Oh what a day!!

Trip Start Sep 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of Mozambique  ,
Friday, October 2, 2009

Once again I had to make a move quite quickly as I had to get to Maputo on one of those mini vans but first I had to get to Manzini. Richard brought my waterproof jacket back which was great because it meant that I did not have to meet up with him.

The 2 Irish girls offered to drop me off on their way as they had the day off and were heading off to South Africa. They bought an Old Golf, which probably would not pass its MOT in the UK but it does the job. We stopped on the way to pick up on of their local friend and then they drop me off at a junction so I could catch one of the Chapas driving by. A chapa is a very cheap way to get around, it is basically like a bus, expect that it is a minivan and you have one every 30 seconds. We so should have that in Europe to get to work, it would reduce traffic considerably.

I got had to wait a couple of minutes, under a light rain, because most of them were full and I had 3 different bags. The chapa took me directly to the Mozambique bus stop. For the minivan to Mozambique there's no set time, they wait until it is full and then they go so I had to wait for 1.30 hour before we set off but it was ok as I got to talking with Marek a tchek who is working for Médecin Sans Frontieres in Swaziland and was going to Tofo for the weekend.

I had to go the toilet at one point but the public toilet were a bit off the main street and further away so I decided to do what a lot of locals do, piss on the side of the street. It was fine the first time but the second time a security guard gave me the looks. The last time I ended up going to the public toilet which was fine but I was surprise to see that you had to pay.

Just before setting off, we were approached by a Mozambique guy, Joko, who was telling us a bit about Maputo. He was obviously some sort of tramp but he was quite nice, so when he asked for something, I gave him a coin; he gave me one smaller one back to keep as a souvenir. One of the other tramp just got on the minivan, had a look around and then left - here is a reason to keep an eye on your stuff!

We eventually set off, the minivan was full and I felt a little paranoid as Marek had just explained to me the risk of catching TB in confined places like a minivan. He was also saying that because of his job he was actually not allowed to take this shuttle.

The weather was not great but it got slightly better as we got to Mozambique. The border (172 Rand for the visa) was fine but it took a bit longer for Marek and me so we were the last ones to get back on the bus.

A guy called Nando was speaking to us during the journey and was very helpful once we arrived in Maputo. He helped me get a cab, at the right price, so I could also get some cash out.

Arriving in Maputo was quite an experience, I really got a feel of Africa this time, it was absolutely packed with stalls everywhere, it was pretty manic so it was good to have Nando with us because I would have struggled to find a taxi by myself. They were in such a random place and the minivan had dropped us in the middle of the street.

I arrived at Fatima’s place and there was a strange/sad looking dog at the entrance which kept on coughing - weird!!! The place seemed very quiet and there was a couple (Joel and Hannah) sat in a settee, we said hello and had a joke about the dog but then I had to check in. I had a feeling then that I would get on well with these guys.

Nelson, the young guy working at the reception, showed me my room, I got myself ready and then went to the bar. I had a chat with Nelson about what there is to do in Maputo and various other things, a quick conversation with a guy from the UK and then as Joel came to the bar he invited me to go and sit with them which I did a bit later.

These guys have been on the road for 5 months, they bought a motorbike, started in England, took a ferry to Spain and then rode all the way to Maputo though France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique ... I have certainly missed a few but what a trip!!!! They said they have not had many problems; the only thing really was about bribing officials at the borders, almost everywhere in Africa they were hinted that they had to bribe but fair play to them they managed to almost never do it.

As we were talking, John had caught up with me and arrived in Maputo. I then warned Joel and Hannah that he was ok bit a bit odd sometimes. I ended up going to town for food with John and to be fair he was ok; he actually speak fluent French so we spoke in French.

As we got to the restaurant, the waiter wanted to tell us where to sit but his boss was not happy he did that so he told him off in front of us and told to "please sit where you want!" I had prawns and it was great.

We went back to the Hostel to meet up with Joel and Hannah but also a guy from Zimbabwe who knows Maputo quite well. We all went out to a place called Coco Nuts. It looked really dead when we arrived but we then went to a different room and it was smaller but full of people. We had such a good time, drinking dancing, talking. I think there were about 10 of us in total. At one point, a guy from Israel was dragged out by a local girl taken to the toilet but he got scared of her and ran away to come back and dance with us ... It was pretty funny!

We left the club to go by the beach where we met some young local guys. We had a spliff with them and they were really cool but there was a few tramps hanging around who were a little bit annoying. After we actually ended up going back to the club for about an hour and then headed back to the hostel. After chilling for a bit back at the hostel with John, Gina from Perth and the guy from Zimbabwe, I went to bed around 5 I think.
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alexhuchet on

Re: Disturbia?
Oh yeah .. many shapes :-) ... maybe even a bit of Rythm is a dancer!!!!!

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