179. Let the Adventure Commence

Its been a slow and relaxing few weeks in Mozambique, with a few manta ray spottings and only one arrest. Yes, yes, you read right. I, the biggest goody two shoes to ever roam the face of this planet, spent the hour of 8 am being interrogated by a very hungry police officer who claimed that I had taken a picture of him. The picture in question was that of Catembe harbour as Tambu and I floated through the murky waters on the way to plant some trees. Naturally, the officer was very reluctant to allow me to simply delete the photo in fear of ruining his one chance of scoring a hearty breakfast. After an hour or so of phone calls with the embassy we managed to get let out with a simple word of advice: “I don’t know how they do things back where ever you come from, but here in Mozambique we ask before taking a picture of anyone”. I sure have learnt my lesson as well; if there happens to be evenΒ a speck of a person in your landscape photo, make sure to track that person down and ask them for permission first. And that is how I spent an hour or so in jail on a sunny June morning. (On a sidenote, I think the actual word of advice here is to not test the limits when it comes to Mozambican police). Oh, and we didn’t even get to plant any trees!

I also spent a week in Inhambane once again. It was a great week, full of coffee drinking, chatting, and – best of all – snorkeling. On the Thursday morning we headed to Tofo hoping to hop on the day’s ocean safari, which we did! After a beautiful breakfast overlooking the beach we were on the go. We signed our lives away, put on the rash vests and pulled out the boat. We spent the next three hours bouncing over the choppy waves trying to spot anything from whales to whale sharks. Every time a fin appeared we would all be instructed to jump in and snorkel over to the animal. Although I only managed to see a few manta rays (which was a terrifying and beautiful and unforgettable experience alone) while snorkeling, we saw plenty of dolphins and we got pretty close to a whale shark.

Those were the two big experiences I had during the time since Louise left. On top of that I have gone on a few wonderful rides at El Paso, and spent a day learning to cook local food. Tambu and I headed to Matola where we learnt how to prepare coconut rice, and two very coconutty dishes. We helped grate the coconut and squeeze out the milk, and we crushed peanuts into flour using this huge mortar and pestle.

If you by any chance recognise the house we are visiting, then well done! You are probably our biggest fan and a very, very astute reader! Let me spark your memory with a link to the day where we picked a bucketful of tangerines. My father’s colleague, who owns the house, gave us permission to learn everything we could from her very knowledgable maid. We were treated so well, with plenty of food and friendly smiles. Unfortunately I forgot to put the memory card in my camera that morning, so there aren’t many pictures from the day.

And now I am on the road again. My dad and I left Maputo early this morning, and have now made it to Johannesburg. As I write this, I am sitting in a very familiar hostel – Brown Sugar Backpackers, where Louise and I spent a night many months ago. Tomorrow we will be picking up my brother and mom at the airport and begin on our big Southern African road trip through Botswana and north-eastern South Africa.

I have some beautiful pictures for this post… But the internet is too slow, so you’ll have to wait.

//Niamh

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