Mozambique was the first country where we had some trouble with the language since the other countries had been British colonies at some point English was a commonly used language there. Mozambique was Portuguese and obviously they spoke Portuguese or their local languages. But, many people also knew a little English and one of us knew some Spanish so we did alright.
Our first stop was Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. We stayed at Fatima’s Backpackers situated quite central in Maputo. From there we explored the town. First we visited a market located inside a park where they were selling all kinds of hand crafted items. Many pieces of art, jewelry, masks, paintings, things for storage, bowls and things you didn’t even know you could possibly want. Everything was very beautiful but I’m not the type o person who buys souvenirs really so I resisted the offers.
Later that day we visited the famous fish market. It was a very nice experience walking around watching all the fish, pointing at one, buying it and having them delivering it straight to a restaurant and the people at the restaurant would cook it for you. My favorite is the big prawns so naturally I had a bunch of those. Really tasty when BBQ’ed and served with some fresh lime. Best part is, it’s very cheap. We continued our evening out by trying to find a good pub which proved to be quite hard, the taxis only took us to places where white people use to go. Not so very local, not so very Mozambique we figured.
We also took a walk in Maputo and looked at some more “touristy” things like a statue of the first president since independence, the Iron House where the president was supposed to live and the Tunduru Garden. We also found some kind of old fort that had been turned into a museum and close to that a shopping mall. I also found out that in Mozambique they have the only really good beer in the whole region: Laurentina Preta.
After a visit at the shopping mall and in a grocery store to buy some food we returned home to Fatima’s Backpackers and had an amazing BBQ party on our own. That was kind of a very good ending on our visit in Maputo. The morning we left Maputo we made a stop at a school somewhere outside Maputo before hitting the road for real.
On our way north we came upon an old deserted hotel complex. We also got stuck in the loose sand there and had to deflate our tires a lot to get a better grip. After some hours we were on the way again. That night we bush camped in an area where there might be mines, no one knew for sure since the various mine maps available said it was mined, while some said it wasn’t mined.
The next stop on our trip was Tofo, one of the real paradise beaches in Mozambique. I remember that somewhere on the road to Inhambane we stopped for a oil change on the cars. The car shop where we stopped was more or less two-three huts along the road. The staff was nice and really happy to help us out and with changing the oil. While they worked we bought some fruits at a small market some hundred meters away. There’s something special with eating fresh fruit in the place where they are grown. They taste different. Can’t have that taste back home.