Saturday, 19 May 2007


In the village of Asterix, the chief feared only one thing - that the sky would fall on his head. As I cycled across the border into Zimbabwe I had the same feeling. Along the way I'd listened to the horror stories of how I'd be attacked around every corner, and how the corrupt police would confiscate my belongings, etc. Amazingly, I'd found the border police to be very friendly and helpful, as I would the following day (two road blocks, and directions from police in Bulawayo). I've generally found the Zim people to be very friendly. Arriving in Plumtree in the late afternoon without any accommodation or camping facilities, I expected to move on and sleep in the bush. Not so, thanks to Thando, Moosa, and Dutchy (not in picture), who provided me with a place to stay and a meal, etc. (free of charge). I also met Major and Navigator, who were keen to show me around their city - Bulawayo. That's one of the advantages of travelling by bicycle, I get to interact with the people. If you're flying through the countryside in your glittering chariot, then you can hardly expect the locals to randomly hop into the road and be kind to you. I even had the opportunity to help someone - a stranded motorist. The fuel line on his car was blocked, and I cleared it with the bicycle pump. After changing some Botswana Pula for Zim $, I wondered whether I should hire someone to ride shotgun on the back of my bike. Suddenly I was a millionaire, with a couple of million $ in my grubby paws. Unfortunately things here tend to cost tens of thousands, but it still works out fairly cheap (bread is less than R2, and especially for the West Coast AC guys, a beer costs around R2). It seems that every third day now is a rest day for me, so I'll camp another night at the Backpackers here in Bulawayo. Distances since Francistown were: Plumtree 99 k; Bulawayo 105 k.

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