Not sure why I was worried about all the horror stories I heard about the border post, especially seeing as I had quadruple checked all our papers were correct beforehand, turns out all we needed were the papers for our car – must have been our lucky day. Getting through the 2 border posts was a walk in the park. Getting Pete’s local sim card took longer than both crossings. Our return into South Africa at the end of out trip was equally as easy, all African style harry casual.
The drive through to Maputo from the border was a bit of an eye opener. I thought living in Mauritius seasoned me to the wild driving of Africa but alas. When I say there are no rules, I really mean there are NO rules. When Pete stopped at a red traffic light he very quickly had to pull to the side as a local coming up behind us would have smashed into us as he sped through the red light along with others. My nerves! What is wrong with these people! Why can’t people obey the rules of the road and why are there never any traffic officials in sight! All I hear is Pete echoing in my ears, “Welcome to Africa.” There is no respect on our roads anywhere in Africa.
Driving through Maputo to the hotel reminded me a lot of the Port Louis, Mauritius, just dirtier and the buildings made me think of what the derelict buildings look like in Beirut.
If driving in the traffic isn’t bad enough, there are television screens at the traffic lights! Where is there any logic in that? There is definitely better and safer ways of advertising.
There are strange contraptions on the side of the road, again more traffic hazards but anyhoo, enough about the negatives, there are vendors making sugar cane juice by squeezing lengths of sugar cane through rollers and into a bucket with ice. It is very popular as there are a number of vendors dotted every few hundred meters. Must be most refreshing with the all year around summer weather.
Then step into the hotel. Hello first world and to be spoilt with an ocean view room. Woohoo! What a treat. Looking out onto the beach and ocean stretching as far as the eye can see took all the stresses away from the drive.
The extent of my Portuguese learnt while in Mozambique…
Hello – bom dias
Please – por favor
Thank you – obrigado
Although for some strange reason I kept wanting to use my French words
I’m so pleased calories don’t count when you are on holiday otherwise I would have put on a truck load of weight (cough, cough) with all the calorie laden meals. After all it is perfectly normal to have 5 rashers of bacon every morning with waffles and a croissant – not forgetting the healthy intake of fried eggs on brown bread toast after all it wouldn’t be right to have white bread as that would upset the healthy well balanced carb intake all this while enjoying the wonderful “as far as the eye can see” ocean view. One naturally also makes a gluttonous attempt to ingest as much smoked salmon and tropical fruit as possible especially as it is all peeled and sliced waiting for you. I have never seen honey being served on the comb before – it was beautifully light and runny, normally I can’t eat raw honey but this was fabulous. I forgot to ask if the hotel keeps its own hives.
We ate a few local dishes which were all great but Mozambique is known for its prawns and I was not disappointed. We enjoyed the most wonderful prawns I have ever eaten in a local restaurant, a 2 minute walk from the hotel. It is worth a visit just for the prawns alone! Sadly I did not have camera or phone with me that evening to take a photo to share with you. Sorry.
It was so nice to see the beach being cleaned every morning although sadly it doesn’t stay that way. As with the streets, the beach is full of rubbish in the blink of an eye.
It was lovely swimming in the rim flow pool while watching various ships passing into or out of the harbour, although I wasn’t expecting to see a construction vehicle come past. You can see in the background of the photo they are construction breakwater barriers of sorts or something like that.
Something that stood out to me is how many people smoke. Thought it was out of fashion and forbidden in public places but it was definitely very popular throughout every corner of Maputo.
Had we stayed longer, we could have enjoyed a number of tours to see more of Maputo, most of which left at dawn including a trip across the border to Swaziland and Kruger Park. Maybe next time.