Setting sun…

P1250398

 

Advertisements

Matshemhlope River Rail Bridge…

In 1897, the railway line arrived at Bulawayo via Botswana. This little bridge (below) crosses the Matshemhlope River in Suburbs. Its no longer part of the railway system, but each time I cross it, I image the huge steam beasts that used to lumber over it regularly.

P1250375

The railway line continued right past our house in Suburbs. Just think, when our house was built more than one hundred years ago, I could have just walked out of the front gate with my suitcase and traveled all the way to Cape Town!

P1250373

There used to be a level crossing round about where the furtherest car is just rounding the corner. (As you may have guessed, I wanted a pic of that amazing tree, and just found an excuse to talk about the level crossing!)

P1250378

At times, after a heavy storm, the water roars under this bridge covering over the grassy banks. In the dry season, the water stinks and driving over the road bridge with strangers in the car, I feel obliged to mention it’s the Matshemhlope!

The Matshehlope River is hardly a river – more a spruit one can hop over in many places. Starting at the Criterion Water Works, it winds its way through Bulawayo and eventually joins the Umguza River.

Its used as a water feature and “rough” where it flows through the Bulawayo Golf Course.

P1150669

Looks like a jungle? Good luck finding your balls in there!

P1240696

P1150685

These two pics below are where you can hop over it…

P1240688

P1240682

Follow this tiny stream a few kilometres and yes – you get to the Hillside Dams!

P1250384

 

 

 

The rains…

As Matabeleland awaits the rains, it gets hot. Very hot. Even the wind is hot! Tar melts, the skies are relentlessly blue, and yet the trees have enough energy to bring out new leaves and flowers.

This pic below was taken on the last day of August:

P1250192

The red colour are the calyces  – turning yellow within a month:

P1250354

Both these pics are taken at much the same time of the day, and from the same rocky outcrop.

 

Random Streets in Hillside…

P1250439

This photograph is taken on Moffat Avenue, Hillside, Bulawayo. I’m guessing it was named after Robert Moffat, a missionary who came to Africa in the mid 1850’s. His daughter married David Livingstone – another famous missionary who worked tirelessly for the abolition of slavery. So he is fairly popular here!

Eish – check out THAT mandebvu!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Moffat_(missionary)

P1250440

This one is taken on Napier Ave. He was hot shot during the Matabele rebellion and buddy of Cecil John Rhodes.

http://www.rhodesiansoldier.com/col.-w.-napier-cmg.html

P1250441

I admit I took the above pic because of the tree hanging over Hillside Rd – which is one of the main feeder roads into the suburbs from town.

 

 

 

Jacaranda time…

When the Bulawayo founders laid out our town, all in nice straight gridlines, they planted Jacaranda trees, especially in the old Suburbs – Northend, Suburbs, Khumalo.P1250526

Now, one hundred years down the line, the purple flowers make a spectacular show in the first week of October.

P1250524

Cycle down the road, or drive with the window open and you can hear them popping under your tyres.

P1250536

Along the older streets, branches have tangled into an arch overhead.

P1250475

P1250515

I took these photos early in the morning to catch the best light. Its also when children walk to school.

P1250495

You can see them, all carrying their satchels full of schoolbooks.

P1250503

P1250470

This last one is taken from my driveway, looking South along Heyman Road.

 

Matopos Siding

Called ‘The Matopos’ this siding is no longer in use. Its close enough to the main Kezi Rd for a quick stop in…and the grove of trees nearby – wow – to die for!

P1250282

The siding is not far from the road leading in the Matopos Police station along this grassy track. You can just see the cattle loading ramp hidden in the trees. Built from thick steel bars, its still going strong, unlike the sign that used to read “The Matopos.”

P1250301

This view (above) is the one anyone hanging out of a carriage window would have seen as they approached the siding.

Cecil John Rhodes left a provision in his will for a spur line to be added onto the railway so people could visit the Matopos. Right next to this halt, a hotel was built for visitors and day trippers. I’m guessing it was wooden and got eaten by termites in time! On this website I found some photos: http://zimfieldguide.com/matabeleland-south/matopos-railway-terminus

P1250302

As I walked towards the siding I detoured into the grove of Umkhaya on my right.

P1250330-2

http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=125910

Click on this link for an Umkhaya tree.

P1250293

P1250315