Staying with Dave (Scruff) and Jan O’Neill-Williams in Harare
Distance 56 + 8375 = 8431
Time 3 h 48 m
Total from Amsterdam 13831
Location S17.740755, E31.177421
Weather predictions for today in Harare are 6 and 17 °C ??. I’m going to have to borrow a warm jersey or jacket, or walk around wrapped in my goose down sleeping bag. It was overcast and there was no wind so packed up early, had bananas for breakfast, didn’t have milk for our oats. I had to clean my bar bag inside as the pen from Tiko Lodge leaked ink in one corner. Peter rode over to the farm that forms part of the butcher and it’s called Carswell Farm. He will chat to Scruff tomorrow regarding the above. Watch this space…
We were on the road by 07h30, wearing the same amount of clothing as yesterday, loads of layers. Had to pull off the tar road onto the gravel shoulder on six occasions having only ridden 4 km and this carried on for a total of about 20 km. Once we reached the outskirts of Harare it was a relief to ride on a decent tarred shoulder. Stopped to buy bread, small yoghurts, cokes, ginger nuts and two pork pies. Taking a rest to slug some coke we were shocked to see a lady in a huge black Merc stop in the middle of the busy highway forcing a truck to stop behind her so she could make a U turn ??. I saw two magic road signs today … ‘Charles Prince Airport’ and ‘Beware, trucks passing ahead’. The entrance to the ‘Diary Farm’ looked tired and in need of painting so assumed this farm was forcefully taken from the original owners, so sad to see.
Arrived on the outskirts of Harare having ridden 30 km with another 25 km to go to reach Jan and Scruff’s house. We met them while staying in Jambiani, Zanzibar in April and appreciate their invitation to stay with them for a few days after riding on the Zim roads. The road was good, hills tough and I had to push up the final hill to their gate and we both pushed the final stretch to the level where Jan parks her car. It’s the first time we’ve had to push in a very long time but their home is set in the bush with magnificent views and our cottage has a balcony overlooking a stunning valley … other than a gin palace that’s sitting atop a small koppie which is a total eyesore.
I went shopping with Jan while Peter fed his hungry tummy and took our bags down to our room. It is freezing with our limited wardrobe we’re carrying so Jan has kindly lent us each a jacket. Jan’s son Toffy still lives at home, was making lunch for himself when we returned from the supermarket … half an avo with an egg broken in the centre steamed in a pot with a bit of water. He said it was tasty. Mmmm. Three dogs, all much loved and totally spoilt live here … a black Staffie, Suzie, a fluffy one called Ronnie and a real cutie pie named Beans. The shower is a gas one and needs a bit of fiddling but the water was hot and it’s great being clean after going to bed sticky and dirty last night. They have a lovely fish tank with a tiny octopus floating around in the tank. Peter assumed the octopus was a real one but Jan and I had him fooled for the entire evening ??. We are sleeping in a real bed again … can get used to this luxury which isn’t good for when we have to wild camp. Enough waffling, night all xx
– Our wild camp spot behind this butcher
– Pushing up this steep driveway to Scruff and Jan’s home
– Pub and pool with a view to die for
– The fish tank octopus that had Peter fooled
– Bought this tin of hot chocolate and thought of Sara and Scott’s ride, Paris to Cape Town finishing 2016