Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, is one of the strangest cities I have ever been to! The main road through the city doubles as the local market with informal markets and stalls packed along the street. The main street is shared between cars, bakkies (utes), lorries (trucks), taxi’s, buses , donkey carts, pedestrians, animals and basically anything that wants to be there. There seems to be no order in traffic flow and traffic laws are a thing of the past. It took me about two hours to get through Maputo with my finger constantly on the hooter. Frustrating, but that is Africa I suppose.
After lunch at Manhica I headed to Bilene, my first stopover in Mozambique. The road to Bilene was great and I managed to make Bilene in good time.
I was pleasantly surprised by Bilene. The town is really scenic and clean. BiIene is situated around a lagoon and is a great fishing spot. The beach is lined with palm tree’s and the sea is really calm, clean and warm. I am surprised that this place isn’t frequented more by the South African tourists. I spent my first three nights camping at the Palmeira Campsite with the Coconut Bar/Restaurant as my main port of call. The barman of Coconuts was a huge James Blunt fan and on one count he managed to play “Goodbye my lover” an amazing seven times in a row before I spoilt his fun and asked him to change the CD.
On 14/3 I woke up early, packed up the campsite and began my trek north to Tofo. It started raining just after I got on the bike and didn’t stop for about two hours. I was soaked! Just after Xai Xai the roads started to deteriorate. (I remember driving this route about ten years ago and the road was a good condition (paved) road all the way to Tofo! I am surprised how quickly it has deteriorated). Soon after Xai Xai the road became non-existent. The track that was left was just thick sand that had been churned into mud by the big trucks that were intent on maintaining the speed they would have done if there was a paved road. Quite scary. The motorbike with its heavy load is very unstable in the thick sand – so I think I am going to have to do some serious load shedding before I hit the really bad roads in northern Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. I eventually got to Tofo at about 16h00 – 400km in 8 hours! By the time I got to Tofo I was absolutely stuffed!!!
I had been recommended to stay at Aquatica Lodge, but for some reason the guard would not let me in the front gate – he couldn’t understand English and I can’t understand Portuguese so we ended up just shouting at each other. I wasn’t in the mood for his nonsense so continued on to the lodge next door called Bamboozi (www.bamboozibeachlodge.com). (I still have no idea why he would not let me in – maybe the lodge was full? Who knows.)
On Wednesdays at Bamboozi is the ‘all you can eat pizza’ evening which turns into a huge party session. Matt, Nancy and I ended up at Fatima’s Nest drinking shooters and far too many beers. Some gay guy and a prostitute were having a fight over Matt. Ha ha dodgy place! Matt's you legend.