Sunday, 14 December 2008

Our Leavers Party up Ngomokarira

Max Adams wrote...

I woke up slightly earlier than usual on Saturday to prepare for our trip up Ngomokarira. After a bit of predictable Adams/Harford arguing we set off.

Our rendezvous was Helensvale shops and we were very surprised to discover that half of Harare had turned up to say goodbye, or to make sure that we were in fact leaving! About twenty cars and sixty people pitched up. Fifteen minutes later we left at the head of a large convoy. Less than an hour later we arrived at the base of the mountain and the walkers and drivers split up. My friend Alex and I took the less popular option of trekking. It took us an hour to reach the top but it was the quicker choice. The cars took a difficult route to the top on the wet rocks and provided an amazing scene of nearly 20 cars snaking their way over the ridge and onto the plateau.

At the top the party really began. Beers were cracked, skottel braais set up and bacon thrown on. Members of the 4x4 club displayed their vehicles' ability by 'kissing the beacon' ie touching the concrete pillar at the very top of the 'mountain of drums'.

The festivities continued with everyone growing merrier by the drink. New friendships were made and old ones renewed. The christening of the cars commenced at about 1 o'clock. A small speech by dad (it could only have been him) and that small necessity that is a bottle of champagne! Our car was named Jambanja, the shona word for riot but we are hoping that it would not provide us with such. The le Bretons' car was christened Mahali, a Swahili word meaning place, as it is to be their home for the next 6 months.

In ones and twos the cars crawled down the side of the mountain. By 2 there were only a few people left and we said our goodbyes before driving down. Nobody walked! It was a sleepy drive home but everyone arrived safely.

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