John decided to head toward Zambia, so I carried on through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and beyond. It was a short stretch through Mozambique and I spent a pleasurable night with Tarryn & Michael in Tete. A good friend of mine, Alex had introduced us. After supporting the runners at their local running club I was given an awesome home cooked meal and enjoyed some good conversation.
A small village under a baobab tree forest in Mozambique
One approaches Zimbabwe with images of brain like featured mountains, but once past these it’s mostly flat. The distances are also further between towns, villages and water, so I picked up the pace and was cycling between 130km and 180km daily.
The church is never full here
Unfortunately a rivet in my leather seat had come undone and so with the distances that I was travelling it was becoming very uncomfortable. As any cycle tourist can tell you, your butt needs to be the most looked after!! I kept my eyes open for appropriate farm yards, mechanical shops etc. but it was only in Harare that an ex-farmer came to the rescue with a rivet gun.
A good friend Chris met me in Harare. He was on his way to Mana Pools and kindly invited me to stay with his family for a couple of days to rest. We had a fabulous time braaiing, fishing and catching up.
Crossing the Zambezi River
To visit the Victoria Falls is a must when you’re in Zimbabwe. Your senses all buzz when you approach with awe one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I met up with a group of volunteer nurses who had been working on the Mercy Ship off the coast of Madagascar and went white water rafting with them on the Zambezi River. It was compulsory to get the raft flipped on one of the grade five rapids. Then an eye ball stretching bungy jump off the Cecil Rhodes Bridge. The following day I had the opportunity to cross the border to Botswana to do a day visit on a boat along the Chobe River. A different perspective on game viewing!!
The people who I met in Zimbabwe were all friendly and mostly came across as being well educated. There was however an overwhelming feeling that a lot of people were suffering financially, some people doing double shifts at work, others being way overqualified for the only job they could find. I feel for the people that live in Zimbabwe. A country that used to be one of the biggest producers of maize is now importing maize!! One couple that I met was stockpiling hundreds of bags of maize with the anticipation of further food shortages with the recent drought that parts of Zimbabwe had. Yet mostly everyone had a positive outlook on life and carried on smiling.