Zimbabwe 5 November: Harare - Masvingo
Harmony Run Continues in Zimbabwe
With our schedule of events in Harare completed, some might have thought the Harmony Run was to all intents and purposes over for 2010 in Southern Africa – but the Harmony Run is never over!
Getting the van’s wheel fixed – again – delayed our departure from Harare, as did, even more, having to drive back afterwards to pick up the wheel spanner we had left with the mechanic, but eventually the team headed south.
Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site
It was a matter of some debate as to whether or not we had sufficent time, on our way back to base in Johannesburg, to divert to Great Zimbabwe.
Great Zimbabwe is the remains of a medieval city of some 10,000 to 20,000 souls which was built in the 1200s and flourished until the late 1400s. Its spectacular stone remains are evidence of a sophisticated and highly developed society. The ruins of this city are now recognized as a world heritage site.
The call of this attraction proved too attractive and, in search of harmony and the ‘rapprochement of cultures’ in this UN and UNESCO 2010 special year, the team headed for this notable site.
Our first port of call was the Great Enclosure
– a royal compound with a 11-metre-high stone wall.
Inside the compound, stands the mysterious Conical Tower and other structures.
The other main part of the site is the Hill Complex on the hilltop overlooking the Great Enclosure
– the hilltop dominated by spectacular natural granite domes.
The steep ascent provided no obstacle to the team’s enthusiasm and they ran eagerly to the summit – panting breath broken only by gasps at the extraordinary power of the stone works of the early Zimbabweans.
The hilltop commanded views of the plain below.
On the peak,
the torch provided a beacon for all dreamers of peace and harmony past, present and future.
After the crowds of children at the schools we had visited, Great Zimbabwe was almost completely without people, and yet we felt this great symbol of the country’s culture was an appropriate place for the team to visit and express the aspirations and goals of the run.
Evening Stars and Morning Sounds
Having descended by the Ancient Pathway we pitched our tents beside a spreading tree in what was to be our last, and most beautiful, camp in this segment of the Southern Africa Harmony Run 2010.
The vast expanse of stars shone down on us from the darkest of African skies and the sounds of the bush lulled us to sleep.
A paean of birds, insects, frogs and baboons greeted the rising sun in a great assertion of the return of light the next morning.
With hearts full of gratitude there was a quick game of Ultimate Frisbee and a little horsing around at the sign at the gate. We pointed out that this is a UNESCO World Heritage site see: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/364
and the languages on the UNESCO and UN logo for 2010 "International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures" (IYRC).
Then the joyful team was on its way again – one more step taken in the endless quest that is the World Harmony Run.
Southern Africa Region - Harmony Run 2010 initial reports and photos:
South Africa, 25 Oct: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/sa/news/2010/1025a
South Africa, 26 Oct: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/sa/news/2010/1026
Botswana, 27 Oct: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/botswana/news/2010/1027
Namibia, 29 Oct: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/namibia/news/2010/1029
Zimbabwe, 31 Oct: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/zimbabwe/news/2010/1031
Zambia, 01Nov: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/zambia/news/2010/1101
Zimbabwe, 05 Nov: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/zimbabwe/news/2010/1105
Distance: 5 km
Balarka Robinson (Zimbabwe), Dhiraja McBryde (New Zealand), Steve Polykarpou (RSA/Cyprus), Shree Chirkoot (RSA), Adhiratha Keefe (USA), Abhijatri Robinson (Zimbabwe)
Gallery: See more images!
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