With great excitement we left East London in the Great White at 8am for Bethlehem. This is Mark’s name for his vehicle.. The whole way we were trying to think if we had everything. We eventually decided that we would have to buy or go without. We refueled in Aliway North and also had breakfast at the Wimpy. We had a very good trip except for all the potholes and road works. We arrived in Bethlehem at 5pm. Couldn’t believe how cold it was. We went for a quick walk before the others arrived. We were all in great spirits. Had a few drinks in the room and then went to the Spur at the nearby Casino.
We got up early and it was freezing. The temp was minus 2 degrees. We had to wash the ice off the windows. The roads did not improve and had lots of stop goes. This delayed us and we arrived at Badplaas later than we expected. We set up camp and Mike, Denys and Mark went to the hot baths. I went for a walk and saw my clients Nola and Claude Stevens. Stayed and chatted to them. The bikers arrived late and Doug has problems with his bike. Most of us had a great party.
We were woken up very early as Rene was complaining that he was very cold. We were also cold but too lazy to get out the tent and find another blanket. Had to get going at about 5.30am. I think Mike had just gone to sleep. I am sure he is in total shock. He has never done any camping in his life. We all stopped in Malalane for breakfast and to stock up. Made a few phone calls before we went through the border. Bought some fruit along the road. We did not have any problems getting through the border post. I think my jersey must have fallen out the car when I opened the car door.
We arrived in Maputo and there was chaos. We got lost for a while after Willy took us down one of the back streets but he got us onto the correct road. I don’t think there are too many laws there. You see so many policemen standing around. There are so many people on the road trying to sell their wares.
We eventually arrived at our accommodation at The Honeypot which is just outside Xai Xai. We decided to take a chalet as they were very cheap. All the bikers arrived and Doug was still having problems with his bike.
Day 3 and 4
Had coffee and rusks before leaving with Paul and Denys, Piet and Mike .. We decided to travel together as we do not travel as fast as the others. We decided that every day we would leave early, stop for breakfast along the road and try arrive at our next stop before 4pm.
We changed our itinerary slightly and we went down to the beach, Morrungula. What a lovely place. We set up camp and the 6 of us decided to have a potjie for a change. Went for a walk and a swim. I have not had a swim in the sea for ages. Really enjoyed it.
Mark bought fish and we had some for starters. The 6 of us decided to stay another day and would catch up with the others. Got up at about 6.30 and went for a long walk to get the blood flowing after sitting in the car for the last few days.
Did our washing and sat aroung chatting under the trees. Had a few more swims as it was so refreshing. Made supper early and packed up so that we could leave very early the next day.
Piet woke us up at 4.30 and we were all ready to leave by 5.25am. There are so many little villages along the way and one has to slow down to 60.
There are people along the road selling nuts, meat, fruit , veggies, honey,clothes, oil and coal. I am also amazed how many small children are walking on the road and it really scares me that they will run across the road.
We arrived at Gorongosa National Park at about 2.30 but did not stay there as they would not allow the bikes in the park. We stayed at Piet and Ria van Zyls camp site. They are from South Africa and were so kind to us. We stayed in the tents so that we did not have to pack up in the morning.
We went about our daily routine and started on our way to Quelimane. The closer you get to the towns the more people along the way. Everyday I am amazed at the number of people on the road. We stopped at a restaurant in Quelimane for lunch. Mark took one look at the place and decided he would not eat anything as it was too dirty. He was sure that everyone would end up with tummy problems.
Made our way to Zalala. It was out of season so not much was going on. We could put up our tents anywhere. If you wanted a shower/toilet we were given a jug of water.
Went for a walk on the beach and the seawater was very dirty. The sand was brown on the beach and there were so many white necked crows.
Met Joan and Gary from Aussie who were camping there. Piet, Mark and I went out for supper and Joan and Gary joined us. They have been on the go for 3 months. The food was very good.
The bikers came over to our camp as this is our last night together until we get to Dar es Salaam.
We were woken up at about 3.30am as the crows were making such a noise. I don’t think I would go back to Zalala
Went on some terrible roads today. Some of the potholes are so big you can disappear in them. Not too much happened today.
Arrived at Nampula and stayed just outside on a farm. We all had a wonderful shower and were ready to go again.
Heard some hyenas during the nights. Mark Baxter was the first to be ready for a change as we are on our way to Situ Island. He is so excited. The road to Pemba is much the same as the last few days. Arrived in Pemba at 12.15pm. Met the others at Russell’s camp. Had lunch and then had to wait until John from Situ was ready. I was a little worried as I am not a good sailor. It took us 1 ½ hours to arrive at Situ and I was still feeling well. What a wonderful place.