July 2012 - The road to Mossuril

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    Default July 2012 - The road to Mossuril

    Saturday, 30 June 2012, 5am, I left my house and again like a year ago I was on my way to Mossuril in Northern Mozambique, hoping that this time I’ll get there. Last year I was driving my now sold 2005 Toyota Prado “vet ses” and this time round I was sitting behind the steering wheel of my 2010 Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6 and the song blaring in my ears as I hit the road north was Joyride by Roxette. Behind my car was my 2002 Brakhah caravan, my mobile holiday home. My travelling companions in my car was my wife Susan and my daughters Bianca and Alicia. Going north with me was Chris du Toit and his wife Poelanie driving a Toyota Landcruiser 100 VX and towing a brand new Conqueror Companion caravan. Braam Olivier and his wife Amelia driving a Toyota Hilux 3LD4D with also a Brakhah caravan in tow made up the rest of our happy little group. Our rendezvous was the Engen one stop just before the Kranskop toll plaza at Modimolle and from there we’ll drive in convoy to Francistown in Botswana where we plan to camp at the Marang hotel. Why Francistown? Chris and Braam fear Beitbridge and Komatipoort at month end and I just think that these two border posts are probably the closest thing on earth representing the entrance to hell. You have been a bad boy ........come and stand in this queue. Seven o’clock I rolled in at the One Stop and 5 minutes later the Du Toit’s pulled in. Everything was off to a great start until Braam phoned round about 7.30am to tell me that he was parked in front of the Toyota dealership in Centurion waiting for them to open. The problem he informed me was that the battery warning light came on just as he got on to the N1 north. After lengthy discussions we decided that Chris and I will continue onwards to Francistown whilst Braam wait for Centurion Toyota to open and to assist him. When we got to Makopane Braam phoned and told me that the alternator said goodbye, but that the dealership will try their best to source an alternator to get him on the joyride to Mossuril. We then carried on driving to Zanzibar border post where we entered Botswana. The time was 12pm and Braam was still sitting in the workshop, but at least an alternator was found and they were about to start with the transplant. It was also at Zanzibar when Chris realised that he had forgotten to bring his blood pressure pills and we decided to put some more pressure on the Olivier’s by informing them that we are relying on them to get the necessary blood pressure medication for Chris. It was three o’clock in the afternoon when we got to Selibe Phikwe and we again made contact with Braam and he told me that he had just left the dealership and that he had collected the blood pressure medication and that Chris can trust him and Amelia to bring it north all the way. Being that late in the afternoon and Francistown about 800km away Braam decided to go via “the entrance of hell” also known as Beitbridge, and stuff month end, and that he will meet us at Norma Jeans the next day, not anything to do with Marilyn, but a nice little overnight venue, just outside Masvingo, close to the ruins and with a lovely view over the old lake Kyle, now lake Muturikwi. Chris and I arrived at the Marang Hotel in Francistown at 4pm and still for me, my preferred overnight stop, on the way somewhere north in Southern Africa. Six pm I phoned Braam, and some more bad news, the main fuse (fuses 7 – 19, page 705, Toyota Hilux owners manual) on his truck went and he is sitting in the workshop of the Toyota Dealership in Louis Trichardt sucking a lollypop. The friendly staff of the dealership were looking for a replacement fuse that is on their system, but after a couple hours they couldn’t find it anywhere in the spare part section, so much for systems. Plan B was to order a new fuse which would have arrived the Tuesday. Plan C was to make a new fuse with wire and a soldering iron. With Mossuril calling Braam went for plan C and at 11 just before midnight the plan came together, the Toyota started and he and his lovely wife went looking for a place to lay down their tired bodies, Amelia slipping off to dreamland with the blood pressure pills under her pillow and Braam having nightmares about entering Zimbabwe through Beitbridge at month end.

