…is not on my “to do” list. Binga has always been on it…I’m not sure why. The hot spring I think. The idea of all that water, coming out of the ground, all on its own has always fascinated me especially coming from dry Mat’land.
Matusadona Mountains have been on that list, ever since my National Parks friends went on and on about them, about the Rhino who live there and the view over Kariba.
Hubby, has also got some strange things on his list. To see a Buffalo in the wild again. Lusulu????Yup. And we went there, just cos it was on his to do list! A cool two hundred odd kays out of our way, on a serious road.
So that got knocked off, but the Matusadona Mountains didn’t. The road defeated me, I’m very embarrassed to admit. I pride myself on going ANYWHERE and you know, National Parks charged us $10.00 per day for the privilege of driving on their roads!!!
In late 2008 we had a contract in the Gokwe/Binga area and decided we may be able to cross some of the ‘to do’ things off our list. We thought to detour to Matusadona so I could climb the mountain. Chizarira was definitely on the cards.
We camped at Tashinga and the photo opportunities were amazing. The game, rather thin on the ground didn’t oblige Cush’s wishlist – he hasn’t seen a Buffalo since he was in the South East in the army.
A supercilious Nat Parks guys at Matusadona tried to tell us the buffalo were there, just we couldn’t see them. Sure, we thought. Buffalo, like cattle, make manure, and there was no manure. There were no buffalo. In fact, we saw very little game at all and what we did see was the rear end and moving fast. No sooner did they hear our car than they “booked out” to use my son’s term.
We did get a few shots of impala and a kudu in the camp and some of these photos are my all time favourites.. I have hundreds, choosing the ones to post here was very difficult…
A few shots of the mountains and parts of the road that ultimately defeated me…
We did the survey closest and moved on to Chizarira. Can you believe it was misty and rainy for the first few days there!! Great atmosphere, not so many photo opportunities!
Driving between Siakobvu and Binga we realised we were about to run out of water. We carry two twenty five litre drums everywhere we go, because most places we go to work have no water!!
“Don’t take water from the next bore-hole,” I’m told, “its brackish. But either the next one or the one after will be fine.”
Since the guy sitting in the passenger seat surveyed the original boreholes, he should know…We pass the brackish one. A line of about twenty mostly women and children stand patiently in the sun. To my dismay, the next one also has a long lone line. I don’t stand in queues, ever. It’s a rule I have. I drive past.
“The next one is the last one we can draw from,” he says. “So we have to stop there I am afraid.”
The place we are going is off the road, and obviously they don’t have any water, or we wouldn’t be going there.
Oh man, the next bore-hole has an even longer queue.
We stop and I get out, pretty close to the pump head. I go to the back of the truck and open the tailgate. A woman peels out of the queue, and takes hold of our containers. She walks over to the spout, removes the container being filled, positions ours underneath. No one says a thing. All that can be heard is the squee, squee of the handle as about six kids work it.
I stood about awkwardly as she closed the lids carefully, carried the containers back to the car, put them in place. I felt such a tit, especially as I had moaned about standing in a queue and yes, wondered how I could get to the front.
This story happened before the US$ was legal tender in Zimbabwe. Most people were forced to use the worthless local currency. Only people like us were paid in real money and the common people felt it terribly.
Feeling a complete idiot, I went to the cab, dug out a one US$ note and handed it to her. Still no words had passed between us.
Immediately a whole gaggle of women crowded round, asking her what she intended to do with it, would she buy a hat, or clothes or food…Why had she got in first place, after all, she didn’t do anything special..
She held the note reverently in her hands for a few moments, then shoved it down her front and said she would think about it before she splashed it around
I slunk into the cab, thoroughly diminished, utterly routed.
I don’t have a photo, I’m afraid. That would have been the ultimate insult. But I do have one from other hand-pumps we have stopped at in our travels…
Ah…Note the queue…
and of course, pics of Binga, which I ticked off my “to do” list…
Strange pics taken at the springs..