Hey Hey I’m actually all caught up with my blog now! It’s pretty shocking I know. But the stuff I’m posting now actually happened now or a few days ago and not 5 weeks ago! Malawi was a good country for catching up on my blog. Not much nightlife, not too many tourist attractions or tourists for that matter. Lots of time for writing and photo editing. There was even good wifi! You had to pay for it it, but still. I’m happy to pay a few dollars for good wifi rather than have free shitty/non-existant wifi.
So anyway, I’m in Mozambique now. Land of beautiful beaches and corrupt cops. It’s a bit trickier to travel here because it’s a Portuguese speaking country, but because I’m in the more touristy southern beaches, there’s still a lot of English. Sadly I had to axe the northern part of Mozambique from my itinerary because I was running out of time. Also I didn’t want to deal with the civil war stuff going on in the center of the country. If you’re traveling overland through the central provinces you have to take military convoys in certain locations because Renamo forces are shooting up buses, digging trenches in the highway, setting up ambushes, and just being a huge pain in the ass in general. A few people have been killed so far, and something unsavoury seems to happen a few times a week. Rather than deal with this military convoy stuff I decided to skip over it and fly directly to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique in the far south.
I booked my flight from Tete, which is 5 hours SW of Blantyre. Crossing the border was hilarious. I was with a Mozambiquan guy, and when he saw how the long the line was he told me to follow him. We just went to front, paid like a $1.50 and had some guy stamp us out. It took like 30 seconds. He also made sure I didn’t get totally ripped off changing my Malawi kwacha’s to Mozambique meticals.
There’s no real backpacker places in Tete so I ended up at a hotel for the night, which was pricey, but they had good food and live music, so that was cool. The next day I took a motorcycle ride out in the middle of nowhere to this old church. It was really fun cruising the lousy dirt road through the little villages before finally ending up at this beautiful decaying church up on a hill. I love the African countryside. The little huts, women carrying stuff on their head, children shouting muzungu, the baobab trees, the complete lack of infrastructure. It was a really nice afternoon. That night my flight was supposed to depart at 8pm, but it got pushed back till midnight. I took a rickshaw there, which broke down, and we had to flag a different one to get to the airport. The flight was also delayed again and we probably took off at 1 am.
I got into Maputo around 3am, got my stuff and took a taxi to the guesthouse, where I promptly passed out. The place was pretty dead, like usual. I spent the next day wandering around the city, which doesn’t have much to see, but has a pleasant Mediterranean type climate, with cool breezes, palm trees, and a pleasant waterfront.
The following day I wanted to get to a place called Tofo, maybe 7 hours away, to do some diving. My hostel offered a shuttle service for $20 that left at 5am. $20 seemed very expensive compared to the last few countries I’d been in, and I didn’t feel like waking up that early, so I passed on that option. I’d take the normal public transportation. Big mistake!
I took a taxi to the bus station at 8am, which was far away and cost $8 by taxi. I found the correct bus, which cost $12, and I had to wait almost 4 hours for it to leave. Ugh. There was a bigger man sitting next to me in the window seat, forcing me to have like half by asscheek hanging out into the isle, which was obviously uncomfortable. AND it took 9 hours to get to the town outside of Tofo, called Inhambane, where I holed up for the night. So it was over 13 hours of travel instead of 7, if I would have just taken the damn shuttle. And I paid the same price. Idiot!
The next morning I finally made it to Tofo, which is where I’m at now. Land of deserted beaches and sand dunes and excellent diving. Finally!