Sadly – the last leg of our 2013 MG Tour of Botswana and Zimbabwe

Awaken at the Lodge at the Ancient City.
Lodge at the Ancient City

How fitting a location for our last night in Zimbabwe and dinner at the Lodge of the Ancient City with entertainment was a real celebration of Zimbabwean hospitality. The enormous bungalows, nestled in between huge Mopani trees and boulders, are designed in a style that mimics the architecture of the Great Zimbabwe.

The Lodge at the Ancient City Cabaret
The Lodge at the Ancient City Cabaret

Kevin found the roast ‘tats most agreeable … PJ could not serve fast enough …

Crispy Roast Potato No. 23 0r 32
Crispy Roast Potato No. 23 0r 32

And Lou Brett was rather partial to the homemade custard, well, following close second to the Leopard Rock crepes!
More Custard Lou

We highly recommend this Lodge when visiting the area.

28th May 2013 – Happy Birthday Ray Kirkland … Tania’s announcement echoed through the eerie enclaves of the Great Zimbabwe!
Group at Lodge at the Ancient City

After a photo-shoot at the entrance to the Lodge, Mike’s car had starting problems which was fortunately quickly sorted by Clive who noticed a loose wire. In the meantime at a nearby fuel station, other R&M took place –tightening of PJ’s bolt and checking the solitary front shock and Hentie pumped up Koos’ tyres.
Pumping up Koos

Lot's of attention !%W$^&^

About 280kms to Beit Bridge but for Maggie, PJ’s MG, this was to be a very short leg. The Masvingo/Harare road is narrow and well abused by heavy duty vehicles heading north. It is not potholed, corrugated or badly surfaced but somehow is uneven and the vehicle literally ‘drifts’ all over the road, feeling like its driving out of control. With one shock we were reduced to driving 50km/hour and the prospect of clearing Beit Bridge loomed ominously. So, better part of valour … claim defeat, load the old girl before we do any desperate damage and passenger in the support vehicle.

Maggie's Zim Tour no more

This has to be a reward for the various Brett support expeditions- for instead of being distraught, PJ and I immediately kicked into total relax mode, we were able to communicate without wind bellowing around our ears and since we were not driving, drink a few Bells, all well with good company, comfortable space (you have no idea how relevant this is after 2 weeks in an MGA!) – Thanks to Clive and Tania – the trip continued to improve …

The Lion & Elephant – as ever a welcome pit-stop for loo, beer and toasted sarmies!
Pitstop at Lion n Elephant

Stopped off at Lion & Elephant for a pit-stop

The border clearance was easier than anticipated …Beit Bridge on the Zim side is really a breeze and NOTE: NO queues … we were through in 25 mins BUT the SA side of the border NOT SO MUCH! This is a subject deserving of Derek Watts attention! Need I say more?

Despite the frustration with the Immigration officials, Customs clearance and Police could not have been more welcoming and give us a sense of “happy to be home”!

After a photo at the Tunnels …

@ the Tunnels - Back in SA!
@ the Tunnels – Back in SA!

…The Ultimate Guest House in the Soutpansberg just reaching Louis Trichardt (Makhado) was not so easy to reach in our little cars because the 3km or so dirt road is a little bleak but Hey, Maggie is riding on Trailer and so, we doin’ fine!
A “Thank you” to close of this amazing trip, before our ‘last supper’:

Most important HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAY!

Happy Birthday Ray

Clive & Tania – for your support vehicle and Trailer

Clive and Tania - in Support
Clive and Tania – in Support

Mike Brett – for keeping the support teams fully appreciated and Lou, for you calm sense of humour and appreciation
Mike & Lou Brett

Ray & Bessie – for giving us something to celebrate on the last night the birthday and by the way the MOST RELIABLE CAR OF THE TOUR!
Ray & Bessie

Kevin & Jenny Loader – for motivating the trip, the support material and Photographer par excellence (and the valuable lessons to Suzette with new camera)
Kevin & Jenny Loader

To Hentie Erasmus – your always clean and immaculate car upped the standard as did your gorgeous and Glam wife, Jeanne … thank you for the stories and humour!
Hentie Jeanne Erasmus - ever elegant

The Boshoff Boys! Dad and Son were a pleasure to behold – they had such fun, renewed Bonding and all the while, Koos was the able and appreciated “Tour Mechanic”; Jaco sorry about the dicky-tum but what a pleasure to have you along!

Boshoffs and an EGG story
Boshoffs and an EGG story

Our “Boys” from Mud Island, despite a dodgy tummy, sun burn, old foggies found time to give us all a smile and oh yes … a braai broodjie on the last night.

Braai Brooidjies a la  Jaco
Braai Brooidjies a la Jaco

We loved this time with you all – thanks for trusting us! Next year … Mozambique?
… until next time, fondly PJ & Suzette
US - the Rybo's

P.S.
To the Graham and Heather Forbes … our best wishes for Australia
Rob & Teresa Mercer-Todd … it was over too soon, next time join us for the whole trip!

Graham and Heather Forbes at Falls
Graham and Heather Forbes at Falls

Rob & Teresa Mercer Todd - too short?
Rob & Teresa Mercer Todd – too short?

Our Last leg – HOMEWARD BOUND ON DAY 14!
loading Maggie at Ultimate

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