented with
their Discoverer badges, and
the three Daly brothers, Peter,
Martin and Shaun were officially
invested into the Troop.
Welcome to the Troop guys,
and may you receive the best
you can from your Scouting
experiences. Mr Martin
Sanderson once again
enlivened our campfire with a
true yarn on the discovery of a
fossil of a dinosaur just north of
Bulawayo in the early 1950's.
As this type had never been discovered previously it was given the official name of Syntarsus
rhodesiensis. As part of his requirements for his Scout tests, Leon conducted the church service
in the form of a Scouts' Own in the Saint George's Chapel on the Sunday for over forty visitors
from Bulawayo who had come for the monthly service.
|Click to enlarge:|
All set - a band of adventurers on
the top of Gali, eager to be off.
At Gordon Park we
loaded our packs into Mr Daly's
truck and went on our way. We
arrived at Gali at around eight
o'clock. We trundled up to the top
of the relatively large boulder that
is Gali and pitched camp. The
sheet lightning on the way to Gali
was amazing. Norm brought along
a bivvy and we slept under that,
but, as Murphy's Law dictates, the
clouds that had threatened to
burst thankfully did not.
In the morning we had our breakfast, packed up our kit and got going. We took a detour off the planned route because there was a dam just off the road that Norm wanted to see. Leon somehow walked almost the entire hike barefoot. I went barefoot for the last kilometre and my feet were aching! We climbed up Shumba Shaba, as it lay directly on our path to Gordon Park, and after a quick dip I managed to pass a few things for my next badge.
On the way down, I took an accidental detour that, by sheer dumb luck, brought me back onto the planned route. When we got back to Gordon Park we had our lunch and then fooled around for a while before we left for Bulawayo.
|Click to enlarge:|
Outside one of the beehive huts
at Old Bulawayo -
Leon, Chayce and Chris.
So, off the four of us trundled along
a very unfamiliar road, the Criterion
road, heading out to a not-sofamiliar
section of our beloved
Matopos. After quite a bumpy ride,
we finally arrived at Old Bulawayo,
which was being turned into a
tourist-centred attraction park. We
had a brief view of the huts, with
Norm breathing down our backs, as
it looked like we would be late. So,
after a quick stop, we were bundled
off again, destination: Cave of the
And so we continued, finally reaching the site of Rhodes' first Indaba during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896, where an unarmed Rhodes gathered together the chiefs of the surrounding areas, and with great courage, negotiated peace and an end to the Rebellion. Here we met up with the Society, who were receiving a quick talk on the Rebellion and the Indaba. Unfortunately we arrived at the end of the talk, and so we had to carry on, following a train of cars through a beautiful wooded area, where Baden-Powell himself had fought 100 years ago.
We finally reached a vlei, where we all stopped and found places to set up braiis for lunch, a very important exercise, requiring much room, and a perfect view, and so accordingly, Norm engaged four-wheel drive, and headed up the small hill we had parked upon, to the great glee of us three youngsters. We had lunch in a small nook between the rocks, and soon after headed out on the "short walk" to the cave.
This "short walk", though highly enjoyable, stretched out, becoming somewhat longer than one of our hikes, and we were beginning to get anxious. The return expedition was growing longer, and several grey-haired people were beginning to show signs of fatigue. "Not long to go," kept resonating down the long, sweaty line of people, repeated each time with just a little lack of enthusiasm, and a small increase in sarcasm with each cry.
We eventually reached a large gomo (mountain), and were told, "come on, it's just up there." They never mentioned that we would be required to bring our own air-masks! but being adventurous, we began to climb up this huge mountain, which was as steep as anything! Our thoughts kept returning to our descent, and the speeds involved if we were to inattentively slip. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, we all reached the top of the mountain, rather breathless, but as we turned and looked around us, the view was incredible, and the huffing and puffing seemed well worth it. Far in the distance, we could see the upper reaches of the Mchabezi Dam, whilst the cave afforded us with great debate, on why it was known as "Cave of the Storks", whilst the paintings really looked like kangaroos!
