In the morning we prepared toasts and got some tea from the
guesthouse and looked sadly at the heavy clouds that had built up
during the night. While we ate our breakfast the guys came to bring
in the Toyota Sprinter that was to be ours for 3 days. The owner
wrote an affidavits with my name on it before giving us the keys.
Although the car wasn't new, it was in a pretty good shape (for
African standards anyway). The tires were pretty worn out though.
Around 9 we left for the Bvumba Mountains and drove on the scenic
road that goes into the Burma Valley. This promptly reminded me of
Midnight Oil's song “Mountains of Burma”. We got quite far until
we reached the Essex road where the potholes got worse and where
suddenly, the tar disappeared and there was only a dirt road left.
The state of the road was slippery in the light drizzle and it went
quite some way down. We decided it wasn't worse to go and stick the
car somewhere into a hole where there is no mobile reception. So we
turned back and drove all the way back to the junction to the road
that leads to the National Park. There we went up that road and
followed it until we reached Tony's Coffee House.
|Finish the pic, I want to get to that CAAAKE!|
By that time we were hungry and eager to go and taste Tony's
famous cakes. We walked down from the parking spot and looked at a
house with a nice view that looked very English. Inside it looked
even more English in so far as it was like a tea house. We sat down
and a waiter brought us the menu. The prices were exorbitant: about
USD 11 for a piece of cake, USD 6 for a tea or coffee, and so on. We
decided to get a cake anyway and got some explanation from the
waiter. Claudia and me ordered the Chocolate Whiskey cake, or the
Solid Chocolate. Marco ordered the special that was a chocolate,
ginger and pear cake. Marco managed to finish his and his
girlfriend's cake and I barely managed to finish mine, and this only
after about an hour. The cakes were excellent, but really heavy. The
hot chocolate with ice cream on top of that would have been suicide.
|The whiskey chocolate solid cake|
After that we drove up to the Leopard Rock Hotel and took a few
pictures of the view, its golf course and the hotel itself. When we
were done, we tried getting back to Mutare by the Bvumba Road that
rejoins the Essex Road. It started really well, but after a while
there were some potholes, and a while later still, more potholes.
Then the road got narrower, and suddenly the potholes were so
numerous and deep that we had to drive at a very slow pace. And then
the tar was replaced by dirt and the wet road seemed really slippery
and unsuitable for a car like ours. So we turned around and drove
around all the potholes again on the way up, while worrying that the
fuel we put in in the morning would be enough. But we managed to get
back to the main road and drove safely to Mutare.
|Beer and police, the best combination :)|
ZRP: Zimbabwe Republic Police
In the Lonely Planet we found a small chapter about Cecil Kop
Nature Reserve where they apparently fed the animals for people to
watch at around 4pm. So we decided to go have a look. When we got
there the officer of the park told us there wasn't much to see and
that the animals were quite far away and that there was definitely no
feeding going on. So we left again, and went for some shopping.
We bought some meat, vegetables and beers and went back to the
guesthouse where we had our beers and prepared another fine meal.
|Map of the aera (red: bad state; green: good or ok)|
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