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!

 

 

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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The Supermoon…

If I’d kept up with the news more, I would have made some effort to get out somewhere special to take pics of the Supermoon…P1220729.JPGLuckily someone got hold of me to let me know about it!

I DID get out there when it was fairly low in the sky. This is taken through the bare branches of a jacaranda tree on the roadway outside our house in Suburbs.

P1220730.JPGIt was a “dark and stormy night…”

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I thought the red reflection that wobbled about would mess up my pics, but actually, it enhanced several of them.

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And this one, (above) is weird – I don’t know if I moved the camera at the last moment, but it almost looks like a painting (OK, like one of MY paintings!!!)

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I think this last one is probably the best “Super-Moon” photo – huge behind the jacaranda tree.

All photos taken in Suburbs, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

 

 

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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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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