A long, hot ride across central Zimbabwe in a ‘chicken bus’, a rumbling monster with baggage roped onto the roof. One woman who boards is holding an infant, a live chicken AND a bundle of inanimate belongings. Towns are mercifully few, as the bus stops repeatedly to pick up and set down, however close the terminal and whilst at the terminal, the full Third World catastrophe with the engine racing, vehicle edging forward impatiently, dusty flying, touts yelling and vendors squeezing past disembarking passengers in their haste to board, laden with mobile phone top-ups, hard-boiled eggs, potato crisps and lurid soft drinks dispensed from recycled bottles.
Anyway, why Masvingo? Because it’s the nearest centre to the World Heritage-listed ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the lost civilisation which has lent its name to the nation of today. Unfortunately this excursion was spoilt by mist and drizzling rain.