However, we could not stay long up on the mountain, as we had to get going. So we began the long tortuous way back to the cars, with pit stops along the way to wait for the slow but steady ones. It was however a very enjoyable walk back, and as we were coming up to the cars, coming up the last stretch of vlei, the rain swept slowly down the valley towards us, a gentle curtain of softly falling water. There's little else that Scouts hate most than getting wet, so the mad scramble to the car is excusable.
|Click to enlarge:|
Enjoying the view -
Norm, Leon and Chayce relax in
the Cave of the Storks.
However, the rain didn't last
long, only a sprinkle really,
and after a short breather, we
all gathered at the bottom of
the dwala we were perched
precariously upon for a talk by
Mrs FitzPatrick, concerning
scorpions, spiders and other
things that make normal,
respectable people's skin
crawl. Us Scouts were
amazed, and it was perhaps
the first time we had paid
proper attention to a long,
monotonous "talk"! All the
information she provided us
was very interesting, along
with several specimens she
had brought, and we hope,
with her permission, to
reproduce some of here
articles in future magazines.
And so, after the talk, the official outing was over, and everyone got ready to head home. And so it was that four grubby Scouts climbed into the back of Nguluvane and headed off along the road back to civilization. However, in no way can you trust a Scout's sense of direction (no matter what the text-books say). And so, where the road forks, and all the other tracks lead one way, we find one set of tracks going the other way, into the blue distant yonder!
In the far, far distance we could see the hill that was How Mine, in the general direction of town, and using this as our lighthouse, we set off. We followed the road, which was dirt with many bumps and humps for quite some time, giving a lift to a couple of gold-panners heading for the school. We found out that they operated in the area, and sold their gold to the mine, which was forced to buy from them, whatever the grade.
Anyway, we finally reached a growth point, which I have forgotten the name to, and asked some rather drunk looking revellers which way to How Mine. Of course, they pointed in the direction we had just come, telling us that a few metres down the road was another road which went to the mine. Ah ha! Success, or so we thought.
We backtracked, crawling along, looking for this 'road', which we found at last. To our surprise, the 'road' disintegrated into 'track' and finally into 'washed-out path.' Well, why else buy a Land Rover? Four-wheel drive engaged, off we headed, wisely ignoring the paths that branched off to either side of us.
However, all was not as difficult as it might seem. You see, we had one unfailing principle in the back of our minds, which we followed faithfully and unquestionably: bicycle tracks. From the growth point, we had followed a set of bicycle tracks all along the path, and when we felt a bit confused (never lost however..) we had only to yell, "there - bicycle tracks!" and we would roar off after them. What would have happened if we had met the bicycle, I do not know, but thankfully we never did.
And so, by stages, we worked our way to How Mine. We were very lucky in several instances, the main one being the fact that we very nearly drove up and over a small dam wall, which the path, oblivious, just followed. Luckily, we got out to see what was on the other side of this very steep bank, as we would have had some fun trying to get out of the dam if we had driven over the wall!
Nonetheless, we did finally reach the mine, arriving at the back-entrance, where we had a quick look at the huge pools, which they use in their processing. However, we were not allowed to drive through the mine, for some strange reason, and so had to follow the maintenance track around it. Nevertheless, we finally made it back to the road, and set our sights on Bulawayo.
This was, I must admit, one of the most exciting trips I've been on with Norm, and I'm glad now that the opportunity was taken, and the experience gained.
And if you ever get temporarily confused, just look for bicycle tracks..
|Click to enlarge:|
At the top of the world -
Leon, Martin, Scott, Chayce and Peter
at the top of Mbalebale Cave.
When we got to the cave,
Norm showed us the cave
paintings, some of the
best in the Matopos, and
also a rock that was
suspended so that it
looked like it was going to
fall at any minute! Then
we carried on with our
hike through the vlei, until
we got to the main road,
we then walked along the
road until we reached
White Rhino Shelter,
where we looked at the
paintings and played
around for a while.
We finally got back on our feet and walked down another way into Gordon Park and followed the roads through the Park down to Headquarters, where the landy was parked, then we put all our kit into the trailer and went and had some much needed lunch. We then spent the afternoon helping Norm with some small things, and by the time we were finished it was already 5 o'clock, time to go back home after a long day's walk, as by this time most of us were exhausted.
|Click to enlarge:|
Norm and Martin standing underneath the old Terminus sign.