    Sunday, 1st of July 2012, the start of second half of the year, Chris and I left Francistown for Matsiloje border post where we entered Zimbabwe. This border post is very quiet and I have used it before. It is a breeze compared to Beitbridge or even Plumtree. From the border post it is about 90km to Plumtree. The first half is a corrugated gravel road and the second stretch is a tar road. From Plumtree we went to Buluwayo and then through Masvingo, past the ruins to our rendezvous with Braam and Amelia at Norma Jean’s. Talking about the great ruins, a very good friend of mine, Christina Ndlovu, told me the other day if I can remember the previous name of her country before they called it Zimbabwe. I said “no”. She then said, it doesn’t matter, because like the ruins it was named after in 1980, it is now a ruin. We had a lovely dinner at the lodge where Braam told us about all his problems and that it can happen to any vehicle, not just Toyota’s. It was also good to hear that his Beitbridge crossing that morning went like a breeze without any hassles and it was good to be together again.

    Monday, the 2nd of July 2012, we got up early and before 7am we were on our way. Early morning following the winding dirt track, to the main tar road, the scenery and landscape along the shore of Lake Muturikwi were inspiring. We joined the A9 (Masvingo – Mutare road) about 30km east of Masvingo, and then it was on to Birchenough Bridge and Mutare. On route there was a lot of roadblocks, most of them we were just waved on, but here and there they wanted to know the purpose of our mission. There was also one or two 1$ tollgates and here please make sure that you have a 1$ note otherwise the note change that they give you will want to make you puke. On arrival in Mutare we filled up with fuel. I still remember the good old days when the black market somewhere around a corner was the only place where you could find fuel in Zimbabwe. Nowadays there are people that think that Zimbabwe is on the road to recovery. It is better but do I want to live there............? After filling up it was on to the border post. The time was 12pm, but luckily, all my previous comings and goings through this border was always a jol, 10 minutes at the longest on both sides. When we stopped at the Zim side it was good to see the sign that they don’t tolerate corruption. Passport control and emigration was very quick but when we stopped at the boom to enter Mozambique two police officers from CID, a man, I didn’t get his name, and a woman called Susan wanted to inspect the vin and engine numbers on our vehicles. The two Toyotas went through like nothing. The man with no name and the lady called Susan took one look at that Land Rover Discovery 4 and asked me to show them the vin and engine number. The vin number was easy but the engine number was nowhere to be seen with the naked eye. When I looked at them I realised that I was not the first Land Rover Disccovery 4 owner looking for the invisible engine number. The man with no name suggested that we consult the vehicle manual to find the engine number. After consulting the book we knew that the engine number is hidden from the naked eye, and that it is somewhere on the engine block. The man with no name then told me in a very unfriendly manner that he wanted to see that number and that I must drive back the 6km to the office of CID in Mutare so that they can strip the engine to find the engine number. I said that I am not going to do that. He said he is not opening the boom. Classical standoff at an African border post. I got Land Rover assist on the line and they explained to the officer without any name the whereabouts of the engine number. That also didn’t help, he still insisted that we must take the engine apart. My darling wife then got involved and started to question the intelligence of Zimbabwean police officers. I realised after more than an hour that we are not going anywhere and then we started to stare at each other. Silence descended and there was nothing left to be said. We just looked at each other for nearly 10 minutes. Braam and Chris phoned from Manica and asked me if I had tried some other ways to get him to open the boom so I took out my wallet and asked him if we can carry on talking about the matter of the missing engine number. He said he is finished talking but perhaps I can talk to his assistant. Luckily she wanted to talk me and indicated that I must follow her into her office. I did, and when the door closed behind us I asked her how much. She said whatever there is in my wallet will be fine. I gave her the R50 in my wallet, went outside, got into my car and the man with no name opened the boom and we were in Mozambique. I was happy to be in Moz but unhappy about the way I had to exit Zim. The time was 2pm and the distance to Caia a very far 500km. We started rolling up the road, Manica, Chimoio and it was 4pm when we entered Inchope. The road was in an excellent condition. We filled up with fuel at the new fuel station that opened up in 2010. From Inchope to Caia it is 300km. Last year and the year before this was an excellent road all the way past the turnoff to Gorongosa National Park, to the town of Gorongosa and all the way to Caia. About 2km outside Inchope we saw the first pothole in the road and then they never stopped, they just got bigger and deeper, all the way to the new bridge over the Zambezi. With the sun dying in the west it got more difficult to see them and we reduced our speed to between 40 and 60km/h. It was just after 9pm when we stopped at Cua Cua lodge. We got greeted like old friends and it gives you a kind of good feeling if people remember you from previous journey’s. We went for a lovely dinner in their restaurant and washed down the piri-piri chicken with some Laurentina’s. We pitched camp roundabout 11pm and it was off to the land beyond the stars.

