We arrive in Vilankulos and start getting hassled by people but it doesn’t last too long. Why is it that they want to bother you right after you get off a long bus ride???
We get to almost deserted backpackers and chill. The water was rough so instead with the Israeli girls encouragement walked back to town to get some groceries for cooking. It’s so nice to have vegetable and fruit markets. You have to bargain but you usually have everything you want. We were told a lot of things are imported to Mozambique from South Africa and I have been noticing it. We wandered for way too long- me being on the verge of delirious without sufficient sleep and an uncomfortable bus ride.
We’re out and about around 5pm when children and teens are heading home from school all decked out in their school uniforms- blue pants, shorts or skirts and a white shirt. A bunch have gathered in a plaza area near a basketball court. WOW, a basketball court! The first one I’ve seen in Africa. In Malawi, I saw big areas of dirt field with a rounded metal pole and each end of the field- goalie posts for football (soccer).
It’s cool to see the people in their everyday life, kids in abundance off to school. Unicef seems to have a project here as all students had a blue tote with a phrase in Portuguese, Unifcef. VIlankulos was hit hard Feb 2007 by a cyclone. I didn’t see damage but one of the bar’s at the backpackers had been ripped away and on the other side of town, a road had been washed away. Leave it to Mother Nature to tell you what’s she’s thinking.
People are beautiful here. I can’t place what it is but I’ve been in awe of all the beauty here. Children’s smiles, especially. You can clearly see Western freedoms or at least influence in clothing choices. Woman dress as they wish, many flaunting what they’ve got. Provacative tops, short skirts as you’d see in the states or Europe- sometimes I think they’re more gutsy here in how they dress and less traditional clothing like the matching fabric skirt and shirt! Tanzania is extemely conservative, which I associated with the huge Muslim influence. Muslim mosques are also here but the religion doesn’t seem to be as widespread as elsewhere.
We make avocado, tomato, cucumber and onion sandwiches and realize how simple making food can be. I always think of cooking in a complex way but it doesn’t have to be. It’s also easier when you’re traveling with someone!
We stayed for 2.5 days- swam, read, wandered the town and enjoyed seeing the sailboats sand blocked when the tide was out. I even walked out to a sandbank- saw fisherman/woman holding on to a rope and reeling it all in, kids collecting black plsatic bags full of clams etc.
Everyone is friendly and helpful. Occasionally, in markets or getting on the bus they try to take advantage of you but I don’t find it annoying as I did in Tanzania.
I have to say leaving Tanzania was the best thing I did. I wasn’t happy but it took leaving to realize this. Environment definitely plays a role in moods and emotions. Nature vs. Nurture. How bout BOTH!
We left at 8am to head to Maxixe (Ma-sheesh) a 4.5 hrs mini bus ride that was also very uncomfortable. They wanted to charge us 1/4 of the cost for our luggage and I told them no way. I won’t go.All in spanish of course! A few minutes later, they said, “ok. you only pay for you.” Damn right. Our luggage was strapped to back of a seat- basically on our laps. Plus our day packs on our laps. Heather and I often looked at each other as “what is this?” “what are we doing?” It’s great. Her favorite expression- “what a shitshow” or “this is a shitshow.”
Got to maxixe and saw lots of muzungus at a local restaurant above where all the small boats (ferry) go from Maxixe to Inhambane. We ate lunch, remembered we had limbs and then got on a wide, rickety wooden boat with faded blue and yellow jackets that couldn’t be newer than World War II. Heather suggested their probably from the Titantic. They were really reassuring when we hit a wave at the wrong angle and half the boat was in the air. It was only 25 minutes but I was terrified-just let me get there safe and dry, please. At least, the water will be warm and Heather has a dry bag somewhere…
We arrived in Inhambane safely-a quaint, quiet town once used as a huge port during Swahili trade and later Portuguese trading. We settled in and enjoyed a soda for sunset on the waterfront, where we were staying. Children and teens were enjoying the water jumping in and swimming… a taste in the life of Mozambique!
We enjoyed roaming around the town- seeing remnants of the past and today. The architecture looks very European and Spanish and it’s interesting to see some buildings kept up and others to be a shadow of the past. Mozambique was colonized by Portugal for 500 years. In the early 90’s their was a civil war over communism when Mozambique gained control and tried to have thier own political system. I don’t know the history very well but street names give insight to the history- their’s plenty of socialist and communist names.