Monday, October 16, 2006

Vilanculos (Day 1, 2 and 3) and Maputo (day 1)

We began the long drive north to vilanculos, more potholes, more bumpy terrain, more blistering heat

((look at my sunburt nose! that's thanks to the malaria drugs that make you more sensitive to sun!))

we drove through loads of remote roads where on the edge in the middle of nowhere you'd find ladies selling pretty much any kind of fruit or vegetable you wanted.

((one of the german girls tried to carry on her head, and failed pretty soon after.. those things are soooo heavy))

We stopped to have lunch in the middle of nowhere, where amazingly a few locals came out to stare at us and hope for food handouts.

I noticed the transport system here is infinitely different (maybe for the better)

(yes those really are goats on the roof of that truck)

and finally we arrived in Vilanculos. Set up camp, and I went to find the internet cafe to notify people back home about my phone being stolen back in Tofo.. this was the view from the internet cafe..

It seemed like they started construction, ran out of money, or wood, or whatever, and just left it there as it was.

The next morning we took a Dohwl (ancient sailboat) over the Bazaruto Islands to go snorkelling..

this was the view as we left the land and set off to find the island

Our boat was just like this one, which was on its way back, or forth, or not moving much at all really..

our mast:

Eventually we saw land in the distance, though the water was perfectly peaceful and that clicheed turquoise colour everyone always hears about from other people's holidays but never sees for themselves..

the men who were maning the boat also offered us tea and coffee, as they did all their cooking in the center of the small boat in a pit of sorts..

One of the sailors, who also cooked the amazing lunch we had. They began cooking when we set off, so lunch would be ready after a bit of snorkelling on the island. Lunch was fish and calamari

the sailor preparing the calamari

we weren't completely alone in the waters, though the company of the few boats we passed was pleasant and short lived..

when we reached shore we all got our snorkelling gear on and headed for the reef on the coast, letting the current take us back towards the boat. I took lots of photos of the fish with an underwater camera, but since its not digital and i havent had them developed yet, I also took some from above water..

there were tons of different fish about, and after we finished eating we gave them the scraps, which were devoured instantly.

Our boat and its crew..

the reef coast..

Since we had used the little motor to get to the island, we sailed back with the strong winds..

one of the crew preparing to set sail..

our sails..

and its been a while since i threw in a stupid picture.. so voila.. captain!

the crew made popcorn for the ride home.. though me and the bosnian lady were the only two who really appreciated it.

As soon as we docked I had to rush, as I had a scuba lesson right after. I did the "resort course" which involves a couple hours theory and pool instruction, then one dive the next day. I did the pool lesson one on one with the instructor, and got back by sundown. The next day we were meant to dive early in the morning, but the water was too fierce and choppy so our dive was cancelled.. at least I didnt pay for the course because of that, but i also didnt get to do my first dive, or get the certificate to say i had completed a resort course :(

To make up for the lack of divingness, I headed into the town with my camera in hand

there was a bustling market in the center full of pretty much anything you could think of, though most of the food was past its expiry date..

and when i took this picture of the market scene all the locals started shouting "MONEY!" at me.. i ran away.. who'd have though you have to pay them just because you want a picture of the market.. they could have easily walked out of the photo. I was getting mildly irritated at the abuse that's given to white tourists. The assumption that we're all loaded and should therefore give everyone money was starting to get to me.

we headed back to the truck and began our drive out of Mozambique, stopping in Maputo for some quick shopping and staying in a hostel for the first time in a few days. The hostel was actually "luxury" accomodation compared to the tents we were sleeping in, the toilets that you werent allowed to put toilet paper in, and the showers with cockroaches and curtains made of reeds with cold water..
this was LUXURY:

We spent that one night in Maputo, picking up the Australian lady's niece, a 24 year old girl.


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