We went to Mozambique for Easter – at least I think it was Mozambique, there was a border crossing and totally different roads (like none) on the other side of the border, different architecture, different currency (well not entirely) but the whole population still seemed to be South African – I guess that’s why they take the Rand everywhere.
We went ALL the way to Ponta D’Ouro – that’s about 10kms over the border with South Africa – if you go in a relatively straight line along the many and varied sand road options. It could be a lot more than 10kms and 30 minutes if you don’t have a GPS on board or get lost when you get into town and can’t find your accommodation, given there is no street signs or streets really this could be a fairly typical experience.
A few things struck me about the experience
– there were a lot of South Africans there
– awesome beaches with very warm water, really warm, I am getting much more particular about the ocean as I grow older but this was ‘just walk right in its lovely in here’ warm
– everyone I went with went diving, every day – except me and the children – of which there were five
– the diving is apparently brilliant – as I said I don’t dive – I was on the beach with five children
– electricity is a fairly sporadic thing
– there were a lot of South Africans there
– there don’t seem to be too many rules on seatbelts or drinking and driving or quad bikes, or if there are they are not necessarily always adhered to
– the bread is absolutely fabulous (much personal tasting and the long lines at the general store every day when the bread arrived attest to that fact)
– there was no access to the internet from my iphone – AT ALL – even when I was asked to find out the Sharks score I couldn’t get coverage on my phone, so no Twitter, no Facebook and no email for FIVE days , thankfully texting was still an option available to me
– the border guards either have a strange sense of humour or really did mean it when they asked my husband if he got his wife from the internet (do I look Russian?)
– there were a LOT of South Africans there (did I say that already?)
OK it was Easter – and school holidays, so likely that there would be many southerners on tour given this is after all a continent that you can get into your car and drive to another country from. Which can I say is absolutely brilliant seeing we have come from living in island countries – where if you tried to drive over the border the only thing greeting you would be the ocean.
Given it was Easter and there were so many South Africans there enjoying their holiday weekend I would equate our experience of ‘going to Mozambique’ to heading to Tijuana, Mexico for the day – where you leave your car at the border and head over on the bus for the day or overnight – or – if you say you’ve been to China but in fact you have caught the train to Shenzhen and spent the day in the Luohu (also known as Lo Wu) shopping centre. There were some locals about but guessing a lot staying in, lots of tourists, the prices were way up (ice went up R5 a bag overnight between Thursday and Good Friday) and we probably didn’t get the full ‘Moz’ experience, which is fine because I really think we’ll be back and we were just starting out by dipping our toe in the ocean that is ‘the Rest of Africa’.
Oh one more thing – I think I’m addicted to Twitter. I say this because even though there was no access to the internet at all – I still held onto my iphone like it was my connection with the world and wrote down thoughts that I would have Tweeted – if I had been able to be online. Sick I know – my husband is threatening to restrict my access to my phone to one hour a day (as we do for electronic games for our 7 year old son) but so far I am holding him back with the argument about the actual ‘phone’ functions of the phone.
So in the notes section of my phone I recorded my ‘would-be’ tweets and here they are. Upon reflection they could have been better, much better, or less in volume – but I am recording them as they were (including hash tags – good grief) so I can see my addiction in black and white and maybe think a bit more before I tweet in future – but that’s just a maybe.
My child has just eaten her weight in peanut butter and Mozambiquean bread rolls
The border guard asked my husband if he ordered his wife on the internet (guard only saw my passport photo & not me) Do I look Russian?
it has come to my attention that South Africans appear to travel in packs – especially Afrikaner speaking ones #justsaying
The electricity WILL go out killing the aircon and the fans & allowing you to hear whatever it is running around the roof
the reason everyone carries eskies (cooler boxes) with them is so the drinks are always cold -because they won’t be in the fridge #blackouts
on advice of friends with we bought sweets to give to kids by road – except don’t think throwing them into path of oncoming cars is the idea – (see this is a perfect example of a tweet that makes no sense , we weren’t the ones throwing sweets out the window into the path of oncoming cars but it makes it sound that way)
and the lights went out and the lights went out and the lights went out again #blackouts (this was in my list about five times but only think it needs to be here once)
Overtired 3 year olds are not my favourite thing
75 rand for a pirate DVD – have these people never been to China? I really upset the guy when I said I couldn’t pay more than R7 on principle
Last one in the pool in the dark – miss 3 – don’t call her the Willow-fish for nothing
Swimming on the beach at dusk – warm water – absolutely awesome
not sure the pool is designated the ‘sand rinsing’ zone but there you go – can’t win them all
hmmm the lulling sounds of Afrikaner pop music – have checked and it has to be off by 10pm – thank goodness for that
All the locals appear to have fled for Easter – as they should with this many GP & FS number plates in town
4.30am is not the ideal time for Master 7 & Miss 3 to start their Easter egg hunt
6am seems more acceptable after false start earlier for egg hunting
Am using the word koki far too much for my own liking– must watch Sth Africanisms sneaking into vocab – ‘back home’ will be made much fun of
Another beach – more cocktails – rum & raspberry anyone?
Bakkies with open back – people in deck chairs drinking with coolers – given 4wd’s required for the roads am guessing spillage
If after all the cream lathering and spraying if one of the 65 mozzies that has bitten my children has given them malaria – will be v unhappy
chick in bikini and ugg boots at 8am on the beach, please decide – can’t do both
families with small children cracking cold ones at 7.30am on beach – assume no child services in Moz either? Or does sitter come at 10?
And that – is that….