Mozambique to Zimbabwe - Beira to Harare

December 24, 2011 - Harare, Zimbabwe

A very sociable Belgium couple arrived at Biques (Beira) in a big old Reno overlander truck. Before they had even parked they had introduced themselves and got talking. Like many overseas tourists they had a vehicle which they would leave somewhere in Africa return home for a few months and then continue from wherever they had left off. Their old Renault had a few mod adaptations one was a wind mill mounted on the roof for generating power, weirdly congruent with their antiquated vehicle!

Biques was a nice enough spot but the heat was unbearable as the humidity continued to rise. There was only one spot in the restaurant-bar where we could take refuge from the sun and enjoy a good strong sea breeze! The blackest clouds gathered and stormed heavily towards Biques one evening, we all scurried about preparing for the impending deluge but amazingly within minutes it had blown over onto the sea. The sea was black, vicious looking and the sunset that night was spectacular!

The Beast came back, the trouble was caused by the blocked tappet breather pipe most likely from our red powder events coming into Mozambique from the Unity Bridge! The pressure build up in the engine had been so great that the new gasket fitted in Nampula had already been bent out of shape! MotorCare Beira were great, they refitted the old gasket back on to be on the safe side and unblocked the breather pipe which all the other garages had missed and didn’t charge a cent. The next day we did a long test drive, things looked good and we began to pack happy at last that the oil problem was resolved.

The road from Beira towards Mutare was full of pot holes and vehicles weaving in and out. It was helpful to have traffic ahead.... at least then we had fair warning! Towards Inchope the heavens opened and visibility was poor making driving even more stressful for George. By 2.30pm we decided to look for a camp since we had no idea what was ahead on the Zimbabwean side and we were too exhausted for a long day.

Casa Miska was a lovely break, a beautiful green wooded area on the Chicumba dam. We spent 2 nights there catching up on our sleep and socializing with the other couple camping there. The road to the border was quite busy with trucks queuing up on both sides but passage through went smoothly. From Mutare we headed towards the Bvumba and camped at the Botanical Gardens. This was a beautiful stop, out came the woolies since the temperatures dropped dramatically especially in the evenings. We enjoyed scenic walks around the gardens and the Bvumba hillsides; it was just us, the birds and a few shy monkeys. The gardens and campsite were run down but still it was a wonderful stop.

Tuesday the 20th we made our way through to Harare relieved that the journey through from Beira had gone smoothly but 20kms from our destination everything changed. The Beast kept losing power like it had dirty fuel so we jerked and crawled the rest of the way into Harare, it was a nail biting close and yet so far! How despondent we felt and a bit puzzled since from the very next day the car behaved normally again. Ed arrived from Kenya and he and George did the rounds to every Landrover place in Harare but all were closing for Christmas. We wait and see now what will happen, of course it would be a little worrisome to just keep going but the Beast is behaving normally now and we will have to wait till the 3th of January if we want to get it seen to.

It has been decades since I have had two siblings around the same Christmas table, something to celebrate especially after a long road with no family or friends. To those who have followed our journey and especially those who have encouraged us and blessed us with your input Happy Christmas and thanks be to God for the gift of His Son.


Our Belgium friends 005-550
Buying prawns on the beach 010-550
Storm coming Beira 003-550
Storm blew over Beira 008-550


December 24, 2011
Merry Christmas and hope you have a healthly New Year. I have enjoyed your reads. My husband and I are friends w/Claire, Mark and children. We await your new journey stories.
James and Clarkie
Sharon Johnson:
December 24, 2011
Hi Alice
Thanks for the update - hope you and George have safe travels and all the best over the festive season...we are back in Cape Town from Arnie for Christmas, then going back for another week and new year. It has been gorgeous - blue warm seas and sunny skies. Really enjoying our holiday.
Take care
Sha and Greg
December 25, 2011
Thanks for the update. Enjoy your visit to the family. Looking forward to seeing you in Gansbaai. Lots of love.
Jacqui Hobbs:
December 25, 2011
Happy Christmas. Enjoy you time with you family. See you soon. love Jacqui
December 26, 2011
Hi Alice and George, I have loved reading all about your adventures and it has felt like I was there with you. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with the family and get back home safely. I am considering a trip to CT around Feb time so will definately keep in touch. Love Caralyn xxx
Michael Evans:
December 29, 2011
A belated Christmas blessing and a timeous wish for an outstanding New Year!
Michael xx
Barrie & Gilly Low:
January 8, 2012
Dear Ally And George

What a remarkable journey and thanks so much for your many newsy blogs! Just sorry you have had such trouble with your Beast (the Landy, that is!). We dropped a steering box in Namibia a few years back and thought that was the end of it. But it was most intriguing to see who bothered to help us (Land Rover certainly weren't bothered which probably explains why there are so few LR's in that country, but the Land Rover club did, and saw to it that were on our way with barely a day to wait).

Did the Richtersveld (both National Park and the equally impressive Community Heritage Site to the south) last September - magnificent trip, with Jemma driving faultlessly except for two impaled new tyres - they have mean rocks! The desert and wetter parts of Africa are of course so different, as you will have seen from the beginning of your journey. We have yet to taste a heavy downpour let alone ford a swollen stream or drive through glorious mud, but an Africa trip to London nevertheless still beckons.......

Take care on your last leg, and may God bless you richly as you enter the New Year and use this trip in your witness!

Kind regards

Barrie & Gilly
January 10, 2012
Happy 2012! Hope that you have the Beast all sorted and ready for the road ahead! We've had a fun break at home catching up with friends, Spending time on the beach & hikes on the Mountain. We managed to squeeze in 4 days of camping outside Montagu, which was very hot. School starts tomorrow! Covered books & marked pens last night. Hopefully all ready. Love the pics of the storm over the ocean. Very dramatic. Take good care & lots of hugs.
Sinclair & Carol:
January 12, 2012
Aaaaah Bvumba Gardens still as beautiful as ever unchanged as far as I recall since the 60's. All the troubles have passed them by amazing.
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