    Five am, Tuesday, the 3rd of July 2012, and we were ready to rock and roll. Our objective Nampula nearly 800km north from the Zambezi. A thick layer of mist was hanging over the campsite and stayed with us all the way till 20km before Nicuadala. The heavy mist and early morning bad light hampered the speed that we could travel at. Speed again, a very pedestrian 40 – 60km/h and with people walking next to the road, bad potholes, bad visibility and big lumber trucks, anything faster is looking for a disaster. Last year this 200km from Caia to Nicuadala was in excellent condition. I should be able to recall the surface condition from the previous year because in a spate of 12 hours I drove it three times. From Nicuadala we drove on an excellent road all the way past Namacurra to Mocuba where we filled up with fuel. In 2010 it took me 2 hours to drive the 40km from Mocuba to Nampevo. The road that time was horrible and it was pouring with rain and I thought then never again. The first thing I noticed this time when I left Mocuba was the roadwork signs. Construction of the new road is about halfway and the bypasses all the way to Nampevo is in good condition and clearly marked. The time, with a little bit of dust to Nampevo, about 40 minutes. What we could see of the new road, is that it is going to be a pleasure to drive. From Nampevo to Alto Molocue the tar road is in excellent condition. This very good road continues all the way till Murrupula 70km before Nampula. This last 70km was probably built by the old colonial power that controlled the purse strings from Lisboa, it is still in fair to good condition, a little bit narrow, some potholes, and there is signs that somebody, perhaps the Chinese, is going to start work on this section soon. It was 4pm when we entered Nampula, afternoon rush hour, everybody screaming and hooting, chappas or taxi’s on some sort of kamikaze mission and in this hustle and bustle we were looking for the turn of to Montes Naruica campsite to go and enjoy the end of another day of marathon driving. We were lucky, as we enter town, we saw the turnoff to Cuamba and according to my trusted Garmin the campsite was 13km down that road. On arrival we stopped at the restaurant and that is where we found the owner and his wife enjoying a Caipirinha, what a life!. I asked him where is the campsite and he said “Over there”. I asked him what is the condition of the ablutions and he said “ So –so “ . Anyway the campsite is beautiful with a big manmade lake and standing watch over the lake is a big dolomite or granite rock. That night we got send to dreamland by a choir of frogs.

