We took The Greyhound, yes we.......Kenneth, my beloved son, decided in the last minute to come with to surprise his sister, you have no idea how surprised she was *winks*
No that is not a zit on his nose, but the flash from his cellphone camera LOL
Little Miss Pink waiting for the bus to come.
And we're ready to rock and roll. Bulawayo here we come.
I am always amazed at the change in the foliage as we go up north. Just reaching Pretoria sees us at least 3 degrees warmer and the Jacaranda was just starting to bloom.
Pretoria Station, where we stop to pick up a couple of more people.
an enterprising shop owner
As soon as we get 50km further north, the landscape change to open bushveld, savannah. It is far between towns and even small homesteads are scarce. This country is enormous and awe inspiring in its diversity.
Having a drink and toilet break in Polokwane.
Umbrella Thorn Tree
I wonder as we go past little clusters of hut, what these people live off and what they think and do in their daily lives. I know so little of my country men really it is quite embarrassing.
The poverty is visible all around and my heart breaks as I go past in my luxury bus with my luxury sandwiches, fresh fruit and mineral water, looking at barefoot half naked children playing in the dust in between scrawny looking dogs and chickens. Here and there is an attempt at a vegetable garden, mostly maize but also visible is spinach and cabbage. The bus-driver don't stop for photographs I am assured , so I try snapping through the dusty window. Most attempts were pathetic, but resolutely I carry on, sure that maybe one will be usable.
Going up through the hills towards the Hendriek Verwoerd Tunnels , the landscape changes again and becomes green and lush.
Hendrik Verwoerd Tunnells
Through the tunnels going downhill, it again is flat and dry,with only the occasional Baobab tree relieving the monotony of the landscape. Those giant trees have a magic about them. It is easy this time of the year to understand why they are also called Upside Down Trees.
Just before Messina, Soutpansberg, Limpopo, now called Musina ( no idea why, they changed the name)................. looked it up and now I do know, please take the time to read this little interesting snippet.
Just had to laugh looking at this bakkie, laden full with goods, to go across the border.
Foodstuff and other commodities are very expensive in Zimbabwe and you pay by US dollars, the rate of which varies from merchant to merchant. At the border it is R10 - 1 $ while the financial rate is posted as R 8.25 - 1 $.............naturally this makes for some entrepreneurs buying in South Africa and reselling in Zimbabwe. How they get through customs I do not know, as they scrutinised everything I had including my dirty underwear lol...........maybe a bit of bakgat is in order here
We have reached the South African Border post and stood in a seemingly endless, no purpose line for 2 hours.......... I am not good at lining up and stood to attention,when the bus driver pleadingly asked us to keep our line straight..........I mean seriously, are we in the army or in boarding school............(with hindsight, seeing as we had the same drivers on our way home, I might not have been so brave *grins*)
This old building is in pretty good nick, considering the changes in our country, but boy oh boy are the border officials fast asleep. I could write a book about My Danish Passport and New Surname and Old ID Book, will leave you to your imagination as to the "could not care less attitude" once we got to the front of the line. Was hilarious, the bureaucracy of the whole thing for no apparent reason whatsoever.
As nothing else to do took pictures which apparently you are not allowed to do, well, nobody said anything and there was no notice.
We eventually left the SA border post ( my camera tells me 3.57pm) and drove across the bridge, which is the official border at Beit Bridge on Limpopo River way past 6pm. Now knowing we have another 4 hours drive ahead of us, I had to sms Michelle I will be late, don't want them standing forever at the Bus Station in the middle of Bulawayo.
The Zimbabwe side of border, despite horrible rumours of hold ups and intimidation was so much easier, though very primitive ( forget toilet facilities, just saying, hold it in, the bus had a liquids only, wc on board)
This wonderful looking truck was stuck on the border side waiting for customs and kindly let the bus pass. ( not allowed to take photos at border, yes I heard !!)
5.12pm the camera tells me.
Tried to take a picture of the mine when we went past, now too late for the light at 8.17pm, it was very late when rolling into Bulawayo at last and I was to say the least exhausted, wanted a cup of tea preferrable with a bit of brandy in it and some lemon and honey, my pj's and pillow and duvet.
To follow with Friday morning with my darling daughter and so on. For now, good night and thank you for being with me so far.