Dec 9th ; It is with great regret we packed everything into the car and left today. But Tim arrives on 11th and we have got to get to Inhambane to sort out where to stay.
The drive was back onto badly filled potholed tar for a bit before the road imporved.
In no time we arrived, and went looking for a bank to change money.
Thinking Barcleys would be the answer we went in to see. They showed exchange rates on the wall, this was a good start, but no they did not exchange money.
I walked down the road to a BCI bank, to try there. They were more that happy to exchange Euros for local currency.
A very kind man behind the desk, gave me the forms I needed, talked me through filling them in and then told me to go the counter.
I had worked out roughly what we should get, after taking off the commision and taking into account a poor exchange rate. When I was handed more than I had expected, it was a very plesent suprise!!
The BCI offered a better exchange rate that Barcleys and did not charge a commision - result!!!!
After driving around a bit and finding the airport, we drove out towards Tofu Beach.
Tofu was a realy shock to the system!! We were both expecting a quiet, secluded village but instead were greated with a heaving mass of GP plates and big boys toys!!
A bit dissapointed, Patrick thought we would try the next beach along to see if it was any better.
Tofinhu beach was queiter, but only because there was no way to get to the beach without a hike over sadndunes!!
We found somewhere to camp for the next 2 night and went for a walk.
There is a lot of building being done here.
GP and ND plates are invaiding and buying all of the land to build big holiday houses on!! I have to say that some of these places are very very nice houses!
Dec 10th ; Patrick wanted to go for a drive to try a find somewhere for tomorrow and friday night, where Tim could relax after working his arse off for far to long in Pretoria!!
We found some very nice places, with big price tags!!
On the way back from one such resort, we drove towards some boys, who were loithering on the side of the road. Nothing out of the ordinary, but as we got closer one of them bent down and picked up a stone.
I saw him do this and said "don't you dare..."
Well he dared, but was not expecting the reaction it got.
Patrick slammed on brakes, and whilst the car was still skidding to a stop, he slammed her into reverse and flew back up the road towards the boys.
As soon as the car started to move back, they scarpered in every direction.
Before I knew what was happening Patrick was out of the car like a sprinter off of the block and running across the village, through their veg patches, between huts and herds of goats, after the boy who threw the stone!!!
Never in my life have I seen someone move so fast!! Patrick morphed into an Olympic sprinter, the boy did not stand a chance of getting away!!
I stayed with the car, checked for damaged and waited for Patrick to return.
When he got back he looked very pleased with himself as he told me what happened.
One of the teenage boys in the village had grabbed hold of the offernding boy as he ran past him and held him whilst Patrick moved in for the kill. He had not touched him or shouted at him but calmy said
"Do not throw stones at my car, or you will catch a crack. And next time you throw stones, you might get shot for it"
Patrick does not think the kid will be throwing stones at car again for a while because as he was walking off the village elders were shoutung at the boy!!
The rest of the drive back to Tofu was uneventful.
After some lunch, we went to have a look aorund the Curios market on the beach front. The prices they wanted for things was stupid!!!!
In the end we swapped 2 pairs of broken shorts and 2 pairs of old knackered shoes for 2 pairs of trousers and a bag.
Both parties happy with the exchange, we went our seperate ways.
We found the perfect spot - Whitesands. It is out on the tip of a panninsula and only accesable at low tide. At high tide the area is surrounded on 3 side by the sea, which floods a sparse mangroove bay - perfect for fishing.
They have closed their camping facilities, but affered us a chalet for the same price as camping - SOLD!!!!
Tonight I am looking forward to having anything BUT seafood for dinner!!! Everynight we have been in Mozambique we have had seafood for dinner. It will be nice to have something different because, I know that Tim is going to want to fill up on seafood when he arrives tomorrow!!
Dec 11th ; I woke well before Patrick and could not get back to sleep. I was not too pleased wehn I found out it was only 5am!!
This meant that I had 6 hours to kill before Tim was due to land!!!