    Wednesday, the 4th of July 2012, independence day, not in Mozambique, but somewhere else, we greeted the sun at 7am. Our destination, the end of the rainbow, Mossuril, about 250km away, a very short day of driving. Why Mossuril? A pot of gold? I don’t know, perhaps it is the way you pronounce the name and the way it rolls over your lips when you say the name Mos – su -ril, anyway most trips is not about the destination but about getting there and getting back. It was early morning when we entered Nampula and the road going in and going out on the other side is a pothole disaster and you must constantly be aware of the other thousand pothole dodgers. Nampula is a city that is on the up. All over there is signs of a city experiencing growing pains. Once we were out of Nampula we were again travelling on an excellent road to Nacala. The first village is the town of Namialo, and then on to Monapo where we turned right towards Ilha de Mozambique. About 50km down this also very good tar road we saw the sign on the right hand side Mossuril. From here it was just a little bit more than 20km to Mossuril on a not to bad gravel road in the dry season. Just before the village is a marshy area and we stopped there to toast our nearly 3000km journey. My friends also drank a toast on me because of the fact that there was no need for me to contact Land Rover Assist. I tried to tell them that they shouldn’t belief that specific bush myth, but they just winked at each other and poured another celebration drink down their throats. The time was just after 12pm. Mossuril is a very quiet, truly African village, forgotten in time and untouched by tourists. There was something unique about this town when I entered it, a sense of genuineness which you don’t find in a lot of places nowadays. Years ago this was the most important town in Northern Mozambique with the capital Ilha de Mozambique 2km away across the Bay of Mossuril. It was in the middle of the day when we drove down the main road with the market place on the right when you enter town. There was no market activity that day, apparently the travelling market comes to town every Saturday. A little bit further down the road, also on the right is the police station. At the roundabout in the middle of the road if you exist left you go to Chocos Mar. We were looking for Sunset Boulevard and it just felt right to exit at 12 o’clock, straight down the road to some sort of square, where we turned left and when we asked in the best Portugese possible we got directed to Sunset Boulevard Hotel about 500m away. Sunset is a comfortable small hotel with a good location and gorgeous surroundings right on the untouched African Riviera. On our arrival we got told to go the residence of Mees van Deth and Lisa de Teran who are the owners of Sunset Boulevard. When we arrived at their house overlooking Mossuril Bay Lisa told us that due to a tropical storm we can’t stay at Sunset and that she made other arrangements so that we can stay at her house. After driving 3000km you don’t argue, you are just happy to have a roof over your head, and anyway for me the house still in the process of being restored looked fabulous. The rest of the afternoon was spent sitting on the veranda drinking gin and tonic and planning the next couple of days.

    Thursday, the 5th of July 2012 we were off to Ilha de Mozambique also called the island of Mozambique. The island is a Unesco world heritage site. Before 1898 the island was the capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa. The island is not very big, about 3km long and 500m wide. Most historical buildings are at the northern side while the majority of the residents life in Makuti town at the southern end of the island. A 3km single lane bridge with places to pass was built in 1960 to connect the island with the mainland. After crossing the bridge you start your journey going back more than 500 years in history. The island was first a Arab port. Vasco da Gama visited in 1498 and because off that visit they made a statue of him and it is standing now in front of the museum. In 1507 the people from Lisbon came and they said that this is now Portuguese territory and they took over the port from the Arabs and they started to built a naval base. In 1522 they built the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte which is believed to be the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere. In the 16th century the Fort of San Sebastian was built. The fort withstood two Dutch attacks in 1607 and 1608 and became a major post for the Portuguese on their trips to India. With the opening of the Suez Canal the island lost its importance and in 1898 the capital was moved to Lourenco Marques, now Maputo. Other interesting buildings on the island is the Palace and Chapel of Sao Paulo, built in 1610 and now a museum. Next door is the Church of the Misericordia which houses the Museum of Sacred Art. A lot of history on such a small island but a man must also eat. There are not that many restaurants on Ilha, with Reliquias and Escondidinho heading the list in Stone Town. We decided that we’ll try Reliquias because the name just sounded as if they are religious about making food. It is a man and wife show, the man a little bit grumpy, but his wife makes up for his grumpiness. The food was delicious and perhaps I’ll drive again 3000km........... if I am hungry. We returned to Mossuril and with the sun going down we were sitting under the trees, in the main street, outside a shebeen, drinking local gin and tonic.

