Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Trip Start Jun 05, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Wow, it almost feels like we slept in with breakfast not being until 7:00, however our bodies are used to being up earlier so we were awake at 5:40, tried to sleep longer but we were up and had the tent down by 6:30.  Kioko was making bacon while we ate cereal to help our "starving" stomachs. We also had toast and hard boiled eggs.  We got everything cleaned up but there was a line at the bathroom so we left a few minutes late.  About 25 minutes into the day we stopped at a craft market for soapstone and painted canvas.  Everyone wanted to make a sale.  I think that Miles got frustrated by this because it is a lot of pressure, but if you think about it, this is their job, and if they do not make a sale, they do not get paid.  They don't know how many tourists are going to go past in a given day, so they have to take what they can get, when they can get it.  First we bought a soapdish for $5 and got an elephant and additional necklace for $5 more.  Then we mought a vase that had the ruins on it for $8, then we saw a painted blanket that we got for $17.  I felt really bad about the blanket because it was a ton of work and it was hand painted.  Miles says that $17 is probably a lot of money for them, and it is, but I still feel like they could have used the extra $5 way more than we could have.  I had seem a "Big 5" bowl that I really wanted but the original price was $15.  Granted if I would have bought the exact same bowl in the United States it would have been over $50 for sure.  Miles thought that I did not need the bowl but I really liked it and the lady was practically begging me to buy it.  When I got on the truck, Ernest said, "You really wanted that bowl, didn't you".  I said that I did, so he handed me a $10 and said to go bargain.  I got the bowl for $10 and was very happy about it. 
     We continued and Miles and I played the dice games 5000, then Yatzee, then started Triple Yatzee.  Next we drove through the main mining town of Zvishavane.  It was quite a bustling town.  They have quarries too.  The pronounciation of this town name is very different than the spelling, that is for sure.  Before the town there was toll booth and Ernest got out to use the toilet.  I decided that I wanted to do that too.  Apparently I went to the old, unused one, so I stepped in and spiderwebs completely consumed my body.  Luckily I had on a hat and it was covered in cobwebs and spiders.  I got back on the truck brushing off spiders and gave everyone a good laugh.  I misplaced my hair brush almost a week ago.  Oh well.  The hat saved me this time! 
   We played dice a little longer then rested until lunch which included peanut butter with honey, oranges and a salad with hard boiled eggs, alvacado, peppers, onions, cheese, and chili sauce.  Needless to say, I did not partake in any of the salad.  There were three guys sitting and watching us and I think they were making fun of us, but they spoke a language that none of us, including the crew spoke, so we really don't know exactly what was going on.  We stopped for gas in Bulawayo and as I stepped off I caught my lower leg on the step.  I thought it was just scraped but then I saw blood dripping down onto my shoe and through my pants.  Miles fixed me up with 3 band-aids and we were off again.  We got dropped off at 2:00 and had until 4:30 to look around.  We went to a craft shop first then Miles went to the ATM and we went to a huge market with produce.  Then I got some ice cream.  We saw the court house and a huge clothes market.  At that point Miles and I went our separate ways. He went to the park and I continued looking at the markets.  I thought we ended up with some great stuff including a wonderstone etched rhino for $7.00, a South American shirt for $5, and a ton of stuff at the craft shop for $23.50.  We were over budget by $40 on the day but it was worth it because we got really good stuff. 
     We got on the truck a little after 4:30 and were at Baker's Paradise.The campsite was very nice with a stony creek with little waterfalls, a swimming pool and the option to upgrade. Ernie and Marlene upgraded for $10 per person per night. There was a huge dog named Pedro that was the guard dog.  Miles went on a 4.5 mile run while I did laundry and set up the tent.  Miles got back, showered, then helped finish washing the laundry by hand.  Dinner was some sort of pasta, squash filled with cheese, and other veggies, cooked bananas, and vegetable fritters.  I started having a headache, so after Victor gave his briefing, I went to bed.  
Budget $50
Spent $91 on souvenirs- oopsie :)  
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Claudia on

Glad to hear from you again ! I love the details you think to tell about ...such adventures!!! Your conversational writing style makes me feel as if we are chatting in the hallway! I can almost see your facial expressions too! LOL!

Weather here is crazy hot and drought conditions ... really quite remarkable - if you can remember the summer of '88 -- that is the benchmark of comparison!

Take care and post some more pics if possible!

Renee on

Thanks for the updates. Sounds like you're having fun playing soccer with the kids and seeing some remarkable sights! Stay safe :)

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