Distance: 117km (Cumulative: 23 453km)
Moving time: 2:56
Average speed: 40km/h
Road surface: 86% Tar
Hot Springs Campsite - R65 p.p
Camping next to bungalows, could use shower in one of them. Public restrooms next to swimming pool was disgusting.
When we got up it was still cold and the tent was wet on the inside from condensation. We moved into a sunny patch and then made breakfast. The eggs we bought just before the border was all off so we just had Chorizo and onions on large buns.
After packing up we drove to a castle and the leopard’s rock hotel.
The hotel is a massive pink colonial place with tennis courts and a golf course.
We then drove to the botanical gardens which fall under Zimbabwe’s national parks management. The price for foreigners is usually $8 per person, but the guy lets us in for the local price of $3 per person.
The gardens weren’t maintained that well, but the grass was cut and we had a nice enough time walking on some of the trails that also went through the lush forest area.
On the way out of the mountains, we stopped at Tony’s coffee shop. We sat down and immediately noticed that the place is more upmarket than we thought. Tony came out and gave us the handwritten menu which consisted of about 20 ways to have your coffee and more than 50 types of tea and then he had 8 different cakes of the day which he explained in a delightful mouthwatering way. One slice of cake, however, costs $12 and coffee $6 (at least it is bottomless). We thought of just leaving, but something told us to stay. We decided to treat ourselves and ordered the dark chocolate cheesecake and Viennese coffee (coffee with chantilly cream). The cake and coffee came in lovely antique Bavarian Porcelain. It felt like we were transported back in time to English High Tea.
Just as we wondered how Tony survives with such prices a group of 11 people came in and everyone ordered coffee or hot chocolate and cake. Once outside we saw how the group could afford that. They arrived in a brand new monster sized Dodge Ram, a new Golf GTI and a family orientated Mercedes van.
We didn’t drive back to Mutare but rather took a side road through the foothills of the mountain down South. We then had to take a bumpy gravel road to get to A9 which goes down to Masvingo.
We got to the aptly named ‘town’ of Hot Springs and went to the actual hot springs campsite. As it was Sunday the swimming pool and picnic area were full of people, but in the end, we decided to stay after all.
They let us camp between the chalets for $5 per person and we got a key to one of the Chalets for the use of the shower and toilet.
We tested out the swimming pool but the water wasn’t even luke warm and it felt very dirty so we quickly got out and went to take a shower in coldish water.
We had pasta and cheese for dinner and then Hugo did some work in the tent while Caro read and slept.