    Friday, the 6th of July 2012 we thought that it will be a good idea to go and have a look at Nacala, the deepest natural port on the east coast of Africa. The town is also known for its beaches and scuba diving. They say that Nacala is the most important growth point in Northern Mozambique mainly due to its busy port and the railway link to Nampula and from there to Malawi. The main street down to the harbour is busy and we heard that they are building a big international airport. That will be good for business. Well we didn’t come to do business, we wanted to experience the nice tourist venues. The only one I know I had to see and experience was Libelula, mainly because of an idyllic picture in Leisure Wheels magazine of people sitting at a table overlooking the bay with the dhow of Kingsley, the bearded one, in the background. The picture looked like my kind of place. It was 11am when I stopped at Libelula, I walked in and I saw that table, I looked out over the bay but the dhow of the great wanderer wasn’t out there. I thought, anyway I am going to sit at that exact table and order an ice cold Dos M, just like the people in the picture. Then out came the manager, a little pommy brat, I didn’t get his name, but when I placed my order for an ice cold Dos M he told me that he cannot serve me that ice cold Dos M, because, should he serve me and my group, any riff raff from the street will pop in also wanting to be served an ice cold Dos M. I was shocked to the tip of my left small toe. I drove 3000km to be a told by a little twat that I am not welcome. Anyway most journey’s have their lows. I left there wondering, why is the world full of assholes? Lisa de Teran, our host, came with us and she was just as shocked by the behaviour of this pompous small little man. He ruined our day because from there we went to a restaurant where a toasted sandwich and the Dos M took hours to arrive at our table. It was 3pm when we finished our food but we still wanted to see the sea of the Nacala area and Lisa then said that one of her friends, a chap with the name Kevin, from Stellenbosch, is busy building a diving lodge called Osimba, not too far from Libelula. To get there we had to cross the runway of the new international airport, drove through three villages, but on arrival it was worth it, what a beautiful spot, and Kevin gave us an ice cold Dos M free. The sun was saying goodbye and the beer tasted good. It was 5pm and beginning to get dark when we went back to Mossuril and the road was dangerous.

    Saturday, the 7th of July 2012, we went shopping and swimming. Every Saturday in Mossuril is market day. The travelling market comes to town and the whole village goes into a shopping frenzy buying products from China to fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. With my wife with me there was no chance to give the market a miss. It was a colourful experience, a little bit different from shopping in Sandton Mall. After shopping, and trying to hide my wallet from my wife and daughters whenever they spotted something nice, we took the road to Chocos Mar, a little seaside village, with 1950 styled flat roofed holiday homes, still in good condition, and now mainly owned by wealthy Indian families from Nampula. This was apparently in the days before 1974 the Plettenberg Bay of Northern Mozambique. There was nobody in the streets except a couple of young boys running next to our cars shouting that they will do anything for us. Some of the houses show signs of revival with new paintwork, but the dirt streets were deserted of any holidaymakers, no noise, no cars, no street cafe’s; no people sitting in bars. In future I think it will see more visitors, perhaps it had started already, we were there. We drove through the town and on to Carrusca, a sea resort with a bar and a restaurant and a couple of cottages. The stretch of coast here has nothing but long thin palm trees slightly bent, water patchworked in patterns of turquoise and faded denim blues with white sand that blinds the eyes if you are caught without your Oakleys. What do you do at Carrusca? Nothing, except long swims in the sea, talking, drinking beer and wine, eating seafood at the restaurant. That is what we did the rest of the day till about 4pm. From here we continue through La Varanda, a private nature reserve, to Coral Lodge, a very ridiculous expensive lodge, at the tip of the peninsula, right opposite Ilha de Mozambique. Here we were welcomed like old friends when they heard that we drove all the way from Johannesburg to come and look at their upmarket lodge, we got shown around and ended up at the bar for a drink or two. Compared to the place where we were refused any refreshments this was really very nice. So much for being called riff raff. Life can change very quickly. I forgot to mention that I stepped onto a sea urchin and had some surgery on the beach to remove the spines and all the poison that goes with it, and that wasn’t very nice to have somebody cutting your feet with a sharp knife. I didn’t scream.

