December 27 – 28, 2005
We were handed off to Chemie, our driver and guide, for the 24 hours we were in Zimbabwe. From the Botswana/Zimbabwe border it was an hour drive to The Rainbow Hotel. Closing in on a HOT, ENCLOSED SHOWER so it didn’t really matter how long it took. We were a little confused how to get the water to come out of the showerhead and not shoot straight down into the tub from the lower faucet. I almost saw Josh snap. Everyone has his or her breaking point. Mine is going without food for longer than three-hour increments. Josh did everything he could to keep me fed regularly. Take the man away from his shower and shaving cream and his usual huge ear-to-ear smile dims. Since Josh wasn’t used to going without a shower and shave everyday I told him to go first. Eventually he figured out how to work the shower. He didn’t come out for what seemed like an hour.
Chemie recommended we check out a local restaurant for dinner called, The Boma Place of Eating. He said we could taste several things we viewed in the bush. Warthog, Kudu, Ostrich. Sounded awful but I couldn’t wait! After 6 days of camping we were thrilled to have anything that wasn’t pulled out of a sometimes-working, sometimes-not-working cooler.
Wish I hadn’t actually seen a warthog before eating it. It’s one of the Ugly Five, you know. They’re in the same grouping as the hyenas, vulture, wildebeest and marabou stork. Every time we came close to a warthog they’d run away. Guess if you were that bad looking you’d hide, too. Somehow eating something that falls in this category turns you off from the word go. Nonetheless, it was our favorite meat of the evening. The menu was impressive. Looked like something I'd seen at The French Laundry. We started with a local brew made from Sorghum. It was the nastiest, most sour, yeasty tasting liquid and I wanted no more than a sip. Couldn't wait to try the crocodile. I was sure it would taste like Chicken but it tasted like a smoked fish. Sable is the closest thing I can use to describe the flavor. Here's the feast:
Boma The Place of Eating
Rendezvous of Zambezi River Bream and Crocodile
- local wine cured crocodile tail scallopini with sundried bream fillets accompanied with a piquant horseradish sauce and roast bell pepper salsa
Smoked Duck Breast
- hand carved slices of duck breast on sweet corn bread splashed with a gingered citrus sauce
The Boma Braai - Emawosweni
A selection of the following:
* Beef and bacon kebabs, warthog steaks, boerewors, marinated chicken (how boring), ostrich kebabs, game steaks, pork spare ribs, Zambezi bream
* Traditional potjies including oxtail, game, mopani WORMS, and local kapenta fish
* A variety of sauces including piri piri, sweet and sour sauce, and whole green peppercorn
- Baked Apple-Cider Gammon with plum and cardamom chutney
- Pot Roasted Rolled Turkey filled with a date and hazelnut panade with mustard gravy
From The Spit
- Whole Lamb basted with honey-orange and fresh rosemary served with bush vegetables
Bush Tea/Filter Coffee
Ahhhh. To sleep in a big bed after 6 nights of camping is worth every minute of sleeplessness. I vow to never again take a bed for granted. The gratitude soon fades and I begin to expect a big mattress and down pillows each night. That’s when I realize it’s time for another camping trip. I'm going to have to find a friend other than Josh to come with me into the woods. Big Sur isn’t the bush. Maybe it won’t take another 37 years before he gets back into a tent.
Before leaving Zimbabwe for the Winelands of South Africa we stopped off at an artisan's market. There must have been over 50 vendors. Masks, animals, bowls, walking sticks, jewelrey, batik fabrics, musical instruments, furniture, sculptures. The place was amazing and the deals to be had UNREAL. My mother and sister would have reveled in the scene. I, on the otherhand, become a shrinking violet and want to run as far away from every person vying for my attention. "I'll give you good price" each and every one promised. "Josh", I begged, "get me out of here and into a gallery or something so I can have some peace of mind while I try to decide what to buy." I managed to tune out the chaos and find one beautifully carved Steel wood serving piece. Now I have the authentic dish to serve Seswang and Papa. Josh found the fatest and cutest hippo carved out of Teak wood. $25 for the handcarved 3-wooden bowled platter. $9 and a ballpoint pen for the hippo.