“If you do not travel, you will marry your own sister.”
No one told me how scary a 70 year old Italian woman could be until she came up my stairs, wielding a carving knife saying: “Annieeeee… I watching joooo!”
Seriously though, I got to Maputo after another minibus-local-experience-busride. They are hyped, people. I’m thoroughly tired of them and from now on I’ll grab a flight every-f**king-where, so I’ll probably be home in about two months, penniless. Good times.
I checked in to the Southern Sun hotel, a REALLY posh place, way out of my normal budget, but hey, it’s in the safari price so whatever. Got a room with a TV (with ENGLISH-SPEAKING movies), a really awesome shower (I went in fully clothed, because laundry), a severly comfy bed and excellent room service. I already paid way too much for the room and safari so I decided to order room service too. Logic!
The very next day I met my group. I was put on a Nomad Tour again because I booked with African Budget Safaris and they use several providers so you never know who you’re gonna get. This one had a three person staff, a driver and main guide, a chef and a German translator. The group was slightly bigger than last time, we were 11 people altogether, but luckily it took us no time at all to get along.
We started out with a guided walk of Maputo where the highlight was seeing three different wedding parties in the botanical gardens. So much colour, singing, dancing and impressions. I got a bit swept up and ended up videoing everything while talking to one bride’s father, struggling along in a mixture of Portuguese (which I don’t speak), English (of which he spoke extremely little) and hand gestures. It was a fun conversation and heart-warming… He was so proud of his daughter, bless him ❤ (at least that was my impression, he might have been trying to sell me a goat or something).
The next morning we headed towards Inhambane to enjoy some beaches, snorkelling and sun. Basically the plan for the whole trip, really…
On the way there we stopped at a very local store and picked up some supplies. Dat ZIP-cola… Mmmm… O.o
Now, I learn from my mistakes. And sometimes I learn from stuff that’s not mistakes. Cause I’m smart like that. So this tour I went with the ACOMMODATED option. No pitching of those freakishly heavy tents, no freezing my ass off because all I have is a fleece bag, no wondering what that sound right outside the canvas is becausewhyaretherewildthingsinAfrica?! I decided to do it one better than Anita, so I opted out of finding a scorpion in my underwear bag too. Like a pro.
(Seriously though, the camping on my Vic Falls to Cape Town trip was fun. This is called sarcasm/irony/humour, guys. It’s an integral part of my personality) 😉
So, back to the paradise that is Mozambique. In Inhambane we stayed at a resort (of sorts) close to Barra Beach. That meant tanning, swimming, eating lush, local food and hanging out with good people. Here, I can prove it:
And, by the way: Someone really needs to look at where they’re hanging their mirrors. SHORT PEOPLE DISCRIMINATION!!!1
On day two most of us went out in a rubber boat to see what we could find in the nearby area. We managed to see three whales in what looked to be a family holiday, going some place at a leisurely speed before we tried to spot the dolphins that were in the vicinity, and then we set course for a place there is usually whale sharks. Snorkeling to see whale sharks has been at the top of my list for a good many years now so I was excited enough to grab a snorkel and some fins and pretend I knew what I was doing.
Turns out I didn’t have to do much (which is good because the minute I hit the water I swallowed a gallon of sea water and after that a wave hit my snorkel so I couldn’t breathe… Well done).
The whale shark played nice though, he was setting a record for leisure and looked as though he was standing still (I’m calling him Herbert). It was a magnificent sight. I paddled awkwardly over to my group hoping to see something, anything, and there he was, right in front of me, a big old fish. I stayed rooted to the spot (well, not really, as I was in the ocean), but I just forgot everything else and took it all in. Bobbing up and down with the waves breathing in my snorkel for what seemed to be minutes, but was probably seconds. I still have the pictures of Herbert on my phone… One of the best experiences of this trip.
On our way to Vilanculos we were dropped off in Inhambane for a “self guided walk” which meant we just wandered about on our own. I have to admit I was kind of expecting to at least receive a sheet of paper outlining what there was to see there or something like that, but no such luck. So we just roamed a bit, went to the market, didn’t see anything we liked so we went to the grocery store to buy some sodas and toothpaste and then proceeded back to the truck a bit disappointed. We all decided we wanted to do the “traditional Dhow trip” across to where we were going rather than sit in the truck and to be fair our guide -did- say it wasn’t worth it because there was always too many people on those boats and none of his clients had ever liked it, but we went for it anyway. Turns out it was a very “modern dhow”, it looked nothing like the original dhows and we all agreed Nomad needed to update their sales pitch 😛 It was also so crowded it was downright unsafe so we got our own boat and went across in that instead.
Our last point on the agenda was the excursion to Bazaruto Island. A full day trip out on the boat, snorkeling and enjoying the scenery, culminating in a walk up the sand dunes of the island and a lovely lunch when we got down on the other side. We stayed at the resort close to the tour company and this is where I shared an apartment with the two lovely Italians Antonia and Renzo, and where Antonia came up the stairs grinning brandishing the knife in her hand saying “Anniiiiiee, I watching joooo!” – I lost it, I have to admit… She cracks me up. She also had the most adorable reaction when she saw a pack of spaghetti that said “Boil 8-10 minutes”. She was like: “Nooooo… Fiveh minottses…” ;-D I said “al dente” and she exclaimed “Esatto!“. We bonded. It was beautiful.
At the resort place I actually got up to watch the sunRISE as well. I was very proud. Achievement unlocked. Never doing that again. No need to be ridiculous.
And just like that it was time to return. It was a really long drive back to Maputo, but we saw a lot of the countryside (including chickens being transported in plastic bags with their heads sticking out the bottom) and managed to play some cards in the back of the truck. I’d like to thank Kerry for that card game that nearly killed us all in the Battle of the Matches ;-D
We were dropped off back at the Southern Sun where I enjoyed a lovely dinner with Elena and Ivan before soaking in my own private bubble bath while watching “The Fugitive” on TV. I can’t even begin to tell you how enjoyable that was ❤
As an added bonus, Leonoor reminded me that I forgot the best song ever made. Thank you, Leonoor and Roald, for enriching my life with this lyrical gem ❤