    Sunday, the 8th of July 2012, our last day, I mentioned the name Escondidinho, without any reason or purpose, Chris du Toit heard me, and as he is considered to be a food connoisseur, that was it, we were on our way to Escondidinho, known as the little secret place, on Ilha de Mozambique. Hotel Escondidinho is in a lovely large old building, beautifully restored in typical island style, with a swimming pool in the internal garden. It is in a quiet street right in the middle of the island. There is an excellent restaurant run by a French lady. She does Mozambican and European dishes. We arrived, made ourselves comfortable, paid 100 meticas which entitled us to enjoy the swimming pool. The food was delicious but if it comes down to nominating the best restaurant on the island Reliquias will be my choice. Reflecting about the day, seeing that it was our last day, and it is 3000km from home I now know that we should had spend the day at Carrusca. Those white sandy beaches for miles and miles and the different shades of blue water will perhaps be the reason that I will find myself reeling in the road north of the Zambezi again, going to one of the most beautiful places where the ocean meets the land.

    Monday, the 9th of July 2012, we started going down south. Our objective Montes Naruica, just outside Nampula. We arrived early and again we found the owner/farmer and his wife sitting drinking Caipirinha. I asked him again " where is the campsite " and he again said " over there " and also again about the state of the ablutions in the campsite and he said again “ so so ”. That answers did it for me and I ordered Caipirinha for all of us. It was dark when we eventually entered and settled in the campsite. That night the frogs again sang us to sleep.

    Tuesday, the 10th of July 2012, we continued going south. We left Nampula exactly 7am and 4pm we arrived at Cua-Cua lodge, Caia. I thought that because Mozambique is one of the fastest growing economies in the world that they would have finished the road works just north of Mocuba. Great was my surprise that the condition of the road was unchanged from the previous week. However, I am quite sure that the said section of the road will be finished before the start of the year 2013. That night we waited for management of the lodge to came by and award each one of us with tourist long distance miler certificate. By 10pm there was still no sign of anybody at our certificate ceremony and by 10pm with no more Johnny Walker black left in the bottle we hit the sack.

    Wednesday, the 11th of July 2012, we got up just before the sun and again like every other time, that I stayed here, there was a thick layer of mist. We were going to go about 800 km south to Inhassoro. We left when the sun gave birth to another day. The first 100 km went very slow mainly due to bad visibility because of the mist and potholes and craters in the road. If nothing is done to repair the 300km between Inchope and Caia it will become a 10 hour or more drive. Should you decide to go to Gorongosa National Park watch out for the monster potholes. From Inchope we continued south on the A1 driving through Muxungue, the pineapple capital of the world, just pineapples and pineapple traders. The person that buys a pineapple here first will always hit the top of the pineapple market in this town. The sellers will very quickly start to offer their pineapples down. I watched them, it is mostly children pineapple traders involved and I think and hope that for the future of Mozambique at least some of them can learn an essential ingredient of motivation in our so called white monopoly capital society: greed, but that kind of greed that will benefit humanity. We continued going south. We crossed the Rio Save and from here the road is also going back to the condition it was before 2009. The potholes that they fixed from 2009 are again coming alive and they are giving life to new ones as well. Go slow or break something. We arrived again in Inhassoro sometime in the afternoon and I must say one of my favourite places. We camped at the Seta hotel and we were alone. No messy ablutions, the stuff dreams are made off when you camp.

    Thursday, the 12th of July 2012, we did not go south, we went nowhere, we decided to be lazy and do what people do when they are at the seaside. We slept late, got up at 6.30am, made breakfast, put on our swimming outfits, covered ourselves with Nivea sun spray and hit the beach till it was time for lunch. Lunch was prawns, patata fritas and Dos M. After lunch we decided to go and revisit Bartholomew Dias point. To get there you drive from Inhassoro on the beach going north for about 30km. We did the drive a couple of years ago. I did it that time in my Defender Td5 and this time I was going to do it in my wife’s Discovery 4. Just this time I never got there, because the moment I hit the soft sand on my way to the water edge where the sand is more compact I got stuck. Chris and Braam wet themselves, my wife heard some stories which are all true about the sea taking cars and she lost her head completely because the man that she married 27 years ago is a moron. With my wife going off the rockers I asked some locals to give me a push so that I can get to there, where the sand meets the sea. Not wanting to stress my wife and children any further I decided to get off the beach and go and relax at the campsite. I did try to explain to my companions about tyre pressures but to no avail. What upset me about this humiliating event was the sniggering behind my back by the two Toyota drivers. I hope that they didn’t take any photographs because if they did ..................

