Today was long, but wonderful.
We were first to board the bus back to Joburg, so Alex quickly snagged the front seats on the top level so we could appreciate the last views of mozambique and admire the beautiful South African landscape. I was a little hesitant to sit with three sides of glass on either side of me. Ever since our bus accident in SA in 2007, I have been very aware when riding public transportation of how we would survive/get out if we crashed again and front seats/glass did not have a good outcome in my mind. Alex tried to reassure me by pointing out that the front seats have seat belts- it did not help. Continue reading
Up at 4am this morning as we want to catch the 0500 or 0600 chapa (pronounced sha-paa, think Arnold saying ‘Get to the Chopper!). It’s so nice to have a proper hot shower to start the day, as I’ve forgotten how much African public transport abuses your body. It’s not the tight spaces that wear on you it’s the pounding your body takes through the speeding up, slowing down, and swerving to avoid potholes at high speeds, and then of course the constant bumping plus the major ones that the driver doesn’t avoid. As I was on the far side of the chapa yesterday I had the full force of 3-4 other people in my row exerting the force of the turn against me into the side of the vehicle. Luckily we were already crammed together so there was no ‘sliding’ just the force of the movement of the chapa. The hot shower did wonders to cure these resultant aches.
As we’re leaving we ask the security guard which way to the chapa station. Continue reading
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.
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.