Norm stopped the landy and we all piled out,
wondering where we were, and why we were
here and not drinking hot coffee in a warm
sleeping bag. However, we began to piece
together where we were, following a railway
line - in the middle of the bush if you don't
mind - towards the shed, which we now
noticed had a sign in front of it, with the words,
The Matopos, written upon it. Well, yes, we
knew it was the Matopos.. slowly the gears
began to move - it was very cold - and our
brains began to piece together the evidence
This, it appeared was the famous "Railway built for Pleasure," foreseen by Rhodes, and set out in his Will: "to make a short railway line .. so that the people of Bulawayo may enjoy the glory of the Matopos from Saturday to Monday." The spark was lighted, and we set off through the long grass, dripping with water, off into the hazy mists of the past, back into the times of 1903.
On the 7th of November 1903, the first train arrived at the Matopos Branch, as the line was called, followed two days later by a special excursion train, to celebrate the birthday of King Edward VII. Rhodes' dream had been fulfilled, and the people of Bulawayo could readily and easily visit the same places of beauty and pleasure that we, as Scouts, sometimes take for granted.
It is believed that Alfred Beit and Dr. Jameson planned the construction of the line during their visit to Rhodesia in 1902, but apparently no official contract was drawn up. However, as influence mounted, a railway construction company named Pauling & Company, who was building the line from Bulawayo to Wankie in 1902-1903, were heavily involved in the construction of the new line. Mr. S. F. Townsend was placed in supervision of the construction at the request and expense of the Rhode's Trustees. The total cost of the nine-mile line which branched off from the main south line at Westacre Junction, sixteen miles from Bulawayo, was about 11 000 pounds.
It is interesting to note, however, that the nine miles of standard 3' 6" gauge line from Westacre Junction was built with 40 lb. Rails, which had been uplifted from the original Vryburg-Bulawayo construction.
At the time of the opening of the line there was already a hotel at the Terminus, which advertised that a "wagonette and mules will always be in attendance for the convenience of visitors wishing to proceed to World's View at a moderate charge."
The original hotel was a wood-and-corrugated-iron building, and the 'Bulawayo Chronicle', of the 11th of November remarked that "the hotel, which is not a very imposing appearance, is pleasantly situated on the outskirts of the Matopos," adding that the view from the hotel was of itself "almost enough to satisfy one on a first visit. The catering at the hotel" continued the reporter "is of an excellent nature, and the building itself had been comfortably furnished, smoking and billiard rooms being provided for the use of the sterner sex."
|Click to enlarge:|
"Matopos Branch Line
This plaque marks the site of the
Railway Terminus of the Matopos
Branch Line. Opened 7th November
1903. Closed 2nd June 1948."
However, by the time we arrived on the scene, the
hotel was lost to history, and now only memory visits
it. We walked along the side of the track, following the
station into the shed, all the while feeling the touch of
the people who had known it in it's heyday, when the
sound of laughter floated in the air, of the jokes and
memories that were made were we stood.
Now, little remains. A plaque rests in front of the shed, telling of the history of the Matopos Branch, but the train no longer runs, and few people come to visit the once blooming station.
Tuesday, 1st June 1948, saw the last train run over the Matopos Branch, seen off by Sir Arthur Griffin (the General Manager of Rhodesia Railways) and a number of other senior railway personnel. It was hauled by one of the original engines (No. 72) built in 1900 at Glasgow for the Rhodesia Railway Company Limited.
There was a delayed start from Bulawayo owing to the late running of a main line train from the south, but engine No. 72 tackled the job with some gusto despite her age. She was burnished until she shone, and decorated with flags, and succeeded in making up time on her last run to Matopos where the train was greeted by Mr. Fryer who had been Railway Agent at the terminus for the preceding twenty-four years. He is justifiably proud of the fact that not a single claim arose in respect to his handling of a great variety of traffic in all those years. Railwaymen are equally glad that, so far as can be ascertained, the Matopos train remained accident free throughout its forty-five years of operation.
On its final stop at the Terminus those who had gathered, a little saddened by the occasion, drank a valedictory toast, appropriately in beer. Detonators had been placed on the line, so engine No. 72 made her final exit from Matopos to the accompaniment of loud bangs.
