A day trip to the Matopos…

I love it when people visit here – it gives me an excuse to go to the Matopos! Dave, whom I met on Facebook wanted to visit Mtshabezi Dam, cos I’d posted some pics a while ago.

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We decided to first visit the bottom of Lumeni Falls, since we had done the top (in the car!) last year. Here is a link to the photos I took then: https://frankiekayfotos.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/lumeni-falls/

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The Lumeni river falls off the southern end of the Matopos, tumbling down over rocks and ending up on the flat(ish) land in the Nswazi Communal Area. It eventually joins with the other big rivers in this area that finally flow into the green and greasy Limpopo.

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There are camping facilities, at the bottom, although pretty rudimentary! If you are looking to reset your biological clock – this is the place! From here, its about 500m until the climb to the top of the falls. I took some pics a while ago and you can see them here: https://frankiekayfotos.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/bulawayos-best-kept-secret-lumeni-falls/

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As usual, the trees got to me!

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This last one, taken at the bottom of the falls, towers over the campsite. The light was still pretty good, I liked the way it shone through the leaves of this tree.

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In the midmorning we took off for Mtshabezi Dam, stopping occasionally to take photos.

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Passing a scotch-cart, Dave noticed the boy driving it, pointed at the front of the car. A flat tyre!! I have never had a flat on this set of tyres, and felt a bit embarrassed that a visitor had to get down and dirty on what should be an enjoyable trip! Thank goodness that young chap pointed at my front wheel or I would have ruined a tyre. The roads in this part of the Matopos are not good and I was seriously debating cutting our day short and heading back to Bulawayo.

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I knew the drive over the spillway at Mtshabezi was very rocky and the AA doesn’t really get out there! You can see the road on the right of the photo approaching the dam!  I resolved to borrow a pump from a passing scotch-cart driver and do an emergency repair on the tyre (I carry repair plugs!) Well, we weren’t able to borrow one, instead, we bought one! For $4.00!! Whodathunk?P1290775

At a rural store in the wilds of Mtshabezi!

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Confident we could repair the puncture, if need be, we pushed on to the Mtshabezi Dam,. And once again, it didn’t disappoint! What a photogenic dam.

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I’m sorry if there are too many pics below – but I can’t resist sharing them with you!

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Later on, two blokes strolled over to collect their fishing boat:

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Gives you some idea of the size of the rocks towering over the dam.

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I went for a little climb to get some better shots of the dam from higher up. I wasn’t able to walk around the dam much, the rocks come too close to the edge. I’ll wait until I can get onto the water with our canoe.

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Of course…a tree overlooking the dam!

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More trees, and disobliging aloes! (Above)

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And then, at about 3.00pm we headed out, to drive back along the Old Gwanda Road to Bulawayo. A drive of more than 70km on what I expected to be a terrible road.

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The light was special by the time we got here…(A little weir close to the road.)

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And the trees –  to die for!

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There were a few aloes! But most of the red in this pic above, is from leaves – changing colours with the season.

We couldn’t spend as much time as we liked photographing this spot – I was worried about the long (and very bumpy drive to come.) And was doomed to disappointment – the road was being graded! Whoa – possibly the first time this century!

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School kids returning home also seemed to be enjoying the new surface!

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Whew – I wonder if the bike rider could see ANYTHING!

 

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This last photo I took hanging out of the window – letting the car drive itself!

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I hope I have not posted too many photos in one post. Please let me know what you think. We also visited Gulabuhwe Cave on this trip, but I do think I should make a separate post for that visit!

 

 

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Mist Rising…

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Its winter in Africa now, and for me, its cold! These pics were taken at Zebula, which is in Limpopo, South Africa.

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This photo, above, was taken after sunset – I liked the way the view turned into stripes. It was cold too!

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In the valley is a small stream (it makes up one of the water traps for the golf course.) Sitting in the clubhouse, one can watch the mist slowly forming once the sun set.

Mtshabezi Dam…

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Built in a long narrow valley, Mtshabezi Dam is long and deep. These two photos are taken in the bright overhead sunlight, in the mid day.

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It was a bit later, when I took this one:

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Fishermen, who brave the road with their boats, launch just in front of where I was standing.

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I really like this rock (above)with the trees growing out of them. I tried to line it up with another interesting rock in the foreground, but it just didn’t gel. I’ll try again when I get the boat into the water.

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The trees are beginning to shed their leaves and that orange, is actually leaves, not flowers.

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I liked the stark white of this dead tree – taken in the late afternoon light. Im thinking someone good at manipulating RAW images might have fun with it.

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These last images were taken with fading light.

Esigodini…

Is a little village about fifty kilometres from Bulawayo heading south towards Johannesburg. The town and buildings have changed since I grew up there, but the surrounding countryside is much the same.P1280921

And that’s about it in the main street! The Why Not Hotel’s paint job is a little garish next to the post office’s more traditional one!

And then we leave the town for the countryside…

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I chose to avoid a $2.00 toll gate and took this road! (Heading South west.)

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Looking south and late in the evening, is an unusual view of the Matopos (although one I’ve posted here before, but taken in the morning.)

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OK, so this is a bit of a cheat! I didn’t HAVE to go on this road to avoid the toll! But I did in order to follow the sunset! You know, I think taking photos is sort of like surfing. Like a surfer, waiting for that perfect wave, I sit around in the freezing evenings, or walk up just one more hill, or drive my poor car down roads like this one above – looking for that perfect shot! Always just around the corner!

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The sunset was worth driving home in the dark (I don’t have the best night sight!)

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It’s cold now (temperatures are just over 0 degrees C)

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This last pic is taken on the main Johannesburg road – and it was eina cold!

Sunset Rock, at Cape St Francis…

We were told about this place – given directions. When we got there, we found a car park FULL of cars and people, everywhere! If I’d been on my own, I’d have just kept right on driving!  P1260817

In this direction, however, only a few fishermen…

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I’m told this road goes along the coast for miles…(above)

I’m guessing people come here to take sunset photos for a reason!

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As the sun went down, the light changed and the blues became deeper…

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Facing the other way – the people were still there!

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