Penhalonga is a region that is spread over Western Mozambique, and Zimbabwe - the border seperates it into two sections. The region was once as one, but was seperated in 1891 by an Anglo~Portugese treaty. Even though there is border seperating Penhalonga into two parts, the people of both sides still live together in harmony.
The area of Penhalonga we stayed in was the village of Motombombwe, which was set amoungst the mountains around 20km from the town of Manica. The Shona people inhabit the area of Penhalonga, they are very friendly, generous, and welcoming - they respect the land they live on and farm maize, and corn in the area.
Leonie, Tim and I stayed at a guesthouse called ´Casa Motombombwe´, a house which Gift Mashiri and his father built together. The house is only a month old and has 2 bedrooms (one a loft room), bathroom, living room, and wonderfully equipped kitchen (with fridge and freezer!). The house had running water and electricity (a real luxury in this area!).
We caught a Chapas (mini-bus taxi used by locals) to Manica, then met Gift and caught a ride in the back of a very full ute tray, upon reaching Penhalonga we still had a 40min walk (uphill with our bags) to the house... the sweat and exhaustion was well worth it when we reached the house and saw the views for the first time!
The house sits at the top of a mountain range, and looks down upon the village of Motombombwe. The houses of Motombombwe usually consist of a round hut building (used for kitchen, and sleeping for children), a square building raised off the ground (adults sleeping), and other smaller storage buildings.
We stayed 2 nights, and during this time we experienced some tradtional cooking courtesy of Gift, who prepared a fire and cooked us corn on the cob, and also cooked us ´Pup´ (traditional Maize dish).
During the days we did some hiking (much needed to boost our likelihood of reaching the summit of killi!), we visited the Quinta Da Fronteira (botanical gardens in the middle of nowhere), waterfalls, and hiked up to the Zimbabwean border which was quite amazing... it´s only used for locals (around 10 cross a day) and they cross with huge bags of rice etc on their heads... mind you it´s like a 10k hike... so they thought we were quite strange doing it for leisure. The area is surrounded with Eucalyptus trees, and as we were hiking a large storm came through... well Aussies know what happens in this situation... as we were passing one corner, Tim and I heard a loud creaking noise and looked at each other... 50m up the road we looked around and a HUGE gum was falling through the forrest right where we had walked... quite the scary occasion (but exciting all the same!)
On the last day we were lucky to witness an amazing sunrise which sadly coincided with Leonie leaving us :( It was great meeting and travelling with Leonie, and we can´t wait to catch up with the Dutchy again!!
We are in Chimoio at the moment... moving onto Songo tomorrow to see Cahora Bassa dam (5th largest in the World)
... ´til next time Gadget!
PS. Still no spell-check!