Oh Where Oh Where Did My TCO Go?

Woke up at 6:30, we ate breakfast, put the last items into our suitcases and walked to town. We quickly found a bakkie that was heading out to the N1 and got in. Not more then 5 minutes into the trip I began to doubt our decision as something on the bottom of the bakkie went clank, clank, clank against the asphalt. Of course the day we NEED to be out at the N1 on time to catch our bus back to Maputo we pick the vehicle that is falling apart. Mid way through the journey, after struggling up the hill the driver pulls the bakkie over and gets out. The guy who collects the fares and the driver are discussing something in Portuguese and then look at a wire coming from a spare battery in the truck bed, but the driver shakes his head “No”. One of the passengers in the back had wrapped his machete with plastic and a string, so he removed the string and gave it to the driver who proceeded to get under the truck and I presume tie whatever was clanking back to the truck. If that is what he went under the truck to do he failed because as soon as we started moving again the clanking began.

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Lazy Vilanculos Sunday

Today began with the first proper breakfast Alisa and I had enjoyed in quite sometime. It was simple: scrambled eggs on toast topped with strips of ham. Quite delicious and filling. If there’s one difficulty in Africa, it’s that this isn’t a ‘breakfast place’, at least in the Western sense. And me being a big breakfast person, it’s a challenge to get the day started on an empty stomach. Today wouldn’t need to much energy as we spent the early part of the day mulling around Zombie, and then making our way to the beach where I napped on the white sand, while Alisa dove into her new book. We had planned to walk all the way down the southern coastline, but the tide was at it’s peak at 12, and would go out till 4ish thus covering the beach and preventing us from making the journey.

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Here Fishy Fishy

Did not sleep very well last night because several men in the dorms alternated snoring throughout the night, but at 7 AM I was up and excited to go snorkeling at the Archipelago (love that word). However my enthusiasm diminished slightly when suddenly right after breakfast my body decided that something I had consumed should come immediately come right back out. We had arranged to be picked up by Sail Away at 8:30 at Zombie so I figured sitting in a car and sitting on the boat wouldn’t be too bad for my stomach besides I already was beginning to feel better- I could still go out for the day. The only problem no one ever came to pick us up, so we walked quickly down the beach in hopes that the dhow ( a traditional mozambique boat) had not left without us, my stomach was not too happy. Continue reading

The Prodigal Backpackers Return – Vilanculos Day 2

Today we were awakened at 615 to knocking at the window near our bed at Jozef & Tina’s. Realizing that someone was working on the window I figured if I banged around some of our stuff loud enough they would realize someone was inside and stop. No luck. Decide to roll over and try to go back to sleep, but later on we’re awoken to fumes of paint wafting over us from the window. Someone has decided that our windows need a paint job at 630, while we’re there. The part that makes it worse is that we are the only people in the entire complex, save some backpackers in the dorm. The painting continued off and on till 10.

This strengthened our resolve to leave in the morning and return to Zombie. There were still no chalets available but Alisa was in no mood to go anywhere else so we dropped our stuff off, asked Sabrina (one of the owners) how to get tickets for the TCO bus and we were off to town for the day to buy our return (1030 mets, like the ticket to Vilanculos) and walked down to NY Pizza for lunch. We stopped back at Sailaway to confirm our booking for the next day, which by this time the sun was setting and it was time to return to Zombie.

The shortness of the days here has taken some adjusting to as the sun sets just before 5pm and as it becomes less safe after dark to walk around alone, it restricts our movements. However the sun is up way before 6 which means an early start is required for each day to make the most of the light. However, why daylight savings time could not be implemented to make more light for the evening is a tad perplexing. The fact that all of Southern Africa (save Angola and Namibia) all have the same time zone means that Maputo has the same time as Cape Town even though they are separated laterally by 1800 kms.

On return to Zombie we started to type up our day on the iPad when an Afrikaner walked by and inquired; he turned out to be the friend of Andre who was the friend of the South African who was so amazed by it on our first arrival. In fact when a Venezuelan girl asked him to charge her iPod touch through his computer, he bargained to let her do that in return for seeing her iPad too (as he had heard one was at Zombie). As she was already borrowing my dock connector to charge, I was also asked to show off the iPad to Andre, which got nearly all the guests to come over and watch the ‘demonstration’.

Alisa joked afterwards that I sounded and spoke exactly as I did in the store, but I think that just shows that speaking passionately about Apple products is simply part of me, and nothing that was trained. Apple definitely got some new admirers tonight, as one woman said the golden phrase “I didn’t see the need for it before, but now I really see how I could use it.” As the night progressed Andre asked me about the next iPhone and told me he had learned about it on Gizmodo, and we joked with the Germans that it was their fault because it was due to their beer the phone was left in the first place. Then one of the South Africans asked if Mozambican beer would produce the same results in regard to the iPad :)

The interest of every South African we have encountered in regards to the iPad continues to speak to the demand for Apple products in this area of the world. Andre himself pays nearly 200 Euros per month for his iPhone contract, which doesn’t include data (and he says he had an unlimited data plan, which I thought was solely formerly only in the US)! Granted he got the phone for free as part of the contract, and buying a phone without a contract is around 700 Euros he said, but then you still have to foot the bill for talk and data, so you might as well get the phone for free. Apparently Blackberrys here have a 10 USD unlimited data plan and are doing quite well in ZA. Hopefully Apple gives South Africans their iPad fix soon, or else I’m sure I’ll be continually offered amounts for mine.

Tomorrow we’re off to the islands for snorkeling!