Dec 2nd ; We both had the best nights sleep in a very long time last night!!!
I woke up full of the joys of spring, keen for a shower and to hit the road - one problem, I couldn't find the wash bag!!!
After much panicing, I realised we had left it in room 5!!! When we arrived last night we were put into room 5, but the air-con did not work so Patrick asked to be moved. We thought we had moved everything, but obviously not!!!
One slight problem - Patrick and I do not know any Portugese and the man on reception knows no English.
It turned into a 45min saga, trying to find the manager, to find 'the boss', to unlock the the key cupboard, to get the key, to unlock room 5, to get the wash bag so I can shower!!!
Eventually we got the bag, showered and were off to Quelimana to change money. From Quelimana, Patrick wanted to chase the wind to Zalala beach.
Arriving at Quelimana, Patrick developed a cheshire cat grin from ear to ear - it took all of 2 seconds for me to realise that the wind was pumping through the town!!!
We found a Money Exchange (Patrick is telling me it should be called a Forex, even though it was not a forex bureau, just because it changes money and even though the sign on the door says Money Exchange!!!)
Anyway, we changed the last of our US$ and were off to find the wind.
The road to Zalala was a pleasent suprise. We were both expecting a sand road, but were met by a semi-decent single lane tar road!!!
Gerty thought it was a bad road too and told us it would take 2 hours to drive 30km's! Well much to Patrick pleasure, for the first time EVERY we proved Gerty wrong!!
Now this might not sound like much to none overlanders, BUT when she has been right about sooooo much over the last few months it is great to prove her wrong!!
The wind was howling when we arrived. I have never seen Ptrick move so fast in my life as I did when he was getting his stuff ready today!!!
He got going and was out on the water for just over 2 hours before the wind started to drop off, and he came back in.
I now have an exceedingly happy young man!! This is the first time since we left the UK (in Jan!!!) that he has been able to get going and have fun!!!!!
Patrick's brother Tim, is coming out to join us for the drive through to SA. Patrick spoke to him this afternoon and made arrangements to collect him from Inhambane on the 11th.
We have got 9 days to get there!
Dec 3rd ; Patrick wanted to get to Chitenga Lodge, which is just outside Gorongosa National Park.
He had been reading up on the park yesterday and it was supposed to be closed from Dec - April, because of the rain, but the Lodge was outside of the park so we should still be able to stay there.
There is a river crossing on the way down, and everything we had read sadi that it was a ferry, but a bridge was due to be completed in Dec 2006. Hoping for a bridge, we made our way to Caia to see what was going on.
As we pulled towards the crossing it became very clear that there still was not a bridge!!
In a panoc we pulled out the books again ot see how much the ferry was going to cost us - we were held hostage on a boat in Mali until we paid a stupid amount, so now we are a bit wary!!!
With the price found, I also found out that the ferry does not run between 12 and 1 - it was now 11.40!! The last thing we wanted was to be stuck next to the river for the next hour with the millions of touts and beggers that seem to appear when ever a white person is noticed!!!!!
After much thumb crossing, the ferry left the port on the other side and came towards us.
As soon as it was empty we were ushered on and were off across the river.
The rest of the drive to the National Park turn off was on good tar, so eventually the car had its calming efect on me and I was out cold!!!!!
I was awoken abruptly when we turned off of the tar onto the dirt raod towards the park.
All was going well until a gate loomed up infront of us.
All of the books were wrong, the Chintenga Lodge was inside of the park!!
So started a quick debate as to whether we pay the fees and go in, or move on to somewhere else. Eventually Patrick caved in, paid the fees and we were off into the park to find the lodge.
I so glad we went in, the Lodge was beautiful! The campsite was spotless clean, as were the toilets and showers.
After setting up camp and arranging for a self-drive game drive in the morning, we went to the restaurant to see what sort of prices they would charge for dinner - not too bad so we ordered.
Dec 4th ; The gate to the park opened at 6am, but both of us were awake at 4.45!!