Going as slowly as poss, we repacked the car, showered, paid the bill and hung around in the lounge area. Now it was 9am!! Great, now what.
Patrick could not sit doing nothing any more so we left and drove into Inhambane to see if the central market was open.
I happy wandering around looking at the curios, talking to stall-holders and generally killing time, until Patrick says "we have to leave now, they are cutting aspestos sheets". I turn around to see 3 people sat on the floor in the middle of the market, cutting the sheets of aspestos to make a roof!!
Running out asap, Patrick thought it would be safer if we went straight to the ariport and waited there.
Well it was not much of an airport!! There were 2 rooms, the first was checkin and customs, the second was arrivals, departures and immigration!
Tim was the first one off of the plane, and like a Greyhound out of a trap, across the landstrip and stamped in before anyone else had got off of the plane!!!
Safely in the car, we drove out to Whitesands to check in for the next 2 days. When we arrived we were told that the bos had just left to go into town and would be back later! So back into the car and off toTofu to get some lunch and find fresh seafood for dinner.
The catch for the day had not arrived yet, but as we were pulling out ot leave, Patrick was apprached by a man wth a cooler box offering prawns. Patrick started to talk to him about price, when Tim said something from the back of the car, suddenly the man ran around to Tim's side of the car to show him the prawns.
Well, Tim was off, joking, barganing and finnaly got a lot better price for them then Patrick had been offered!!
With 2kg of prawns safely stashed in the fridge we made our way back to Whitesands.
The tide was on its way in very quickly so we had to skirt around rapidly forming pools, extreamly soft sand and mangrooves to get there again.
Luckly the boss was there when we arrived. She gave us a nice chalet with over looks the bay.
With the tide coming in both Tim and Patrick were keen to get the fishing gear out and try their luck. So within 20 mins of arriving they were smothered in sunblock, hats on and walking off to the point ready to fish until the dropped!
After moving the carnage that was left behind, into the chalet, I meandered down to the point to see how they were getting on.
All I could see was the heads and shoulders above the water and 2 fly rods whipping back and forward with much determination!
2 fishless, but very happy men came back, some time later, soaking wet and covered in sand!
Between the 3 of us we russled up a mean prawn curry for dinner, which we all snivled and snotted over as we ate!!
After making a huge mess, but having had a good feed, it was off to bed.
Sunset over the bay
You can just see the 2 of them fishing
Dec 13th ; We were all woke early, but knew we did not have to out of the chalet until 10 - that was still a good 5 hours away!!
After watching a DVD, we slowly had breakfast and started to repack the car. It is amazing how much stuff we had moved out of the car into the chalet!!
Car packed, we returned the key and took a slow drive to Barra Reef - the next campsite we had looked at yesterday.
When we arrived the chap we had spoken to yesterday, Mario, was running around like a headless chicken! He asked us to wait in the bar for him and he would come and see to asap.
Just as Patrick was about to leave, Mario comes hurtling around the corner, asks us to meet him at reception with a passport.
Forms all filled in and payment made, we left Mario in peace to have his breakdown before all of the expected guests arrived later today!!!
I thought it would be a good idea to go into Inhambane to get some supplies for the next few days.
We went into the central market to see what we could get. We found everything, but the stall holders wound not lower thier prices for the fresh veggies - this has got to be the first african market I have ever been to where the prices are not negotiable!!
Just as we were leaving Patrick noticed some more stalls outside, where there were no tourists. We made a beeline for them and were able to negotiate a better price for the veggies.
Everything bought and in the car, we went into Tofu to see a man about some Crays for dinner.
Dinner securly locked on the fridge, we returned to Barra, to plan the attack on the Crays!!
In the end it was decided to boil them and serve them with a "veggie rice thing".
After a very very good dinner, we all climbing into our tents and tried to sllep whist the wind whipped around us like a hurricane!!!
Dec 12th ; We all woke early after a very good nights sleep.
All we had to do today was get into town around 1pm, to get some freah fish to dinner - what a stressful day we had a head of us!!!
