Wednesday, 10 April 2013

3 Swiss in Zimbabwe - Intro

I came back to Mutare and Homestead Guesthouse from my failed attempt at camping in the Bvumba Mountains when I met a couple of tourists in the lounge of the guesthouse. After hearing them talk a little bit I felt they were probably Swiss Germans or Germans. Asking them confirmed my “suspicion” of them being Swiss Germans from around St. Gallen. We got along quite well and started talking about our different traveling. After a while we finally exchanged our names anyhow. We were so preoccupied by other more important things that we forgot about the simple courtesy of asking for and telling names.

Claudia and Marco had been traveling from mid-August the previous year and visited Central and South America before coming to Southern Africa at end of January. They were doing a break from an overland tour they had left and would be picking up again in Vic Falls. The tour goes from Cape Town to Nairobi. They were together for about 7 years and had long before decided to go traveling. Claudia wanting a bit less and Marco a bit more time, so they had settled for ten months on the road. As they didn't want to schedule too much in advance, they had booked some intercontinental flights only. The rest was all up to how they felt. We both kept track of our expenses, and when they showed me their numbers they showed me that South America was much cheaper than Southern Africa. I showed them my numbers and we saw we were at about the same level in and around Zim. Their blog address should already be figuring in the links on this blog.

I told them about my failed attempt at camping in the mountains and that I wanted to return my faulty sleeping mat and try and sell the cheap Chinese tent to someone. I told them I had planned to go to Nyanga as well, but then gave up the idea as camping was out of question and the lodges would be too expensive and transport to and in there quite difficult.

The two were talking about renting a car and asked me if I was interested in joining them for a few days. I agreed and we phoned a few people and asked others in town. We finally found one that looked good for USD 75 a day from some private persons in town. It was quite difficult to find a renting car as there was but one operator in Mutare and he had already rented all his cars out. Other people were private people's cars.

I managed to get a refund for my defect sleeping mat at the shop, and would have done so quite easily for the tent as well if I still had had the receipt. But I remember throwing some receipts away the previous day, thinking I would never use them again. Mistake. But the person at the shop told me he could look out in the system for the operation and probably give me a refund. But it would take him an hour and he didn't have the time now. So I told him I would look for the receipt and come back the next day, with or without receipt. The next day when I came in with my tent, he finally asked one salesman if he remembered me and when he said yes, he told him to refund me for the tent. The official reason was it was too small for the three of us.

Claudia and Marco bought some meat and a few other things in addition to the rice, butternuts and avocados I still had and we cooked ourselves a fine meal for supper.