Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mermaid's Pool

When I look back at my childhood in Rhodesia, so much of it seems idyllic. One of my sweetest memories is of Mermaid's Pool... 20 km from Salisbury (Harare) on the Shamba (Shamva) Road ...

In the thick, shady trees there was an old railroad car, the perfect changing room for little boys and girls, actually I think only the girls were supposed to use it. It had that abandoned smell of dead leaves and animal urine, so we hurried. We slipped into our swimming costumes and then ran down to the pool. Sunday afternoons at Mermaid's Pool was pure joy!

A huge rock arched out of a blue-green pool, like a great hippo's back. Water from the river spilled down its' smooth curve and gathered in a deep bowl surrounded by tall trees. A foofie slide (zipline with a special hangy thingy that you held onto) tied high in one of those trees stretched across the pool and to the other side. The intention was not to make it to the other side, depending on your courage you dropped yourself into the water. You picked the height from which you wanted to fall, or if you hung on, you dragged your legs in the water and slowed down. Then the drop was a little less traumatic...

There were several ways to slide down the rock, usually on an inflated tire,or an old sack but sometimes on your rear end, but this was tough on your swimming costume. Also if you hit Humphrie's Bump, a natural rock ramp, lower down on the rock, you went flying and heaven help you if you weren't on your tube when you hit it.

Such happy days! I hope that one day it is up and running again. I would love to take my grandkids there!


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