Day 225 - 231


MOZ 13th - 19th July 2007, Mozambique

previous entry Previous entry Next entry next entry
Day 225 13/7. Bush camp, just west of Quionga, Mozambique
10°35.77'S 40°29.99'E. Miles today 59, Total Miles 21039
ferry ferryI know people who have waited weeks for this ferry so pottered down the dirt track towards the Rovuma River and lo and behold, there it was. One Mozambican ferry. How lucky are we? We were soon pounced upon by a number of inquisitive locals who began frantically shouting in a mix of Swahili and Portuguese and waving their arms about. Looking back now, I think they were trying to explain to us that we had to go back into town to fetch the captain but it certainly left us somewhat perplexed at the time. Eventually, one dude took pity on us and wandered off into town, returning with "one ferry captain." Turns out we were supposed to organise the ferry when we got to immigration but luckily there was another car who had already booked the ferry for today so we were in luck. The ramp onto this "baking sheet" was a little rough but they built it up with logs and sandladders and all manner of crap and we embarked with no problems. Soon we were on our way, a little slower than expected due to only one engine working. The ferry is $30 per car, by the way. After a display of some excellent yachting skills (a mere three unsuccessful attempts at docking the thing) we finally tied up and faced an even steeper disembarkation. We gave it some juice and got up no problem, only to be faced with no road at all, only a huge cornfield. What followed was such a laugh with various people screaming conflicting directions at us telling us which way to go around this blinking cornfield but we eventually found our way round and onto the narrow sandy track, which was indeed the main road south. This led us to the immigration and customs hut, where after mastering the art of waiting, we were stamped in. We did have to pay a small tax and after insisting for a receipt, I happened to notice that he actually never put any carbon paper in his little "book.". Oh, I just can't be asked to argue over $5! It was getting quite late now, so we drove a bit further down this very narrow road and stopped for the night under a Cashew Nut Tree. Scared the life outta the locals passing by though. Are we aliens?
Day 226 14/7. Pangane campsite, Pangane peninsular, Mozambique
11°59.98'S 40°32.65'E. Miles today 195, Total Miles 21234
octopusStopped in Praia de Mozambique, and after finding the bank closed, we were directed to an ATM next door. A bit confused with yet another currency, so we picked a number with the most zeros and hoped for the best. We had been recommended to head south towards the beach and seafood haven of Pangane, along a sandy track. Just keep going, the simple but idyllic campsite (€4.30 pp) is right at the end. Sadly, we arrived too late for any seafood. "Only octopus, I'm afraid." Hmmm….no thanks. I think if you stayed for a few days, you would certainly have some sweet pickings in the seafood department, as they did offer to get us some squid for tomorrow. The beach is right next to a village and the chief gets very funny about bikini clad travellers walking up and down the beach, so please respect their customs.
Day 227 15/7. Russels Place, Pemba, Mozambique
12°57.96'S 40°34.03'E. Miles today 158, Total 21392
panganeGot up and early, put on all our clothes on and went for a long walk along the beach to check out the morning's catch and the boat building action along the shore. They were a bit aggressive about us taking photos but we managed to sneak in a few. Wanting to reach Pemba, we tried to take the coastal track south but had to turn back as the trees were just too low and the overhead branches were smashing into and scratching the life out of our roof tent. So we ended up taking the wonderfully tar road all the way to Pemba. We checked out the Jardin Bush Camp, which was gorgeous but very quiet. They have amongst others, a Jack Russell and a Great Dane for me to play with but they wanted $10pp so we thought we'd drive further to Wimbe beach and check out the famous "Russells Place" for €4.30pp. It was a bit shabby but actually very cool and with a bit more life. Besides, it was live band and pizza night tonight, so Rob wasn't going anywhere. And they have these awesome bucket showers with a constant hot bucket and a cold one in each shower. Lotsa cold local beer and yummy pizzas and we met two very funny guys from SA, Mark and Clive, on a Cape to Cairo journey. Geesh, they had only been on the road for two weeks but had some hilarious adventures so far.