Patrick and Tim went for a walk down to the water, when one of the dows came in, to see if they could get any fish. They returned empty-handed about 2 hours later.
After talking rubbish for a bit, we decided to take a slow drive into Tofu. The fish had not arrived yet so we went out to Bamboozies Backpackers for a snack, then went back tot eh market.
Patrick saw some big fish had arrived, but they looked too big for the 3 of us. After some negotiating, we walked away with 2 fillets form a 6kg barracoda - enough fish for 2 dinners!! As we walked away we were offered Crays, tempted, but in possesion of a small whale, we agreed to go back tomorrow and get soem Crays.
It was getting lat ein the afternoon by now, and time to think about getting back to the chalet to cook dinner.
We has all forgetten about the small fact that at high tide you could not cross the open mangrooves to get to Whitesands. By the time we got to the crossing, the tide was almost at its fullest!!!!
We turned around, and went to look to see if there was anywhere alone the strip of lodges who offered camping for the next 2 nights. Patrick thought the Dive Centre should have camping so we went in, sussed out the place and arranged to go back the next day.
It was suggested that we have a drink and wait for the tide to reciede enough for us to cross.
After waiting for nearly 2 hours, enough was enough, it was now or never!!
The water had go out a small amount but not much. Patrick got out of the car and walked across to see how deep it was etc.
He came back with a very worried loook on his face but said that it looks like someone has already gone across since high tide, so we weere going!!
With my heart in my throat, we plunged into the clear salt waters and weaved our way around the maze of mangrooves towards the other side.
After what felt like hours, but was only 5 mins, we were pulling into Whitesands, all in one piece!!!
Dec 14th ; After a suprisingly good night sleep, we were all awake in time to see the sun rise.
Most of the day was spent sitting around chatting, reading and people watching.
Patrick spent a lot of time walking to and from the beach in the vain hope the wind would blow today. By the time 5.30pm came and went there was still not enough wind to go out, so Patrick put all of the gear away.
Within 10 mins of it all going back into the car, the wind was pumping!!!
Murphey's Law at its best!!
Dec 15th ; We packed up and moved south today. Patrick had been looking at places to stay and had found somewhere on at the mouth of the Limpopo River which offered camping, and was supposed to haev a very good fishing spot.
After leaving Barra Reef in the blistering heat it was a pleasure to head south and into some overcast weather.
The roads were not too bad, but Patrick had found out that as soon as we left the tar to get down to the river mouth the road fell to pieces.
With the turning loaming all 3 of us were not looking forward to the rough dirt road in the rain! With dread inbuilding we turned off of the tar and onto the dirt. It did not take long to realise that the road had just been graded and was a nice smooth road!!
The good dirt road carried on until 500m from Zongone Lodge, where it turned into soft sand. After as short battle with soft sand we arrived at reception.
WOW this was heck of a smart reception!!! The board outside sais that it was a 4* Lodge - things were looking good!!
We spoke to the staff and booked in for 2 nights camping. The pitch we had been allicated was a large shaded pitch with an electric point, light and a sink near by. The abliution block was spotless and close to the pitch!
We had struck gold - everything was perfect apart from the weather.
During the course of the day it had turned from perfectly clear blue sky and sunshine, to dark overcast cold and raining!! It was worse that being in the UK!!!
During a brief interlude in the rain, Tim ran off to the beach to try and fly fish. Patrick and I went to the beach bar for a drink, then Patrick followed Tim down, whilst I stayed in the bar and read my book.
They came back after about 10 mins, looking very cold and wet!! Patrick said that he was going into town to get some drinks because the ones in the bar were far too expensive. So off went Patrick and Tim, whilst I sat in the warmth of the bar reading my book.
After a good 2 hours, they still had not returned, I was starting to get worried because the weather had drawn in and it was now worse that the UK!!!!
As I got up to find then Tim came into the bar. They had had to go all the way back into Xai-Xai to get the drinks.
After cooking dinner as quick as we could, was crawling into bed, hoping the weather would clear over night.