Harare - The Capital.

Trip Start Apr 01, 1990
Trip End Aug 21, 2002

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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Monday, August 25, 1997

Last nights luxury was a total bonus given we had pre booked a bit more up market accommodation in Harare this time given we did not need any stress prior to catching a plane. After a late start (too many ports last night), a great breakfast and saying goodbye to the South Africans, it was on the road to Harare. People we saw were dressed for church and there were less roadside children. What was very evident the closer we got to the city was more and more roadside rubbish which had been practically non existent in the rural areas.

We arrived in Harare and located our hotel easily and checked in, and decided to go for a walk to check out the city. We were about to exit the hotel when the doorman and concierge stopped us, advising that it would not be safe to walk in the city on a Sunday. At the very least we should not take any valuables with us (we had both the still and video camera)'so we checked our cameras, bags etc into the hotel safe and went with minimal cash.

On our way back to the hotel we came to a large crowd watching a pantomime, we stood and watched for awhile, but could not understand any of it other than the pace seemed to change and they were now all laughing.

We returned to the hotel and lazed away the rest of the afternoon, booked massages for tomorrow ($15 Aust each), then after a lovely buffet dinner, hit the sack.

Next day we arranged to have a day extension on the room given it was a late flight and booked airport bus. Went out shopping and again left our valuables and bags behind, but found the city in business hours to be neat and tidy, and to us non threatening. We did have trouble using our credit card given we had left all our ID back at the hotel, but the lure of a sale was to great, and we bought some T shirts and some other stuff.

Back at the hotel we rang Avis to collect the car, and when the lad arrived we could see he recognized us, and it twigged he was in the crowd at the pantomime. We asked him what had been the funny bit, and he blushed (well he would have if he wasn't African) and sort of muttered that it was about us, but would not elaborate. You get that!.

We went for our full hour body massages at the hotel health centre, then a quite stroll into Central Harare for a coffee and snack, and we were ready to tackle the trip home.

At the Harare airport we met a lovely couple from South Australia on there way home from their honeymoon in London with a Victoria Falls stopover. Things however were not rosy. Because they had a number of parcels they counted them at each move to ensure nothing was left behind, however at Victoria Falls the lad, caught short of funds, had swapped his brand new Reebok's for a must have African drum. When they were leaving Victoria Falls they did not adjust the number of their parcel count and the drum came but the new Wedgwood dinner set bought in London did not. They were making frantic phone calls to the hotel to try and locate the parcel and arrange for it to follow.
We met them again waiting at Johannesburg airport for an update that the sad news was the Wedgwood had not been located.

Back in Perth we had just cleared customs when we again bumped into our honeymooning friends, she looked more furious than before but sort of pleased. A bit of probing revealed that WA customs had confiscated the drum as it was a deadly combination of wood and animal skin. So the up shot was no new Reebok's, no Wedgwood dinner set and no must have African drum. Good luck guys, if you ever read this, we would love to get in touch.
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