    Friday, the 13th of July2012, round about 5am the wind woke my wife and I and we smelled rain. It was one, two three and we were ready to go. My Toyota friends were a little bit slow and then the rain came down. Well perhaps, so I was thinking, that it was justice in a way for insulting my wife’s beloved Land Rover. We left Inhassoro, and the sun was shining again and there was a rainbow without a pot of gold at its end. Our plan was to sleep our last night in Mozambique at Zongoene Lodge about 20 km south of Xai – Xai as the crow flies. We had a hassle free drive all the way until just before Xai – Xai, an area well known for rogue traffic officers. We entered a 60km/h zone, I was in front behind another South African vehicle driving just below 60km/h, Braam behind me and Chis at the rear. That is the way we normally drive, Land Rover followed by Toyotas. Then a traffic officer ran into the road indicating that we must pull off the road. The vehicle in front of me pulled over, but me and Braam carried on merrily ignoring the officer. Chris du Toit obeyed and pulled off. The traffic officer approached Chris’s vehicle first and told him that he was trapped doing 97km/h and that the fine is 4000 meticas and that he want to see his driving licence. Chris told the highwayman that it was impossible and that he wanted to see the reading. The officer then said to Chris that he lost the reading on his machine and then asked Chris how fast he think he was going. Chris said he think he was doing about 70km/h and the officer thanked him for the information and informed him that the fine is now going to be 2000 meticas. Chris then just said goodbye to the officer and drove off. Sometimes it is good not to think or when you think don't share what you are thinking. We carried on through Xai – Xai to the turnoff to Zongoene lodge. The Lodge is about 40km from the main road. The road is a nice gravel road. We arrived at the lodge with about an hour of daylight left to explore. The journey of the Limpopo river to the sea ends here.

    Saturday, the 14th of July 2012, we left after breakfast at the lodge. We drove to Macia, turned right and then all the way to Chokwe, continued to Massingir, through Parque Nacional do Limpopo, looked for animals, saw nothing except two legged ones called humans. Giryondo border post was a pleasure both sides. Driving through the Kruger to Mopanie where we had to book in for our one night stay in Tsendze camp made you realise that South Africa is the lighthouse for this whole continent. If we fail, the rest of this sad dark continent are doomed for a long, long time. No amount of money will save us or them.

    Sunday, the 15th July 2012, we drove home to Gauteng. Driving back to my house I was wondering why I was so enthusiastic to go and visit the Bay of Mossuril. Three thousand km from Jozi. Perhaps I was curious about the place or perhaps I thought that it will be good for the soul. Perhaps I went there so that my wife and two daughters will think of me as the man who had taken them to view the Bay of Mossuril. Perhaps it made me happy. Travelling or driving long distances can be brutal. You have to trust strangers, you are away from your home and your friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours, except the essential things like your car, your trailer, your suitcase, the air, the sky, the road, the sea, sleep, dreams,......... things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it. I think I am suffering from wandering fever?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Great trip report.
    I have traveled to Mozambique quite a few times and the reason I have not been dissapointed is that my expectations are always very low. It is after all Africa, not glamourous as the brochures depict but dirty, dark and dangerous. I have also found that the worst people are the expat types that think they are local and that this gives them the right to rip tourists/travelers off. So, do your homework, always smile at the local police and never expect much when traveling in Africa. Also give that South African lodge supervisor lip when needed. They are not the big shots they make out to be.
    2006 ISUZU D-Max DC 4x4 OME Shocks

    1998 Discovery County V8i, 3DA1CF

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