Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday's Travels!

I thought I would move away from Europe for a while and take you with me on one of the most special trips that P and I have done. Before I met him, I had never been out of South African borders! Well, that changed quite quickly! In June 1998, P and I went to Zimbabwe to attend an International Round Table Conference called ARTCA (Ass of Round Table Central Africa). We decided to drive so that we could spend some time touring on our way there and on our way home!

Our first stop was Masvingo and a visit to the incredibly beautiful Zimbabwe Ruins. Did you know that Zimbabwe took its name from the Shona word meaning “a great stone building”? There is evidence to suggest that the Great Zimbabwe became a centre for trading. Pretty pieces of Chinese pottery, Arabic coins and glass beads were found there. Nobody knows why the site was abandoned, but I can tell you that there is a definite mysterious air about the place and it was a privilege to visit!




One of the things that fascinated me the most were the fences which the local people had made around their properties, in the rural areas and in the towns. They are made from thorn bushes and I thought they were very pretty. This is a photograph of a typical homestead. How I wish we had had a digital camera in those days!




Our conference was held at a resort on Lake Kariba. It was beautiful and one of the most amazing things, was the fact that there were wild animals wandering around the site quite freely. We are regularly visited by an old bull elephant and P almost came face to face with a hippo while walking about at night! I was lucky enough to spend a day on a house boat. These boats accommodate a specific number of people, include 3 meals a day + snacks, a captain, a chef and deckhand and you spend your “cruise” relaxing and enjoying the sights and sounds of the African Bush!



I will never forget our trip on the ferry across the Zambezi river! The sunsets were amazing and the sound of the Fish Eagle reminded me that I was in one of Africa’s most beautiful countries – a place for adventure and fun!



Driving towards the Victoria Falls will always be a special moment for me! I couldn’t believe that the spray I saw in the sky was spray from the falls and not clouds in the sky! Standing beneath the statue of Livingstone gave me goose-bumps as I imagined him walking through to bush!  Look how skinny I was in those days! LOL!





We went white water rafting, we went to game-reserves and I held a real, live baby croc, who was NOT happy with me at all! We had an amazing dinner at the Livingstone Hotel, where we sipped Gin & Tonics, while watching crazy people bungi jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge!




We went for long, lazy walks in the bushveld, taking in the sounds and smells of Africa! 

I think David Paich and Jeff Porcaro who wrote "Africa" for the group Toto, captured the essence of this amazing continent beautifully!

I hear the drums echoing tonight

But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She's coming in the 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation

I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say
"Hurry boy, it's waiting there for you!"


It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what's right
Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti


I seek to cure what's deep inside
Frightened of this thing that I've become
It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do


I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had
Hurry boy, she's waiting there for you
It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you


There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa, I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa, I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

1 comment:

Firefly said...

I have never been to Zim, but it is an absolutely fantastic destination. Pity that the tourism industry has to suffer along with the rest of the country due to ol' Bob's policies. One day I would love to explore our neighboring countries includinh Zim.