Tuesday, 2 October 2012


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. 


  1. I love it! Strange that you are not to take photos! it's not some military operation...lol.... Am glad Kenneth came along. And isn't it amazing the things we see out the window, and the thoughts that ramble through our heads....

    1. I really need a voice recorder as so difficult to make notes when driving. I was thinking a whole book on the way up. Kenneth was watching movies , I took a book with, but got motion sickness trying to read, so instead gazed out the window and dreamt up stories, which promptly now is forgotten or lost somewhere in my mushy old brain.

  2. Thanks, Marianne, for sharing the first day of your trip to Zimbabwe.... Nice shots!

    1. Thank you Belita for coming with. The shots are not really great, they are actually pathetic, but behind a dusty bus window, shooting into the sun and the bus is moving, will have to do.

  3. Well, that was quite a journey, and we're only halfway there!! You certainly get plenty of time to think when you're on a long bus trip.

    1. When time permits will take up the story of Michelle's life in Bulawayo. Today is hectic, but will get there.

  4. Fantastic journey and I loved all the photos Marianne. Thanks for sharing and I must say that you have a wonderful site here on Blogger. Perfect for you photos and journeys. Welcome Beautiful lady. xo

    1. Thank you Carol, not sure what happened here........don't remember that background, must have been playing and messed it up. Was an earth colour yesterday, I think lol

      Great to see you my friend, now let's share. Hugs !!

  5. glad u told me its not a zit...:P

    barren country...so reminiscent of so many places in india...i dont like traveling through such parts....depressing..especially in the heat...

    you look like a school girl in that picture !!!

    1. "you look like a school girl in that picture !!!" *splutter*...........will take it as a compliment??

      It is very barren and dry and desolate. There is many game farms up there, suppose that is what the people live off. A copper mine is close to Musina, so there giving work, but dirty and dusty and soooo very poor looking.

  6. Phew, that was some bus ride. I am not surprised you were stuffed at the end of it. Under the circumstances your photos are great. I really liked the one of the river going over the bridge. When I saw the one of you I thought, 'my word you are so tiny.'

    To sort your page out go to design top left on your page click that, under the pic of your page click there, on your left a list of what to do comes up, click on change width etc, click that. A graph will show above your page the bottom one move the slider to your right That will take your right column to the edge of the your page, take your time to make sure you don't take it too far. Then the top one move it to your left which will make your blog side bigger. Then your photos will fit and won't cross into your left column. Don't forget to SAVE top of your page before you leave what you have done.
    That is how I did mine and we have the same set up.

    1. crumbs, Shayna, sounds so complicated, I have changed it, but now the page looks so big, maybe my monitor screen is small, must ask Mr T to buy me a new one lol

      thank you for helping.