If you are having coffee with me, I would say “Happy Heart day” to you and serve you a tray of heart-shaped biscuits to have with your coffee or tea. “How are you doing this month of love?” I would ask you. “Have you written any love themed stuff, do point it out to me. Would love to read it. Me? Oh? Nothing special, I do not need one day out of the year as an excuse to be loving I do that all the time.”
If you having coffee with me I would tell you I just came from a trip to the Chinhoyi Caves (Zimbabwe) It’s really an awe inspiring and mysterious place to visit. Do not be fooled by the nice friendly sign that greets you and points the way:
To get to the Sleeping Pool you have to descent a long flight of steps carved from stone.
The first thing that strikes you is the brilliant cobalt blue colour of the water below, which you can see before you even start your descent into what feels like the bowls of the very Earth. I won’t lie and say it is not a touch spooky. It’s eerily quiet and all you hear are your footprints echoing on the walls, and oh yes the bats, lots and lots of bats. One of the caves is even called Bat Cave.As you walk deep into the caves, your pulse will definitely kick up a notch, and when you speak you will notice, how everyone speaks in just above a whisper, as if by some unspoken agreement, no one wants to disturb the serenity of the Sleeping Pool or wake the sleepers. The pool is called the Sleeping Pool or Chirorodziva which means The Pool Of The Fallen because it is believed that at the bottom of the pool, lies bodies of people, who were flung there, to sleep for all eternity. Did you just get goosebumps I most certainly did.
The Sleeping Pool is blue not because it reflects the sky, it is always blue; it’s blue on a cloudy day, it’s blue in the shade and in the sun, it’s blue because… it is just blue, I guess, in the same way the sky is blue.
Legend has it you cannot throw a stone across the width of the pool, without suffering the wrath of the ancestors, as they will throw the stone back at you, and so curse you. Anyway a sign prohibits you from throwing any form of projectiles into the pool and I always follow the rules except when I break them.
The actual depth is unknown but an old sign claims 315 feet (96m) although divers have successfully gotten to 136m (446feet) and one was never seen again.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I went to the Dark Cave.
There is nothing to see there, just dark caves, its pretty unnerving.
Good thing for electricity the place is lit up like its Christmas but you can tell that if someone switched off the lights it would be darker than the darkest moonless night… I am sure Batman would totally love that labyrinth of underground passages. Oral tradition has it that during the liberation war, our guerrilla fighters would hide in these caves for days on end.
By the time you climb all the granite stairs back to the top you will be breathing faster from not only exhilaration but exercise. It is quite a workout session climbing those steep stairs and if you are in bad shape it would be pure torture; fortunately I am not, I jogged all the way up because I really really wanted to get back to sunshine and life. No worries if you need to stop and rest, there are little alcoves carved into the granite where you can sit and rest.
I practically blew a kiss to the sun and wanted to hug the wide blue sky when I finally got back out from under the ground.
If you were having coffee with me I would say yes that was an exhilarating experience and I wish to do it again, I have pictures but they just don’t capture the experience.
Thank you for visiting with me and have a happy heart day