Heads And Tails          - 3/10/2006      <--Prev : Next-->


It was not the easiest trip to pack for ..... it required an array
outfits ranging from a black tuxedo, cummerbund and bow tie for 
Heehoo to wear to the Heads Conference at Troutbeck ..... to  casual 
khaki wear for the Kruger Park and a smattering of "in between" type 
clothing .....

But somehow it all found its way into a small suitcase and off we
once again.

The HM's conference was partially to celebrate 50 years of CHISZ 
schools (Combined Heads of Independent Schools of Zimbabwe) and many 
of the Founder Heads of Zimbabwe's prestigious independent schools 
were present.

The annual trip to Nyanga was special for two reasons, the first 
being the incredibley uplifting and enthralling sight of the blood 
red mountain msasas as we passed through that pass just below 
Troutbeck which has that endearing sign "Cross Winds"

We must have caught those beautiful trees at the exact moment when 
the whole mountain side was brilliant shades of crimson, plum and 
red ..... we were both rendered absolutely speechless by this 
stunning sight. Magenta, carmine, fuschia where the shadows lay, and 
corals, salmons and carnation where the setting sun filtered through 
the Msasa leaves.

We watched in awe and knew we would probably never ever again be
to recreate that moment in time.

The second reason that the gathering was special was because the 
revered "Founding Heads" voted unanimously that there is as much 
commitment and enthusiasm for our children's education now, as there 
was fifty years ago..... that was testimony indeed to the Heads and 
Boards of schools that are fighting for their lives right now and 
have been doing so for the past several years.

We salute you, the men and women who care so much for the education 
of our precious children.

Now the plan was to visit Chimanimani after the conference as we
"in the area" .... and then head off for the border via Triangle and 
Chiredzi, which I have dearly wanted to see my whole life !!

But "Man Proposes and Gofd Disposes" as Mother used to say... and 
despite all the fuel we were forced to carry, we still needed to
off in Mutare for a top up. A "Legal" top up I must add hurridly,
needs must and when our legal source was found lacking, we resorted 
to the Zimbabwe method.

A whispered word in the ear of the fuel attendant and suddenly a 
little man emegred at a gallop from behing a tree complete with a 20 
litre jerry can of diesel in each hand and a fuel funnel made out of 
an old mazoe orange bottle, protruding from his mouth !!

Smiling in glee he completed the transaction in no time at all, and 
dissappeared into the undergrowth considerably richer.

The Black Market is alive and well and thriving in the City of 

The Triangle trip was delightful, acres of healthy looking sugar 
cane, canals flowing with abundant water and the rich treacly smell 
of molasses hanging on the air.

We stopped at the legendary Lion and Elephant Motel for a coke and 
although looking very slightly faded, HeeHoo stated it was just as 
much fun as he remembered when he was Harare"s most eligible
in days well gone by .....

The Border was sheer bliss, the Zimbabwe side has sorted out twenty 
five years worth of teething problems and now the long delays were 
caused on the South African side !!

And so to my very first experience of the legendary Kruger National 
Park. We went in at the northern end of the park at the Pafuri Gate 
which is relatively new and were treated to some sensational game 
watching Kodak Moments.

I hate to be disloyal to our own parks, it would never occur to me
think a single thought in favour of another country, but I have to 
admit the Kruger is outstanding in all respects.

In the amount of game that thrives throughout the park, in the 
amenities and facilities, in the lodges, the roads and the private 
camps. We found no fault, we just found a fabulous leisurely two day 
drive from one end of the Kruger to the other and we saw eveything a 
game lover would care to even dream of.

Prides of lionesses, a magnificent male lion, rhino, elephants by
ton, a leopad sitting in a tree right outside the restaurant, 
wonderful bird life, incredible scenery, rivers, ravines and gorges 
all rolled into one idyllic setting under the African skies.

Our hearts still tell us that Mana Pools is the greatest place on 
earth to see game, but a tiny part of our souls tells us that we
return to where the Olifants River meets the Letaba River at the
of the Lebombo Mountains.