May 08, 2000 GMT
Ruins of Great Zimbabwe

Crossing the border into Zimbabwe had its usual hiccups with the officials asking for US$ but unable to provide change. Carol walked to a money exchange but he was of little assistance. We were able to exchange for a little of the local currency to pay our way into the commercialized section of Vic Falls. A pleasant stay with Pres. Mugabe making his presence known when he held talks with the 'rebels'and the farmers about land rights issues.

Heading to Bulawayo we arrived Good Friday. No shops open for bike tyres we set up camp and headed out to get a little food. The sky was very black but our campground attendant assured us it would not rain . For over an hour we huddled in a burger bar as the rain and hail lashed down . The cafe was awash and the bike sat out in the gutter with 15cms of icy water leaves and branches floating around it. No harm done and the tent held up well. The campground was a little damp under foot though.

With no shops open for a few days we headed to the Great Zimbabe Ruins. Not too many campers and tourists. Zimbabwe is really suffering with this land crisis. The ruins were substantial and we find it difficult to believe that this was built by Africans in the 13th century without outside help but the archeologists say that this is so. The road to Harare was boring with little wildlife and very little traffic. We camped at Hillside Lodge and chased bike tyres at several m/cycle shops the next day. Not much luck though. However the local mechanic gave us a bald Metzler Enduro 3 to replace the rear Barum. This being a four ply tyre may survive the tough roads a little better. The 25000km old Sirac would have to cover a few more kays yet.

Back to Bulawayo (good title for a song) we tried a M/cycle shop >Bike & Boat Bar for tyres. Bruce the owner was very helpful and we able to buy a second hand Conti for the front that had plenty of tread and should get us to Sth Africa. His hospitality went further and he extended an invitation to stay overnight at his family's farm. We stayed up late talking history and enjoying some Zimbabwian hospitality. Bruce has a desire to set up a M/cycle only campground on the property. After staying a these facilities in the U.S.A. we hope he succeeds.

Posted by Carol Duval at 01:35 AM GMT

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