Everything was packed away and we were chomping at the bit infront of the gate well before 6. The ranger let us in and the game hunt began.
Both of us were very suprised at the size of the herds of Waterbuck and Warthogs! There was hunderds of them, everywhere!
We took a random route around the park, to try and see as much as possible before it got too hot.
We were on the way back to the gate when we drove into 3 lioness's!! There were sat under a tree no more that 20m from the road!! So what does Patrick do, drives right up to them!!! Now there are 3 HUGE lioness's on my side of the car within spitting distance of my window!
WOW, I have never been so close to them before, it was amazing! They just sat and watched us!
After taking some awsome pictures, we crept past them and left them to snooze the day away.
From the Park we wanted to try and get to Inharossa BUT, we had not put diesal in so had to make a stop in Chimoio.
Patrick got out to pay and could hear a hissing noise. Popping the bonnet, the noise got louder! He tracked it down to a hole on the hose coming off of the radiator!!
Great, we obviously could not drive any further today so had to find somewhere in Chimoio.
The hissing car limped into Pink Papaya Backpackers, where she was allowed to cool off whilst I riped the car apart trying to find the spare hose!!
Engine cooled, hose found, Patrick changed the hose and refilled the radiator - it took 7 litres!!!
It is a good job we did not drive any further, we would have killed the car!!
Camping is not allowed here so tonight we are in the "double room" AKA caravan!
Dec 5th ; Considering the noval double room we were in, we both slept very well!!
Patrick was keen to get back ot the coast as soon as poss, so we planned to get to Inhassoro this morning, leaving plenty of time for kiting in the afternoon.
We got there just before 12, and started to look for camping. The only place that offered something was Seat Tourist Complex - the name alone put me off, but we went for a look.
It was a very plesent suprise, new camping sites, most with shade and power points. The toilet blocks were in the process of being re-done so it was a communial block. All seemed OK until Partick asked how much the camping was - it worked out to £5 pppn!!!!!
Both horrified by the price we moved on to the next stop on the map - Vilanculos.
From the books and waypoints we had, the place to stay here was Baobab Beach Backpackers. So after a look around town, we made a bee line for Baobab, as the wind was blowing nicley!
All looked good, the toilet blocks were finished, each pitch had shade, power and a fire pit AND it was cheaper!!
Within minutes of booking in Patrick was ripping the car to pieces to get to the kiting gear and get onto the water.
After launching the kite for him, I did not see Patrick again for a good 2 hours, when a very wet and knackered looking Patrick begrudgingly came out of the water!
The staff had suggested the best place to get freash fish was to go to the beach as the boats come in and pick a fish! So as we say the boats land, we wandered off down the beach to see what there was.
Well there was suddenly thousands of locals coming from every angle swarming the boats - they had claimed all of the fish before we even got to look!!
So we started towards the next boat that was about to land, hoping to have better luck. Well it was not to be, we were swarmed, and too polite to push them out of the way, we were expelled from around the boat and left fishless! Not good, now what were we going to have for dinner?!
Then an idea hit - the market - they must take some of the fish to the market to sell. So off we went hoping that we were right!
After 20mins looking, I was starting to loose the urge to live, when Patrick saw some fish. Trying not to look too interested we meandered over for a look. They were perfect size for the 2 of us. After some barganing Patrick got a 3kg Kingfish for dinner which they gutting for us. On closer inspection it was enough to do 2 dinners!
Back at Baobab, Patrick started a fire, then attacked 1/2 of the fish with various herbs etc, wrapped him in foil and throw him on the griddle to cook.
It was the best fish in a long time!! Fresh from the sea that day, and slow poached over a fire - all helped down with a cold G and T.
Very happy with life Patrick and I took out full bellies to bed to digest.
Well that was our plan anyway. The people at the bar had other plans!! As soon as we had got into bed the music started, not too much of a problem, it was still early.
