Ilha de Mocambique
Trip Start May 06, 2007
1Trip End Aug 30, 2007
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Once we arrived we found a great little pensao with the help of our new guide Jamal, a spunky 15-year old with Casanova-esque aspirations. (He informed us he already spoke five languages thanks to having many foreign girlfriends!) He ended up showing us all over the island, showing us a great place to have some fresh fish from the market cooked local-style, and making sure we got home safe at night. We walked the island up and down and across in one day, it's quite small, though it is eery and beautiful enough you could spend a lot more time. Our first night we ate at the oldest restaurant on the island (which can certainly be skipped - El Reliquio); the second night Jamal's friend who runs a local tavern prepared some fresh fish and calamari we brought her from the market which was awesome and in total only about $12 for three people including a beer (one 2M is enough for two women our size!) and a soda for Jamal.
Most of the buildings on Ilha are colonial structures that are totally run down and being squatted by locals. Many other locals have settled on the part of the island nearest the cemetery in what might be called a slum. It is an absolutely unique place and worth the several-day trek from the western side of the country! The governor's mansion is by far the best-kept structure on the island and houses a small museum containing furniture and housewares collected over the years by the various governors, many from Goa and China. On the square in front of the villa were a group of men watching the fastest bao game I have ever seen played--if I figure out how to load video here I will post it, it's almost unbelievable they can move the pebbles that fast.
I would write more but I want to see how this all turns out first. Next will be Pemba and Ibo island!