Those of you who follow my blog will know that Zimbabwe is a) struggling through a currency crisis and b) doesn’t have much fuel.
We hit up against this when we decided to drive to Bulawayo a while back, but then things seemed to settle down for a while.
Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. So when the chance for a sneaky getaway came up, our first discussion as a couple was whether it would be cheaper and easier to fly to our destination (we kept things simple by deciding to holiday LITERALLY on the other side of the country…), or to drive.
After numerous calculations, we decided it was cheaper to fly to Harare, where we could also do some work stuff, then drive the rest of the way to Nyanga in the Eastern Highlands.
So we were off, with great excitement, to a quick stop with the wonderful Robb family in Harare where Kepler got to catch up with his BEST buddie in the whole wide world, and we got to visit travel agents to drop off our fancy new business cards.
The next stop was a visit to the best coffee roaster in Zimbabwe, Danie Grobler from Mushe Coffee, before our final destination in Juliasdale, Nyanga.
Honestly, the cool mountain air, the moss covered rocks, the ferns and punga trees made it feel just like being home…except for the horrific roads and the fact that as soon as we arrived, Will was stressed about fuel.
So stressed, in fact, that our first day of holiday started with a hunt for diesel. Fortunately, we stumbled across a station just outside of Troutbeck (look these places up, they are amazing) that only took USD, which meant it ran out less slowly than everyone else.
So with a full tank, we set off to the row boats, and horse rides, and picnic stops.
The next day it was up to Mtarazi Falls, the second tallest falls in Africa. I couldn’t believe how much it felt like home up in the mountains, where a cool fresh breeze blew through seas of endless green under equally endless blue skies.
The views were mind-boggling, and the pictures in no way capture the awesome beauty of a green valley rolling out 1000 metres beneath you.
After another day exploring the area, in which we thought we would die driving the most appalling “road” I’ve ever seen, Will’s cousins joined us at the little cottage where we were stayed. There are no pictures of said road, because Will was so traumatised he wouldn’t let me take any…he was actually shaking by the time we made it out alive.
I’m not sure how to interpret the fact that even while I feared for my life I was desperate to take photos.
After that, it was time to fill up at our faithful Troutbeck station, then head back to Harare, and on to home. All in all, I’d say our first holiday in Zimbabwe was quite a success.