tirsdag 30. mars 2010

Zimbabwe - på huletur i Chimanimani


















Chimanimani er et fjellområde i Zimbabwe og Mosambique. Jeg reiste et halvt år i Afrika i 1995/1996, og da var Zimbabwe et av Afrikas tryggeste land å ferdes i.

Selv tok jeg buss fra Harare til Mutare hvor jeg var et par dager før jeg tok bussen videre opp til landsbyen Chimanimani. Her ligger backpakker-paradiset Heaven med vakker utsikt og god mat.

Jeg møtte John fra London på bussen opp til Chimanimani. Vi bestemte oss for å gå sammen i nasjonalparken i tre dager. Det flotte med dette fjellområdet er at man kan overnatte i store fjellhuler. Det finnes et kart over nasjonalparken hvor de største hulene er avmerket.

Fra Heaven er det et par mil opp til inngangen til parken, Mutekeswane Basecamp. Her registrerer man seg og betaler en liten sum og så kan man ferdes i fjellet på eget ansvar.

Fra Basecamp og opp til den eneste hytten i parken tok det et par timer. Vi fulgte Bailey`s Folly. Før vi kom fram til hytten var det masse flotte steinformasjoner.
Videre fra hytta ferdes man i en dal som ligger på 1500-1800 meter. Her er det grønt og frodig og gjennom dalen renner en elv hvor det er masse flotte fossefall og badekulper. På den andre siden ligger fjelltoppene som er rundt 2400 meter.

Vi hadde planlagt å overnatte i Red Cave, men den var full. Heldigvis lå ikke North Cave langt unna. Denne hulen lå flott til med en bekk like ved. Etter lunsj fortsatt vi opp mot Skeleton Pass som er en fjellovergang melllom Zimbabwe og Mosambique. Utsikten til Wizards Valley i Mosambique var flott. Da vi var der oppe var vi alene, men noen andre turister som vi møtte på turen fortalte oss at de hadde sett folk komme bærende på stoler og høner over dette passet. Vi gikk bare noen få meter inn i Mosambique. Det sto et skilt om at det var strengt forbudt å krysse grensen og i tillegg var vi redd for landminer.

























Dagen etter gikk vi gjennom Bundi Dalen mot Southern Lakes. Her er det flere flotte badekulper underveis. Vi hadde tenkt å overnatte i Terrys Cave som ligger litt før Southern Lakes, men så møtte vi en skoleklasse som var på vei dit.

Læreren fortalte oss om en hule som lå oppe i The Saddle på grensen mot Mosambique. Den var ikke avmerket på kartet men han tegnet den inn for oss.

Etter lunsj og et bad i Southern Lakes begynte vi på oppstigningen mot the Saddle. Vi fant hulen og ble der i to netter.

























Etter første natt i hulen gikk vi på en dagstur innover platåtet. Her var det masse flotte steinformasjoner. De sto der som høyreiste soldater og minnet oss om at vi var i et grenseområde. Det var ikke noe skilt som viste når vi kom til Mosambique, men i ettertid fant vi ut at vi hadde gått flere kilometer inn i landet.

Vi så ingen andre folk der oppe, men da vi sto oppe på en stor steinblokk og så utover en dal kom det mange bavianer på steinblokkene rundt oss. John var en flott turkamerat, men plutselig ble han forandret til en neandertaler som brølte og slo seg på brystkassen. Da begynte bavianene å skrike og slå seg på brystkassen også.

Sett utenifra ser jeg humoren i det, men når jeg sto der på steinblokken i Zimbabwe eller var det kanskje Mosambique, så hadde jeg litt problemer med å se det morsomme i situasjonen.

Heldigvis ble det bare mye bråk og ingen nærkontakt med bavianene som har veldig spisse tenner. Vi dro tilbake til hulen vår og holdt oss rundt den resten av kvelden. Tiden gikk fort og vi kunne gjerne blitt der i flere dager, men vi hadde nesten ikke mat igjen, så den fjerde dagen la vi i vei tilbake til basecamp. Vi gikk en annen sti fra Southern Lakes, Banana Grove Track. Her var det grønt og frodig med bananpalmer, hibiscus og lobelia.

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