Model A Ford…

This is a lovely photogenic, family car!

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Owned by the Sherfield family its often used for outings to the Matopos.

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It goes well too! I had to hang out of the passenger seat to get these pics, and it was a little hair raising!

The winter colours are magnificent – the red and oranges in the trees and lovely golden grass.

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I caught them again crossing the Maleme Dam wall:

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This car is a wonderful family car – I just LOVE the strap on trunk (I promised to fix the leather straps for them!)

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Long long ago…

In a far away place…

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There were kids who wore no shoes – ran free under the big blue skies, rode on the back of open vehicles, climbed trees and clambered over rocks.

Sure they got skinned knees, stubbed toes, occasional broken bones, but they were happy! They are still to be found, right here, in Matabeleland.

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Africa is not for sissies!

I took this pic at a recent classic car event held in Bulawayo. All assembled in town and drove as a convoy to the Matopos. I got wonderful photos against the rocks. I cheated, used the sepia function, trying to recreate days gone by…

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Matopos had roads built early on – Rhodes loved the place – and I can easily imagine in days gone by, a Model T Ford “runabout” like this one above, driving away!

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This one (above) taken on the old strip road to Matopos.

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The Model A, pictured above, a tough little guy – made it up this steep slope, near Maleme Dam with ease. (I ran DOWN this slope, following these cars with ease!!!)

Tree…

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This pic, above, inspired Terry Dawson to write this poem:

With perfect certainties all know
The wondrous ways of trees that grow.

Their forms sacred against the sky
Inspire those who pass them by

While thirsting roots have stealthy-found
Their liquid banquet underground

And each has with perfection laid
Soft, leafy resting place in shade.

And with gnarled trunk and scarred, bowed bough
Yet glad-beheld by man somehow.

From us their crafty ways are hidden
Which bounties bare each year unbidden.

As if touched with nobility
The trees give all and give it free.

by Terry Dawson

Orange Tree…

Its cold here now, and there has been a bit of frost around. This tree, with its orange leaves stands out among its naked neighbours.

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I’m guessing given a few more weeks and it will lose all its leaves.

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The clouds look ominous, but actually they only produced a few spits!

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The cow gives you some idea about the size…

Nature’s fragrance…

On our recent trip to Binga area, we based ourselves at Mlibizi (pics already on here someplace,) a fishing camp on the Zambezi river.

Our first day’s work at Nechilibi, was rained off, and the car was a bit of a muddle because I’d had to bring things that usually belong in the back, into the cab.

Our second site was at Deka, also a fishing camp on the Zambezi, about an hour and a half away on a pretty poor road. We set off early, after checking that the Gwaai River was not in flood. You can see from this pic, the low clouds, just waiting to trap us in the car for another three hours!

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This pic (above) is taken from the bridge over the Gwaai River. It had been flooding high the previous day, but as you can see, it went down quickly.

Even before we reached this bridge, I’d noticed a terrible smell. I didn’t say anything, but wished we had not had beans for supper the previous evening! I smelled it again, shortly after, when I slowed down for a cow.

I flapped my hand and got a “Huh? Whats up with your guts?”

MY GUTS??? What a flaming cheek! MEN!!! And like all men, Will has an excellent ‘innocent look.’ I wondered if I should believe his, “It wasn’t me!” story? And it definitely wasn’t me!

It seemed to be worse whenever I slowed down and we eventually decided something must have died in our air-conditioner, or in the panel above the bonnet. I couldn’t work out why it would make a difference when we slowed down, but we had plenty of ideas about air flow etc! I stuck to my theory that he was not as innocent as professed!

When we arrived at Deka, I checked under the bonnet, and stuck my nose on all the carpets – nothing.  I left the guys doing the survey and took a drive along the Zambezi, looking for photo opportunities; did a little fishing with some kids I came across.

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Their back yard!

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I didn’t notice any smells when on my own, and began to wonder if Will was having me on! He must have squeezed one out each time I slowed down, knowing it would confuse the issue.

I collected the survey team, (and by the way, this hole was drilled and it had lots of lovely water.) We headed off to Kenkando, the second job of the day, 60km away (unfortunately, this hole was dry!) and the smells came back as soon as Will got in the car.

Eventually, after about twenty kilometres, stopping to take this pic:

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I noticed these flowers, growing on a bush close-by, were very fragrant.

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So I picked a whole stack of them (the guys sniggering on the back!) and put them in the cab – anything to cancel out that foul smell.

It didn’t work that well!

Arriving at Kenkando, and removing the resistivity machine (from behind Will’s seat) we discovered the MIA lunch (beef stew) from Thursday! Eeeew! It had got wedged under his seat; stray shoes and fire extinguishers pushing it out of sight! Every time I slowed down, Will must have leaned back, squashing the tupperware, lid forcing it to fart!

Phew! Were we glad we solved that one!

A few pics taken along the road:

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This is baobab country – just one doesn’t usually have the back drop of clouds when coming across them!

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Teak tree blossoms, I’m told (above.)

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This lady was collecting water – a laborious process – she wasn’t making sand castles!

Khami Ruins…

The ruins are very close to Bulawayo; an easy drive through the Western Suburbs and industrial sites. Well kept, the paths neatly cut with good signage, makes Khami a great place to spend an afternoon.

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I’ve posted this pic first, because its the most impressive facade and the wall most people know at Khami.

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I love the way the builders just included the rocks in the wall!

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A slightly different view of the wall and right up above this section on the left, is this:

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Thought to be built by the Portuguese, this cross was reconstructed in 1939, so it could have been any shape. The pic (below) shows the rock with the cross on it.

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I’m always fascinated by the inhabitants of the Ruins of Zimbabwe! Wonder what they would tell us from stories passed down! I got sidetracked by this little guy!

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He climbs down rocks – head first! Amazing little fella. I followed him around the rock until eventually he got sick of me and disappeared into a crevice.

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This is a close up of a section of the steps – those holes must have held poles – but holding what up? Again, as at Great Zimbabwe, that mortar above the rocks is pretty hard wearing and its an aggregate, I’m told, almost as hard as cement. Perhaps large sections of the ruins were once plastered with this? Who knows?

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This pic (above) shows those slots in the brick work …perhaps they held up a portico?

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Like many of the other ruins in Zim, the walls are pretty thick with wide open doorways.

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And they are often constructed in tiers, filled in with soil…

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Would you believe when the settlers arrived, they built a dam – right over the top of this site????

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As you can see, the wall has collapsed in several places, and unless the dam empties, it will be pretty hard to repair.

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These two pics were taken from the “outlook point.”

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Dust Roads…

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Taken in the Matopos, fairly late in the afternoon, the shadows lengthening.

 

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Mtshelele Dam (above) taken at lunch time, the bright African sun making it difficult to take pics. I hid in the shadow of a tree to get this one!

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Silozwe Hill, in the Matopos. (During the Rhodesian Bush war – the SAS used this hill during their selection routine!) The road meanders around gullies and washouts!

I just love the tree near the women.

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These two pics are taken at Khami Ruins (30km outside Bulawayo.) The road weaves through large Mkiya Trees for a several hundred metres before one arrives at the ruins.

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