Early became late, late became midnight, then midnight became early morning!! By 1am I was very grumpy and getting ready to kill someone. By the time 3am came and Bob Marley was still blaring out for the bar, Patrick got out and went to see what the heck was going on.
Patrick came back seething, he had asked of they could turn teh music down as it was 3am, and was told by one of the staff "this is a backpackers, you should have expected it to be noisy on a friday night", well im not sure what Patrick said in reply but within a minute of himn telling me this the music died down and 5 mins later it had stopped!
Problem was, it was now 3.30am and the Cockerels thought it was time to wake up!!
Between us I think we got all of 2 hours sleep!!
Dec 6th ; After the crap night last night, we were packed in record time got the hell out of there!!!!!!!!
The next stop we had planned was in Morrungulo, about 180kms south along the coast.
As Patrick turned the car onto the tar road south, the tar fell apart!! It became badly filled potholled tar for the whole way to the Morringulo turn off!! Not what was needed after the "excellent" night before.
We arrived, shaken, rattled, grumpy and in need of sleep!
Well for once our luck was in and we struck gold with the campsite we limped into.
It is directly on the beach, large trees everywhere provind the most shaded beach we have ever seen, the toilets and showers are exceptionally clean and there are barracas in each pitch. HEAVEN!!!!!
Well not matter how tired Patick was, he could not resit the urge to get onto the water and he was off before I had even got out of the car!!!
I followed him onto the beach to launch the kite and then headed back ot eh car to get the camera.
After another good 2 hours on the water Patrick came back in an exceedingly happy young man!!!
We cooked the other half of the Kingfish and clambered into bed at 7pm!.
Dec 7th ; I woke up well after sun up and Patrick was still comatosed!!
I got up, went to the toilet, came back and he was still out of it. Now for anyone who knows him, this is not normal!
Satisfied that he was still breathing, I settled down in bed again.
I must have gone back to sleep, because my eyes slowly but surely peeled apart agian to let in the bright sunshine which was not turning the tent into a sauna!
Patrick woke at the same time, so we got up and had breakfast.
I had to do some washing so went off to do that. When I got back to the tent, Patrick was nowhere to be seen!
I dont know what made me look in the tent, but there he was fast asleep again!
This is very very abnormal behaviour for Patrick - he is normaly up early and keen to go, in all of the time I have known him, I have never ever known him to go back to bed!!
I left him to sleep but all sorts of things were going through my mind - worries it could be anything from lack of sleep to malaria!!
5 mins later Patrick emerged from the tent. It did not take him long to notice the wind was blowing and he went off to the beach again. So lack of sleep it was!!
Patrick had spoken to Jerry, a local fisherman, and arranged for him to try and get us some Crayfish for dinner. Well much to our pleasure he arrived at the car with Cray's in hand!
Patrick made a sauce then cooked the Cray's over a fire, whilst I cooked rice.
As we sat down to eat I remembered when we left the UK, we had said that the one thing we had to do was have fresh Crayfish for dinner in Mozambique. Well now we were in Mozambique, staying at the best beach camp on the whole trip, eating fresh Crayfish!!
Dec 8th ; Did not get up to much today.
Patrick taught the people in the pitch next to us how to kite surf in the morning before the wind died to nothing.
The afternoon was spent reading and relaxing, knowing that tomorrow we would have to leave this little piece if heaven behind.
Jerry came around to see if we wanted some fish. He offered Jobe fish, and the haggeling over price began.
Jerry filleted, scaled and de-boned the fish for us too - yes I know we were very lazy!!
Patrick grilled 1 of the fillets over the fire and cooked "slap chips" in the potjie, whilst I tried to make mushy peas and tomatoes sauce to go with it.
Well, it did not turn out too bad to tell the truth! The chips were soft and greesey, the fish was amazing, the peas were very good ( PAtrick hated them!!) and the tomatoes sauce was not bad for a first attempt!!
Pleased with our efforts we started the mamouth task of cleaning everything - we must have used nearly every utensil, bowl and pot we own!!!!
The bridge that STILL is not finished!