Sardines & pot holes

Maputo Travel Blog

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The next morning we were eager to get on the road, but felt we had to hit an ATM first to take out enough cash for our stay in the country – rural Mozambique is not exactly renowned for ubiquitous bank machines… As was to be expected, no ATMs were working. We drove around until noon until we finally found one in working order! Then we got on a sand track out of town. Once again we were warned against taking the poor road in our little car, but after only a few kilometers, it morphed into a very passable asphalt road! We were cruising! It went so smoothly, we decided to stop for a late lunch midway at Xaixai. Sardines and beer went down well, and we lingered unworried and encouraged by the good state of the road.
That, of course, was a sad misconception: as soon as we were three klicks out of Xaixai, the road all but disappeared. We were now swerving to avoid pot holes the size of the car every few meters, and night was falling fast. Arnaud did a great job keeping the car on the bits of road between the holes. Not an easy feat, judging from the overturned eighteen-wheeler on the side of the road we soon passed… After about two hours of such unnerving driving, it occurred to me that perhaps we had somehow missed the main road. After all, we had been told that it was supposed to be in good condition. We stopped at some hovel of four or five shacks, and I asked where we were. Thankfully, we seemed to be going the right way. So we continued on. About an hour later, the road miraculously changed from Swiss cheese to perfectly tarred, lit (!) highway. Yet another hour later, it deteriorated into sand track again, but that was ok, we were almost there. We got stuck two or three times on our way through palm trees to the backpackers in Tofo, but Arnaud pushed us out each time.
When we arrived, we found the bar well stocked and the Karaoke in full swing, which was fun until we went to bed and it was just loud. Not that we would have been able to sleep even if it had been quiet, what with the myriads of mosquitoes pestering us all night. 
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photo by: pearcetoyou