I think I am always speaking on how much I love the Eastern Highlands. It has held a special place in my heart since my childhood holidays spent in the mountains, and I make it a point to go there once every year where possible. Over they years, it has become a bit of a family tradition.
It is so reassuring to be able to go back to a place which never changes and which speaks to your spirit. Time slows down, things get a little clearer, and breathing becomes easier- literally and figuratively. I hope everyone has a place like that and that they never lose it.
Zimbabwe is a really stunning country. There are parts of it that can leave you breathless, and the Eastern Highlands area has more than a fair share of those magic spots. Recently, some friends and I decided to head down for a weekend out of town and it was a really fun time. We did some hiking, some paragliding, a Skywalk. Unfortunately we didn’t get to do the white water rafting planned, but it was still a great weekend.
We stayed at an AirBnB in Selous, and drove out to do activities on Saturday and Sunday before heading back. There were 11 of us, so that definitely kept costs down. We filled up 3 cars, packed some food from the pantry, a few board games, a bar of alcohol, and headed out at early dawn.
The roads are smooth, wide and winding; the air is crisp and heady, and the spirit lifts a little with each step.
Here are a few snaps from the weekend. Do you like travelling locally? What are some of the hidden gems in your country? Get out there and discover them, and drop me a comment below!
Traveling is definitely one of my favorite things to do. Few things are as wonderful and satisfying as the opportunity to experience new places, diverse cultures, people and of course, local cuisine.
While I have really been trying to not be a Judgmental Judy these days, I still struggle with the idea of people who travel, only to gripe about the culture and local food and loudly demand “normal food.” You know the type I’m talking about! Of course we all crave a good burger once in a while, but when travelling, I really prefer to immerse my taste-buds in local flavours, experimenting with different food combinations, teasing my palate a bit. If I don’t like it, so be it; now I know one more thing to not try next time! To each their own I suppose, but I do highly recommend living a little, and being open to new experiences! It makes for a more satisfying and exciting experience.
I’ve always wanted to be a professional traveller.
Fun ‘n’ Fresh
Freshly squeezed fruit juice in the morning. Fresh fruit. And yes, I admit it, colourful citrusy cocktails! The holiday was in full swing and we were in higher spirits . My absolute favourite thing was a lime, ginger smoothie. My best friend, (whom I’ve seen drinking whiskey straight from the bottle by the way,) was complaining about the “kick. ” Imagine? I loved it and am still desperately trying to recreate it in my humble kitchen with my long-suffering blender.
East African coffee is arguably some of the best coffee on this earth. I really enjoyed sampling the vast array of local flavours available.I am currently sipping on an intensely creamy, rich and fragrant vanilla coffee.
A Blogger’s Dream
“Pig” in the Room
One of the things I did really hate, was that there were so many things “off” the menu when we went out to order. And because Zanzibar is a primarily Muslim island, there was definitely no pork on the menu (I know!) But we made the best of it and survived a bacon and rib-free week! Voila.
Like I said, sometimes you crave a little taste of home and something familiar to rest the palate! We found ourselves at the Hilton in Nungwi for this, and indulged in some lovely eats. Not local recipes, but fresh locally sourced products, and delicious offerings.
The visit to the Spice farm was one of my favorite parts of the trip. We went to Jambo Spice farm and spent the morning with a local guide showing us all the different spices and plants indigenous to the island. The guided tour included a live coconut picking skit, fresh fruit tasting, and the chance to buy some spices after the tour.
Any day is always a good day for ice-cream in my world. Sunday afternoon, however, is a particularly good day for ice-cream. There is something magical about Sunday afternoon; the sun shines brighter, the air is softer; time moves a little slower. It’s perfect for trying out delicious new combinations.
Armed with a friend, I made my way to Gelato Crema, at Riverside Mall in Avondale; there is another branch in Borrowdale. Gelato Crema is a fairly new space specialising in ice cream, fro-yo and baked goods; something which really has a market in Harare, especially among those with children; it’s an easy appeasement spot at a decent cost.
The space itself is positively quaint, with delicious colours stimulating your senses as you walk in, making you feel right at home. A sensory delight of baby pink, mint green, stripped awnings, light and sparkles. It’s almost like something out of a kid’s book. I love it.
The space is fun and pretty; the ice cream is good. The staff is very helpful and obliging; they let you have tiny tastes of the treats before you make your choice. Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on getting value for my money and being treated well where I spend my money. Life is too short to be spending your money where you are treated badly. Consumer care is pretty low in these parts, so I always note and appreciate a special effort. We really enjoyed our ice-cream date and I will definitely be going back to treat myself once in a while, especially for that positively orgasmic chocolate brownie!
While there is space to sit down, I wouldn’t recommend it because the shop is tiny. There are two tables but you are better off grabbing and going to enjoy your goodies outside in the warm sun. Just how ice-cream should be enjoyed. My friend had the Baobab and sugar-free Vanilla, while I opted for a double scoop of refreshing Peach and the brownie. Did I mention how good the brownie was?
“You can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice-cream! It’s kind of the same thing,” the chalkboard proclaims.