Suddenly signs popped up along the road claiming Chinhoyi was the city of the “best worms”. We were baffled. Was this a local delicacy? All the information we could find in our Bradt Guide was that Chinhoyi had spectacular limestone caves with large blue underground pools, a cave divers’ paradise. Curious, we decided to give it a shot and stay for the night. Besides we had left Mana Pools National Park only early afternoon and could not make it into Harare before night fell.
With only three hotels to choose from (neither worms nor caves seemed to have turned the town into a touristic epicenter) we settled for a 70 USD room at the Chinhoyi Cave Inn Hotel. Great service and a comfortable room, but it was the bathroom that will always be remembered. We have never been to Mogadishu, but this was the first image that came to our mind when we stepped inside. If there had been hot water, it would have been out of place. Friendly Fortune staffing the reception was perfectly trained for such situations. Another room was unlocked and we were invited to use its grand bathroom and scorching hot water whenever we wanted. She also cheerfully revealed the worm secret. Anglers on their way to Lake Kariba shop here for bait.
The area around Chinhoyi was once known for its prosperous farms. A few large green fields, irrigated by ancient sprinklers, remind of those days, but otherwise we saw no signs of extensive agriculture. Most of the countryside was covered with scorched grass. Whether this was due to the dry season or if the land was truly abandoned, we do not know.
Apart from the worms, white clad people knelling in the fields were the other oddity in the Chinhoyi region. A religious sect believing in outdoor services? In a park in Harare we observed the same ritual, the answer to our question, more a mumble, was Pentecostal….
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