Various factors led to the decision to close this historic Branch. There was an extensive roadbuilding programme initiated during the trade depression of 1931-1932 which, combined with an ever increasing number of private motor cars, caused a marked decline in the use of the Matopos passenger services, while at the same time the rapid development of the Railway's own Road Motor Services, with their greater flexibility to and from the Antelope Mine direction, eliminated much of the goods traffic previously carried by rail to Matopos for onward transmission - by oxwagon in the earlier days. Then again, by 1948 all of the old locomotives used on this Branch line were nearing the end of their useful life, and to have used larger ones would have involved extensive expenditure in strengthening the track.
It has often been said that the history of the early years of the Railways in Rhodesia is to a large extent the history of the country itself, and in recalling the old Matopos railway with its happy memories of relaxful days we may well reflect that it had a touch of time about it.
Amid the memories of the terminus we did not stay long. The clouds threatened overhead, and time drew on, as it always does. And so, we turned, and left the history behind us, continuing on our hike. But strangely, that whole hike seemed drenched in the past.
We camped the night at a picnic site, close to the Old Gates, in a rondavel that, had we looked above us, we would have noticed had a huge hole in the roof. Of course, halfway through the night, the clouds broke and the rain came crashing down, causing us a night of considerable anguish. But what is the fun of hiking, without the pain?
The next morning we woke to a world clean and fresh, which we set off to explore after a hot breakfast. We followed a stream, which had grown up in the night, along a very overgrown vlei, until we came to a wall of thick trees. We could hear a river flowing within the trees, and as we came up to it, we suddenly realized: it was the Maleme, in full flood. Some trees were a metre underwater, and it was at least two metres into either side of the bank.
Oh, well. That's that. We were supposed to cross the Maleme, our destination was just on the other side. So we had to turn around and go back, in order to cross the Maleme at a bridge higher up the road. However, we took the wrong way back, and ended up paying a quick stop to a lodge close by, Ingwe Lodge I think it was, before continuing on to the car. We piled in and drove off, to cross the Maleme and visit the next destination on our hike: the Natural Wall.
|Click to enlarge:|
Leon and Martin atop the Natural
Wall, which can be seen stretching
away into the distance.
We drove for quite a while, on the other side of the
Maleme, until suddenly Norm stopped the car, smiled
and said that we had passed the Natural Wall about ten
metres back, had any of us noticed? I must admit that
none of us had, so we jumped out and had a look, and
then we realized why we should never have missed it.
Stretching up one either side of the road was a long stretch of rock, greenish in colour, about two metres wide, and four or five high. The road passed through a gap in the wall, with it continuing up and over the two kopjes on either side of it. The rock is a form of dolerite, which is a greenish-black finely crystalline rock closely related to basalt lava, though in this form it never reached the surface.
The Natural Wall on which we stood, known as Shentendebudzi, has been traced from the Antelope Road almost due south through the hills for a distance of at least twenty-seven miles. Its wall-like appearance is due to the natural joints in the dolerite, which were formed by shrinkage when the rock solidified form the molten state in which it was injected. These joints are lines of weakness, which have been picked out by the weather.
The name Shentendebudzi is Chikaranga and seems to be associated with the idea of turning away, or perhaps an obstacle, which must be gone round.
We stayed at the Natural Wall for some time, and took several pictures of it. After that, we continued on, returning to where we left the trail, where Norm left Martin and me and drove on in the landy, and we carried on our hike, following the road until we met up with him at a kopje quite close to the Park, where, to round off our historical interlude, we climbed up and found some grain bins, but no paintings. We didn't stay here long, but carried on to the Park, to our hot coffee.
It was quite a hike, all in all. A hike, under the black clouds of an African storm, which showed me, more than anything else, the power of time. The Natural Wall has been in existence for millions of years, indeed it took millions of years to form, and it is still there, and will be for many, many years to come. No power man wields can do the same, for though a place of great happiness, and the result of great vision, the Matopos Terminus cannot do the same.
And so, we learn and continue. We learn to set our faith not in the deeds of man, which pass away. We learn also however, to respect those deeds, and remember them, for though they pass, they show great courage of spirit.
But most of all, we learn the practicalities of life: we learn not to sleep under a broken roof, not to try and cross a river in flood, to smile and continue through the cold and wet, and to appreciate a well-earned cup of hot coffee.
