Centenary Park, Bulawayo

I recently received an email from a follower of my blog who doesn’t come from Bulawayo. She suggested I give more background about the places I photograph. So here goes. Please let me know what you think and if any of you have memories of the Centenary exhibition, Id love to hear about them.

The Centenary Park is close enough to our home in Suburbs, to walk but I went in the car cos I took Lizzy – and she is just a little puppy, with little legs!

That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

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Until 1953 (The Rhodes Centenary Exhibition) this park was called the “Central Park,” close to the first suburb in Bulawayo, called “Suburbs!” How original! I’m told the south side is officially still Central Park, but no one calls it that, everyone calls it the Centenary Park. Central Park is best known for the fountain where lots of newly weds have their photos taken. I took this photo with the light behind it, shining through the jacaranda tree behind.

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I took another pic later – an unusual view – but actually I was after that lovely ‘avenue’ through the trees in the distance.

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One of Bulawayo’s main roads runs right through the park – it used to be called “Selborne Avenue” named after the British High Commissioner to South Africa, (back in 1905) but now has been changed to Leopold Takawira a war hero of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle.

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Below is also looking west down L Takawira.

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In this pic (above) I’m standing with my back to the fountain looking towards Bulawayo. If you drive 1000 km in the other direction, you will get to Johannesburg, South Africa!

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The trees are huge and shady and I LOVE the palms!

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I’m guessing they have grown rather, since the Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, which was a pretty big affair, by all accounts, with royalty attending and all! Rhodes, born in 1853 came to Africa and made heaps of money! A commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth was opened by the Queen Mother, in July 1953. (This country was still a British colony then.) Several of the events were held in this park. Rhodes, who founded the country we now know as Zimbabwe, is buried in the Matopos, about 50km from Bulawayo. I have previously posted photos on my blog here.

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The municipal caravan park is  just behind those trees.

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I want one of these in my garden!!! Its SO cute, so colonial!

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Her bright yellow jacket goes well in a park!

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The paths are plenty wide enough for both Lizzy and I, and park workers.

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I timed my visit to catch the evening light, and I think it worked OK.

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The smell under this tree is divine! That’s the park office behind the tree.

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This last photo is of the Museum, on the North side of the road in the Centenary Park. I do like the candle-light!

 

 

Upper Ncema Dam…

…a  Bulawayo water supply dam, is near Esigodini.

After one of the best rainy seasons EVER, all the dams in the usually arid Matabeleland, are full, Upper Ncema included. Mostly, this dam is used to hold water which is let downstream to top up the lower one, where the water is treated before being pumped to Bulawayo.

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Its much nicer to have lunch next to a full dam, than a brown puddle.

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Some trees have grown, pretty tall in the meanwhile.

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I sincerely apologise to the people who follow my blog who don’t come from Bulawayo, or another arid region. Just, us Matabele are SO happy when it rains, and full dams just make our day. Or rather, our year!

Oh…all that blue, blue water!

We’ve been told that even if we don’t get a drop of rain for another five years, we will still have enough water for Bulawayo. Whew, nice to know!

A walk around the lower Hillside Dams…

Timing my walk to capture the sunset “golden hour,” I chose to walk the dogs around the lower dam because it won’t be brim full for much longer. The photos below are in the order I took them.

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This photo, above is taken on the western bank (near the tearoom) looking to where I will soon be walking.

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Heading for that bench, two dogs on leads, a camera around my neck, my camera case over my arm, my phone, car keys and lens shade in my pocket, I snapped a few pics. Several had to be deleted because the dogs have no patience for photographers. There are too many smells to be investigated, two leads to ensure are tangled!

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Once seated, I let the dogs off their leashes and snapped a pic of  the heron I’d been stalking (yeah right, with two panting German Shepherds) hoping for a close up (he is just poking his head over at me in the previous photo!)

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We couldn’t resist climbing the kopjie directly above the seat…although Lizzy struggled a little (her legs are still too short!) I took some pics of the dam from up there, but they are all lousy – too many trees in the way.

That rock on the left is just balancing on another huge rock – ready to fall down the hillside at any moment! (Probably been there for millennia!)

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Of course we couldn’t resist walking along this wall (unfortunately it’s got a hole, so I couldn’t make it to the island.) And Lizzy jumped in!!! I think she mistook the green water plant for green grass! She went under about a foot and came up doggy paddling madly! I had to reach down and haul her out of the drink! (Good show my phone didn’t fall into the water – or worse, the car keys!)

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The “golden hour” light is lovely in the photo above, but I could NOT entice the dogs to pose there. It’s annoying – they run about sniffing and looking down holes yet when I WANT them to go a short distance away for a photo shoot, they look at me with that innocent “You mean you WANT us to go over there and be bad???”

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This is the only one I got of them, running on the path ahead of me.

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This pic (above) for me, is the pick of the photos I took yesterday. Looking almost directly into the sun.P1240606

 

Looking towards the upper dams, just about to cross back to the western side of the dams.

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Of course, the sun dropped too low and I’d lost the “golden light.”

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These photos taken towards the dam wall.

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I hope you enjoyed the walk with me. I didn’t take any more after this one, firstly because the light had faded and secondly because Zulu began behaving badly. His previous owners must have always put him back on the leash when they got close to the vehicle!

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