Day 228 16/7. Russels Place, Pemba, Mozambique
12°57.96'S 40°34.03'E. Miles today 19, Total 21411
Had a quick visit to town to do the usual internet, market and beer stock run. Watch out for the guys in the veg market, they will try and rip you off at every opportunity. Luckily, I am not that stupid and know that two small aubergines do NOT weigh one kilo! Had a very yummy lunch of grilled prawns and squid at the Pemba Dolphin. We were both in the mood for one of those long boozy lunches and tried to buy a bottle of wine but um, they didn't have any! So we headed back to Russell's and ended up watching a presentation on sustainable forestry in Mozambique. Very interesting actually. Early to bed after somehow managing to find room to tuck into their evening buffet, which was a delicious spread of local fare, including matapa. (cassava leaves with peanuts and coconut.) Poured with rain, which caught us totally unaware and the tent leaked like a sieve. In Hannibals defence though, we were too lazy to put the fly sheet back on!
Day 229 17/7. Casuarina Camping, Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique
15°02.53'S 40°41.72'E. Miles today 244, Total 21655
old womenContinued south on the good tar road all the way to Ihla de Mozambique, where we stopped just before the bridge. There is a new 2500kg weight limit to cross to the island (but not really enforced though.) and camped at Casuarina Camping (€2.60 pp) which is a sweet little place right on the waters edge. They really need the business, so try and stay there if you can. There is a small bar and she can whip up some seafood for you if you like. It's a 3km walk across the bridge onto the island, so thought we'd leave it until tomorrow. Spent the evening chatting to our Dutch neighbours, Enzo and Marion, travelling around Africa in the trusty old Landy complete with an enormous and very boisterous German Shephard, answering to the name of Rex!
Day 230 18/7. Casuarina Camping, Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique
15°02.53'S 40°41.72'E. Miles today 0, Total 21655
Got stuck in the rain walking across the bridge but the sun soon emerged and we dried in no time. Awesome place, wonderful old buildings, took ninety seven million photos! We walked right to the end and visited the old Fort (€2.80 pp) The oldest fort still standing in Sub Saharan Africa, which was cool but sadly very run down. Also, look out for the chapel of Nossa Senhora, which is actually the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere. The island is not nearly as touristy as we imagined but there does appear to be a lot of European money being thrown at it, with a number of restoration projects going on, turning these beautiful old buildings into restaurants, boutiques and hotels. We settled on Anchoro d'Ouro which, incidentally makes the most awesome custard muffins. Stayed for lunch and had the special of Peixe con Batatas (Grilled Fish with Fried Potatoes), which was absolutely gorgeous. Also visited the Palace and Chapel of Sao Paulo, which was immaculately restored into a museum and well worth a tour. Most of the furniture originally came from Goa and is magnificent and superbly looked after. James, our obligatory guide spoke good English and showed us around this beautiful place. Our tickets included entry into the Museum of Sacred Art, where our guide there spoke zero English but gave a whistle stop tour shouting repeaditly words like "Mozambique-Goa, " which had us both in fits of giggles. Back at the campsite, some new travellers had joined our party. Tom and Lisa (UK and Kiwi couple) who were backpacking around Africa before heading off into yonder to New Zealand to settle down. Drank the bar dry and laughed til we cried. Man, am I glad we don't have to do public transport! Their experience on the Illala Ferry in Malawi alone was enough to keep me laughing till next year! beach
Day 231 19/7. Casuarina Camping, Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique
15°02.53'S 40°41.72'E. Miles today 0, Total 21655
Enzo and Marion have very kindly offered to give Tom and Lisa a ride up to Pemba in the back of their Landy. Rex, much to his distaste, has been booted out of his usual place of abode and has to spend the next seven hours (their old landy isn't particularly speedy) on Marion's lap in the front seat. I wish them well. Anything to avoid getting up at 3am to catch yet another public chapas, I guess! We decided to spend the day chilling out here. To be honest, I have not been feeling too good for the past few days and need a bit of R and R. Rob used the time to do a gearbox oil change and tried to fix our blown turbo hose…apparently nothing that a bit of duct tape and hose clips can't sort out!
up top of page previous entry Previous entry Next entry next entry