Ah, hot coffee.
|Click to enlarge:|
Manyuchi Dam -
five grubby Scouts and a landrover
- recipe for adventure..
After a while, we passed Zvishavane and
the asbestos factory, where Norm stopped
so that those who had brought cameras
could take photos and a quick talk form
Our next stop was Manyuchi Dam, where after arriving Norm went to find the water attendant who showed us around the wall and the dam pendulums which tell him if the wall has moved. He also told us that President Mugabe had opened the dam.
In the dam there were some very big valves and a few of us tried to turn the valves to open the gates to let water out, but it was too hard. After this quick tour of the dam, Norm let us run off some energy Martin, Peter and myself climbed some rocks that were there on the side of the dam whilst the rest just played around. Then it was off in the landy again to our next stop: Triangle. We asked Norm to stop at a shop so that we could buy some sweets and drinks. Norm tried to take us to the Museum in Triangle but found it closed and they would not open for us. That night we stayed in the yard of Sisye-Siye, who sent us a letter when we got home. Her son Obey helped us cook the meat that we had and also made sadza and relish for us, we all enjoyed this meal. It was a late night for all of us as the excitement was on again: tomorrow we would be at the Chim's to start our hike, the one thing we had all been waiting for.
We had just slept the night in a native village, which we came across when Norm was busy looking for a turn off that he usually took. We turned off onto a road (which we thought was the correct road) but when we discovered it was the wrong road. When Norm realized it was the wrong road, and as it was already dark, Norm just found a suitable place for us to camp. Whilst we were off-loading our camping kit, some people approached Norm from a nearby village. They offered for us to go and stay in their village, which we welcomed. Incidentally, one of the men who came to ask if we wanted to stay in their village explained that his mother was a Scout Leader. His mother gave us some sleeping mats to sleep on. She offered us a hut to sleep in but we declined. The villagers cooked our supper, which was superb.
When we woke up in the morning, we packed up our sleeping kits and cooked our breakfast. We packed up our landy and went and said our good-byes to everyone in the village. We headed off to the next part our trip to Chimanimani.
|Click to enlarge:|
In the gloom of a primeval forest - Martin,
Pete, Chayce and Norm in front of the Big Tree.
After this, we had a quick stop at the Big Tree,
where we took some photos. After that, we
had a quick look at the Swynnerton Memorial,
before carrying on to see the Moodie
Memorial, which was quite overgrown.
However, it was very interesting to look around, and to hear the story that Norm told us about the first trek into the area.
After visiting the grave we headed off the main office when Norm paid for us to go into Chimanimani. After Norm had paid, we had our lunch in the car park. We unpacked the landy and took our backpacks and finally started hiking to the base of the mountain. On our way there, we had our first crossing of ankle deep water. Surprisingly, the water was quite warm. I fully expected it to be freezing cold.
The terrain whilst walking up was quite rugged and tough going, but we all persevered. Our first stop was at a place called picture point, but we didn't stay there long because we wanted to reach Terry's cave before it was dark. In Chimanimani, it is pitch black at 6pm. We hiked through banana grove and then started seeing quite a few awesome rock formations. There was a certain rock formation that we had our pictures taken. On our way to Terry's Cave, we saw what we thought were other hikers but were actually some gold panners. How we came to know that they were gold panners was because on one of the descents we saw they had set up camp. We carried on hiking to just above Southern Lakes. As it was too dark to hike down to Southern Lakes, Norm found us a flat piece of land for us to set up our camp. Norm thought it might rain; he set up a bivi, which we all slept under except for Christopher because he slept in his own oneman tent. The reason why it was decided not to attempt to go down to Southern Lake was because it was pitch black and Norm was worried that one of us might slip and hurt ourselves, as the path going down was very steep. After we had set up camp, we unpacked out sleeping kits and cooked our supper, had a hot drink and went to sleep.
