Distance: 240km (Cumulative: 23 693km)
Moving time: 3:32
Average speed: 68km/h
Road surface: 99% Tar
Great Zimbabwe Campsite - R90 p.p
Large campsite under big trees walking distance from ruins, ablutions under renovation.
Caro got up at 08:00 and quickly did some online work while Hugo snoozed. When Hugo got up we had buns with Melrose for breakfast and then packed up. Caro went for a quick swim again and somehow the water was much warmer and much cleaner than yesterday.
We left at 10:00 and took the A9 down to the Save river where we crossed the impressive 81-year-old Birchenough Bridge. It is a 329m single-arch suspension bridge that was designed by the same designer as the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
After the bridge, the road turns West towards Masvingo. The landscape looked very dry, but still beautiful with lots of rocky hills.
The police stopped us twice, but just greeted us and let us drive further without asking any questions.
In Masvingo, we stopped at a Total and bought 50 liters of Diesel at $1.20 a liter. Just outside of town we stopped at another petrol station with restaurants and bought a 2-piece chicken meal at a Chicken Inn for $3. It is quite strange for us to see all these ‘low’ prices in dollars. Everything is rounded to the nearest 50cents and almost nothing costs more than $10. They had $1 deals where a can of coke, a packet of chips and a piece of chicken all only costs $1. It’s weird to think what difference a currency makes in prices. In South Africa those deals wouldn’t have been R13.10 deals it would have been R10 deals or R15 deals or some other rounded off number, the only difference being that when dollars are used everything has a jump of R6.50 between prices.
From the Chicken Inn, we only had 25km to go to the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, the main reason for our detour to Zimbabwe. We arrived there at 14:30 and could pay the $15 per person entrance fee with a credit card.
We went in and then also checked in at the campsite next to the ruins for $7 per person. Just as we drove to a nice site under a big tree with electricity a big overland truck pulled in, but luckily they kept their distance and didn’t squash in next to us.
We set up camp and then had to close the back again as a troupe of cheeky monkeys appeared.
We decided to wait until 15:30 before heading to the ruins. We started with the museum and then went up to the hill complex as the colors started changing. We were very impressed by the construction and massive walls that can still be seen. On the website, they claim it is second to only the pyramids (and thus more impressive than things like Ethiopia’s Lalibela and Gonder) and we are inclined to agree. We were completely alone for most of the time and could explore this wonder at our own pace.
Caro took more than 500 pictures. We walked down the hill again just as it started getting dark, so we decided to stay another day so that we can view the other areas tomorrow.
For dinner, we combined two different brands of soy (mince and pieces) and ate it with couscous and a carrot salad.
The next morning we relaxed and lounged around until past lunch. Caro lied in the hammock and read most of the morning while Hugo took a midday nap and read some news. Around 15:00 we set off again to the Great Enclosure and Valley ruins. We also visited the mud village which had samples of the different rondawels typically found in a kraal. The hut of wife number one to five from big to small. The boy’s hut close to the goats and the girl’s hut close to the first wife, etc.
We got back to the campsite again just before dusk. For dinner, we had the leftover soy mix with potatoes.