Ok, so most people do not drive through Zimbabwe these days. Many of our friends will drive a complete extra day through Botswana to avoid going through Zimbabwe. But we thought, "Ehh...surely it can't be that bad!" We researched a LOT to make sure we had everything that the police would be looking for. All in all, Saturday was a great driving day! We were waved through most police stops and ended up with just one $10 fine for not having a spare time. (I know....I had NO idea we didn't have a spare until we got a ticket!!! Blu forgot it at New Day and was hoping I wouldn't find out...until we got a ticket for it..which the policeman thought was funny.) The drive was GORGEOUS from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo - very few towns, lots of national park, and just beauty!
Yes, I did say BEAUTY. I love you, OK Shopping Centre in Hwange, Zimbabwe!
The kids loved these Mini-Cokes!
All along the way, there were concrete picnic tables, perhaps from the old colonial days of Zimbabwe! We enjoyed a lunch picnic at one - actually, Cason said it was his favorite part of the whole trip! It brought back memories of family road trips and we'd stop and have our hot dogs (heated on the dashboard) or sandwiches! I thought about how much work it was for me, as a mom, but what a great memory it was for my kids, and it made me so grateful for my parents and our family vacations. :)
The boys thought this rock was hilarious! (And they might have used this rock for un-bloggable purposes...)
We made great time to Gweru! We headed into town (our destination was just outside of town) for our camping groceries. That's when the chaos began. It. Was. Insane. I am used to crazy African shopping centers, people pushing, etc, but this was just madness. The streets were packed, the Pick n Pay was tiny, and we walk in and there are NO shopping carts available! Lines are backed up down the aisles, and I have a huge camping list, complete with cases of bottled water, charcoal, etc...with no basket!! We finally found a tiny handheld basket, so me, Caedmon, and Cambree were literally dragging things through the store! I finally put them in line and went to go and bring stuff to them in the line - it was madness! Blu was outside (with Cason) guarding the truck, while I was inside trying not to cry! The joke the rest of the trip was how much I hated that store and was NEVER going back, so if we didn't have something, we'd starve! The kids made a game out of asking, "Mama, would you rather...blah blah blah...or go back to the Pick n Pay in Gweru?!" I always chose the other option. ;)
Cason likes guarding the truck (and being the center of attention...)
After that madness, we were so happy to see Antelope Park (outside of town and away from all the chaos!) They have a neat website you can check out here
if you're curious!
It was right at dusk, so we rushed to get our campsite set up - it was beautiful though. Right on the river, with our own grass roofed shelter, picnic tables, campfire, etc. We LOVED it!
Cambree needed a break after setting up a cot..
Picnic table ready to go!
Getting the fire ready!
Love our shelter - so easy to keep our things under here, and it had electrical outlets for phone charging for pics!
Love this huge 5 person tent!
Cambree went around taking pictures of everything in our camp. :) Blu & I slept on cots, which the kids thought was a little unfair. ;)
We loved the fire pit!
Ready for 3 days of fun!