After sleeping a rolling night, I woke up sleeping on top of Chayce and Peter. Martin was in between Leon and Chayce, and Norm was next to Leon. Chris, who was sleeping in his warm tent, was the last to wake up. After having breakfast we took down the bivi and walked down to Southern Lakes. We had a swim, and Chris and Peter wanted to fish, but unfortunately there wasn't enough time.
|Click to enlarge:|
Swimming at one of the many falls in
the Chim's - Bundi Falls
After ten minutes we left
Southern Lakes and walked four and a half
kilometres to Terry's Cave and spent half an hour
there, while we had some more breakfast. After the
half hour was up we went on to another set of falls,
where we spent some time jumping into the water
from about 3 metres up. After that we went to a cave
known as Peterhouse Cave, and spent 10 minutes
there. We then continued to Bundi Falls, where
Peter, Chayce, Martin and I swam for 20 minutes or
so. While we were swimming, the others found a
snake in the water. When we got out we had some
lunch and Martin, Chris and I were the first to leave,
followed by Peter and Chayce and then Leon and
We crossed a wide plain, known as the Bundi Plain, heading to a waterfall called North Falls. When we arrived, we climbed above the waterfall to a cave, known as North Cave, where we slept the night.
When I woke up it was so cold, all I did was have some breakfast. When Norm had woken up, he asked around for volunteers to climb Peza, a mountain just behind the cave we slept in. I wasn't sure if I wanted to or not, so I just volunteered, not really knowing what was in store for us. In the end, it was only Norm, Leon, Dylan and I, so we left the others at the cave.
It was quite a climb up the mountain, but we finally got up and of course, had some chocolates. We then phoned our parents quickly on Norm's cell phone, before the battery went dead. Peza is right on the border of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, with a concrete marker on the top showing the borderline.
|Click to enlarge:|
Passports? - Perched atop the
border post at Peza - Norm, Pete,
Leon and Dylan.
When we were almost down again, I looked up and saw
something moving. When I looked again, I realized it
was an impala, the first animal we had seen in the
mountains. When we got down, we told the others about
our climb and got ready to move off. We packed and
filled our bottles with freezing water from the river, and
set off for the Mountain Hut, perched on a hill
overlooking the Bundi Plain. When we got there, we
stopped and had lunch for about an hour, and then
carried on down, following a path down known as
On the way down, some of us got a little confused with the paths, and so ended up on the wrong side of a small valley and had to go back up a bit to get to Norm, who was on the other side. By this time, he was almost down.
When we got down, I was so happy to have finished my first Chim's Hike. We all shook hands and we each had a cold coke to refresh us. We eventually left the Parks Hut to go to Outward Bound School, where we had some fun in Tessa's Pool, jumping off the rocks. We had a shower there, and then Norm handed each of us our Hike Shirts, which we put on and took a photo.
|Click to enlarge:|
Clean, but for how long?
The whole gang in their new
After this, we headed back into town
to the Chimanimani Hotel for dinner.
When we got there, Ken Nortje was
already there; he had come to join
us for our after-hike dinner. The
dinner was very nice, and we all
ordered hamburgers and chips;
though the power kept coming and going. After dinner, we headed up the hill to a lay-by, which took a long time to reach. When we stopped, it was so cold, only Norm, Ken and Leon slept outside, the rest of us stayed in the landy.
We stayed the night just outside of Chimanimani Village stuffed in Norm's land rover, except for Norm, Ken and Leon, who could resist the cold. In the morning we had a bit of breakfast, said goodbye and thank you to Ken for coming all the way from Mutare to meet us, and then left. The next stop was to be Birchenough Bridge, where we stopped and walked across the bridge, with the mighty Save flowing beneath us. On the other side, we climbed down beneath the bridge and skimmed stones for a bit. Peter was really good at this.
|Click to enlarge:|
Clean, but for how long?
The 1st descend on Birchenough Bridge.
Then we carried on to the shops just after the
bridge, where we all bought a loaf of bread,
except for Chris and me, who thought ahead
and bought a tin of jam as well! Then we carried
on to Masvingo, where we found a petrol station
with a Wimpy, and we all had a coke and a
hamburger, which was nice. Then we carried on,
stopped in the middle of Masvingo somewhere
to buy some more cokes. After that, we just
drove straight back to Bulawayo, without any
more pit stops. We arrived home around 5, to
meet our parents and tell them about our long
We all really enjoyed the Hike, and we can't wait till next year. Thank you Norm, it was an unforgettable experience.