A blog about what I love….photography and bicycles!

Breakdowns and Butterflies, and a few odds and sods

This last week has seen me in Zimbabwe collecting information for a water and sanitation tender that we are to submit.  I flew up after work on Monday the 4th and got to Harare late in the evening.  I did not hire a car and decided to get a taxi to take me to the Bronte Garden Hotel (www.brontehotel.com) where I was to be staying.  Not knowing of the costs to get from Harare airport to the hotel,  I asked the hotel and a colleague, Goddie Mhonde, who lives in Harare, how much I should expect to pay.  I got two pretty conflicting answers.  Anyway I hopped into the taxi and we whizzed through town.  We got to the hotel and I was required to part with a lot more money than I had been told it would cost (I suspect that the charming Zim taxi driver saw me and thought that the longer route to the hotel would be taken, old trick I know but I fell for it and parted with a number of expensive US$).  I got to the Bronte all right, found Clivia miniata in flower (in June!!, we only see flowers in September) and also fruit (some are stowed in my bag for germination at home)there were also a number of interesting looking cycads that I suspect were Encephalartos manicensis.  The Bronte is not called the Garden Hotel for nothing, it really is rather lovely.  After a cup of coffee and a few hours of studying I fell into bed.

The next day I was rudely awakened by my alarm clock, had breakfast, explored the property and found some lovely local soap stone carvings (see pic of my favourite)and met Goddie at 8.  He told me that we would head to Chigutu first.  Chigutu is approximately 100km West of Harare.  We spent the morning in Chigutu and then headed back to Harare.  At about ½ way, at a very small little settlement named Norton, Goddies Pajero’s clutch packed up.  We could do nothing except wait for his wife and a mechanic.  Two hours were to be killed so I popped into the burned winter bush with the camera and before long saw a little Lachnocnema pop up and flutter energetically about.  After much fluttering it landed and I was able to take a number of shots with flash as well as natural light.  Here are a couple of the shots.  Who says breakdowns do not deliver something good!!!!

A few soap stones

That was Zim and now for a few other recent pics………………

Pardopsis punctatissma (The Polka Dot)


Precis octavia


Durbania amakoza natalensis

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