16 June 2010

Places I have been # 4

Would you remember the name 'Chimanimani' some 37 years after you'd been there?  Well, I do.  Which (if you knew me) would tell you how impressed I was by the magnificent mountain ranges of Zimbabwe.

I have to say that this must be why I have remembered the trip we made to Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia, as it was then) so vividly.  I fell in love with its people and its mountains. 

It was well before I developed my knowledge of fauna and flora so the fact that we drove past ancient cycads largely eluded me.  Birds were just 'brown things' to me in those days, but I did acknowledge the raptures we saw circling high above us. Sad, but true.  I had a lot of learning to do...

Generally, I acknowledged that the countryside and everything in it was stunning.

There is a story I'd like to share with you about the hotel we stayed at - The Rhodes Hotel Nyanga - but before I go on, take a look at this video (you'll see the big fireplace I'll tell you about later).

Well, again... we arrived late, it was freezing cold and all we could afford was one of the little external 'Rondavels' (the little round huts) outside. My man paid upfront and someone came out to the car to carry our bags up for us. We got no further than the front desk when we were sprung upon by the (then) owners of the hotel. They'd noted my 'bump' and weren't going to hear anything about us staying 'outside' and having to walk to the bathroom in the freezing cold.

Unfortunately, I don't remember their names. I do remember their extreme kindness! Again, we were practically the only folk staying at the hotel (times were getting seriously bad and people were scared to travel) and not only were we given a very much upgraded room, but we were invited to join the owners for a drink in front of that big fireplace. There were only a few tables set and after dinner (which I have to admit I don't remember much of) we sat in front of that fire and built a puzzle which their son had left behind before he went off to the army.

Of course, we didn't finish the puzzle but they wouldn't hear of us breaking it up and putting it away. It stayed on the table for the duration of our stay there.

I vividly remember the building, the grounds, the view and the freezing cold! I also remember eating trout from the river at some stage. Food fell into the same category as fauna and flora in those days... it was of minor interest to me. I vividly recall that I couldn't live without icecream and then there were those open toast sandwiches with tinned creamed corn on top. I nearly drove my man dilly with the ice cream thing.

Somehow, I don't think those folk are around anymore. They weren't 'spring chicks' then. I wish I could remember their names, but I do remember their faces. Funny that.

April Blackbird


ChickieChirps said...

No wonder you remember S.A. so fondly! Sounds like everyone was so lovely!


Anonymous said...

As with all things, we remember the good and put the 'bad' into 'do not disturb' boxes hidden right in the back of the huge filing draw that is our brain.

;) love to you.

April Blackbird