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.

P1240444

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

P1240446

Some trees have grown, pretty tall in the meanwhile.

P1240451

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.

P1240572

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

P1240579

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!

P1240583

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!)

P1240589

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!)

P1240592

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!)

P1240594

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???”

P1240608

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

P1240596

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.

P1240597

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

P1240602

These photos taken towards the dam wall.

P1240611

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!

If you enjoyed this blog post, please click on the +follow button and you will get my post email.

 

Matopos vista…

These two photos are taken about half way up a kopjie in the Matopos very near to Lumeni Falls.

P1240230

People’s fields are laid out with contour ridges to stop erosion of the thin granite soils.

P1240231

With the heavy rains, the water slowly seeps out of these hillslopes and the bigger rivers they feed, run year round. Matopos is a lovely place for trampers and serious climbers.

 

Matopos Roads…

P1240311

Roads wind around the kopjies in the Matopos – some of them are HUGE.

P1240240.JPG

And sometimes when they cant do anything else, they have to go THROUGH a kopjie! In the photo above, the road has been paved.

P1240225

And here, the rocks have been blasted apart by dynamite!

P1240295

In the foreground, you can see our car tracks – here the road is where you find it!

P1240161

The “gateway to Matopos…”

P1240297

I took the above photo of the road directly in front of the car…

P1240302-001

P1240204

 

 

 

Lumeni Falls…

P1240284

The views from Lumeni are varied, the dense tree cover providing shade for most of the walk.

P1240283

P1240294-001

Lumeni Falls overlook Nswazi.

P1240259

P1240277

The stream disappears under a heap of boulders for a couple of hundred metres and then almost immediately plunges off the edge of a huge boulder.

P1240269

Above is where it comes out of the boulders.

P1240270

And tumbles over the edge…

P1240264

Our guide for the climb…

P1240275