Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Climbing Inyangani - and death at the top!

The last blog left me starting out on the pathway up Mount Inyangani - the highest point in Zimbabwe. If you didn't read that blog, then close this and just read through quickly, so that you are in the flow....

So the first photo is of the mountain stream which flows down the side of Inyangani. The water was crystal clear, ice-cold, and so, so sweet - especially on the way down. My journey up the mountain took about 2 hours, and the descent about 90 minutes, so it was very welcome indeed when the path ran next to the stream.

The young ones went ahead, and my cousin and I followed at a far more leisurely pace - stopping every twenty metres or so... to admire the view. It wasn't as if we needed to stop, but if you don't take the time to appreciate the scenery, what is the point of climbing any mountain? The road to the car-park is visible below us, and this photo was taken by the children as they bounded out of sight ahead of us!

The views once you almost reach the top are pretty cool. Here is my daughter pointing out that you can actually see the east coast of America from the top of Inyangani! This was at the top of the steep ascent - from there it was a fairly gentle climb to the beacon at the peak.

Gentle climb indeed! Here is one of the arrows which show the way - and they were necessary in places, as the grass and rocks became a bit jumbled. Leading the pack is a friend of my daughter's who was staying with us at the time. I am still halfway back down the mountain at this stage!

And what did my daughter find at the top? Well - incredibly, the skeleton of a previous climber - left on a barren rock as a stark warning to any idiot foolhardy enough to climb the mountain...

(My daughter is the one in a cap)

We managed to take a small sample of the bone home, and we sent it for DNA analysis. The results were somewhat confusing, because we had two 'hits' - and two results. I leave it up to you to decide....

According to the DNA lab, either the bones belonged to

a) A Caucasian female aged 32 years, brown hair, green eyes, 37-34-38, mother of three, pierced ears, who did a lot of typing in her lifetime, or..

b) a sheep

You be the judge!

Have a great day!!

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