Day 232 - 239


MOZ 20th - 27th July 2007, Mozambique

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Day 232 20/7. Complexo Montes Nairucu, 13km NW of Nampula Mozambique
15°02.58'S 39°08.67'E. Miles today 121, Total Miles 21776
rock and waterDrove into the metropolis of Nampula and stood in the queue for the bank for over an hour. Found a Shoprite just on the outskirts of town and stocked up with some fresh goodies and continued on in search of somewhere to stop for the night. We spotted a road sign for a campsite 13km down a dusty track and thought we'd go check it out. Whoa, am sure we glad. What a fab find. Camping Montes Nairucu (€2.80 pp) is a huge place run by a lovely Portuguese family. The camping is right on a dam with croaking frogs and huge rocky outcrops and the showers and loos were spotless with lovely hot water. Watch out for the scary spiders hiding in the shower curtains!
Day 233 21/7. Mission, Mocuba, Mozambique
16°51.71'S 36°57.03'E. Miles today 258, Total Miles 22034
kidsLong day driving and stopped for the night at the very welcoming Mission in Mocuba. Juan Alberta who runs the place was so lovely. Amongst the chaos of all 200 children from the surrounding villages been treated to porridge and activities organised by some weird Brazilian missionaries, (man, I sure hope that is fancy dress!) they gave us a room to use the loo. Even though it was not the cleanest I have ever seen, I personally was truly grateful. "Are you a believer?" he asks Rob. Hmmm…tricky one this…..Uh, ok, lets go with honesty…."Um, no," he replied. Minutes later Juan returns with two note cards addressed to each of us respectively with words of lets just say, "spiritual encouragement." We were later serenaded at sunset by the above mentioned children until their transport home arrived at which point they all raced off to climb in and it all went quiet.
Day 234 22/7. Zalala campsite, Zalala, nr Quelimane, Mozambique
17°52.32'S 37°07.33'E. Miles today 106, Total Miles 22140
prawnsHad to wait for Juan Alberto to return from church so we could give him our donation and say thank you. Hit the road again and headed south to the beach of Zalala, which was a huge beach lined with pine trees. Being Sunday, the place was heaving and we bought 2kg of giant fresh prawns for €5! We cooked up a storm with lashings of garlic and greek salad. Even with our hearty appetites, we came nowhere near finishing them. The only campsite open (€3.50pp) is a no-name, ok shady place with a bar and restaurant but is infested with mutant mozzies. Kind of makes the trips to the loo a challenge.
Day 235 23/7. Mphinque Camp, 32km SW of Caia, Mozambique
18°04.40'S 35°12.14'E. Miles today 164, Total 22304
Hmmm, I guess, masses of prawns was not the best choice and so am still not feeling 100% but decided to continue on anyway. We had a waypoint for a place called James Camp, also known as Mphique, where we hoped we could stop for the night. We crossed the Zambezi River on a somewhat more reliable ferry and literally just made the 12 noon one by minutes. (They close between 12 and 2) I had to get out the car and was charged 3 cents and Rob was charged €2.80 for him and the car. Seems they are building a bridge, so not long now…..Africa time, of course. As it turned out, they don't allow camping anymore at Mphique (something to do with millions of South Africans running riot!) but they did have the most wonderful chalets available. Only a little of out of our budget so we decided to stay anyway. Bumped into my old English teacher on a long family trip through Southern Africa. How weird!!! Had a wonderful wholesome home cooked meal and a hot cup of tea in the most comfortable bed ever. Just what the doctor ordered!
Day 236 24/7. Chitengo Camp, Gorongosa NP, Mozambique
18°58.01'S 34°21.07'E. Miles today 187, Total 22491
wart hogs fish eagleWe had been recommended to visit the Gorongosa National Park and wow, what a welcoming reception we received. €5.50 pp entry fee plus €5.50 for the car but you only pay once and can stay as long as you like. The camping fee per night was €5pp but with free internet, a nice pool, free firewood and hot showers What's the catch, you may ask? Aah, I see. No animals. No, actually in their defence, they are building the park up again and slowly introducing some furry creatures. But we made the best of it and witnessed what can only be described as "The Warthog Migration" and marvelled at the gorgeous landscapes.
Day 237 25/7. Chitengo Camp, Gorongosa NP, Mozambique
18°58.01'S 34°21.07'E. Miles today 21, Total 22512
mud bath water buckHurrah, it's Rob's birthday today. Welcome to my world, Grandpa! So, decided to stay another night in this peaceful spot and continue our quest for the elusive lions but our tranquillity was soon disrupted by the arrival of not one but two overland trucks, packed to the brim. Hmmm….60 people, three toilets, three showers. Now there's a challenge. Our waterbuck, warthog and baboon count has reached astronomical proportions but sadly much to the calls of "Here kitty kitty," our big cat count still amounted to zero.
Day 238 26/7. Casa Msika, Lake Chicamba, Mozambique
19°02.25'S 33°03.99'E. Miles today 115, Total 22327
Heading for Zimbabwe next, so after a bit of panic buying at the Shoprite in Chimoio, we just covered some miles today and stopped at the Msika Campsite on the dam. Chilled out for the afternoon, did some laundry (yawn!) followed by a rather grim dinner in their restaurant of steak, egg and chips in the dark. Something about the battery (?) for the generator being dead!
Day 239 27/7. Mozambique - Zimbabwe border
19°00.37'S 32°43.03'E. Miles today ?, Total ???
Drove towards Zimbabwe after much, "Are you sure, are you mad? Are you guys aware of the situation there right now? The countries is in economic meltdown, man." Oh well, let's go see for ourselves Still had a fair bit of Mozambican meticais left so decided to drive back to Chimoio and spend it with a few extra food basics and fuel. While in the endless queue for diesel, a dude offered to change some money into Zim dollars for us. We had absolutely no idea of the rate but figured it was only €10 so not the end of the world if it was a disaster. We got 125 000 for 1 dollar. Damn these zeros! Who knows? Absolutely no problems leaving the Mozambican side and so we approached the Zim border. Armed with full fuel tanks, heaps of food, a Lonely Planet from five years ago and a sense of humour, what could possibly go wrong?
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