Emails From Africa Which Inspired This Blog – Part 3

Hello All,

The landscape in this part of the world continues to amaze me. South Africa is so beautiful as we drove towards Mozambique but as beautiful as it is there are definitely issues. The roads in the township close to the border are in complete disarray. The township is run by Jacob Zuma the current leader of the ANC and is unfortunately, likely to be the next president of South Africa. As you may have heard in the media he was the man that raped a Zulu girl who he knew had AIDS and then told everyone he likely would stay healthy because he showered afterwards, thus perpetuating the issue with non condom use, ignorance etc. He was acquitted and steals the township’s money for his own use.

Just before we got to the border we stopped for food and the only option was KFC, often it is found in small towns and “truck stops” in this area of Africa. We ordered and they had a campaign to add 2 Rand to your bill (about $0.25) to help with world hunger. Of course, we all tried to do so and the cashiers had no idea how to do it and the irony was overwhelming. This was literally one hour after what we had encountered in Swaziland.

Next we experienced an African countryside rush hour like nothing I’ve ever seen, mass chaos, people driving in all directions, cows in the road and then of course an accident where we thought someone had been run over the way it attracted crowds of people around the cars. Getting through it delayed us an hour getting to the border where we had people waiting for us as it is sand dune country in Mozambique and we had to switch vehicles. Loved the sand dune part. 

The border crossings are always fun unless there is a large group going through. You actually go through immigration and get a stamp to leave the country and then cross horizontally not moving forward to enter the next country.

I think many of us might have not actually departed or entered a country or two, lol.

I am in love with Ponta d’Ouro in Mozambique. Mozambique is a Portuguese colony and I never knew how similar it was to French. I understood most of what was said and written, pretty cool. This seaside town, translated to “Port of Gold” is truly a hidden treasure. We took a giant dune buggy for 30 minutes to the coast, quite the ride and came into the town with likely the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. The entire coast is gorgeous beach and the stretch in front and near our accommodations was about 3 km’s long and 150′ wide, immaculate, with cliffs at either end, and fine, soft, brown sand. Heaven! 

Our accommodations were large fairly luxurious 3 bedroom chalets that looked like they were constructed of Tinker Toys (remember making the log like structures?) with a large pool, restaurant, bar, gym and a wicked and very cute masseur from Malawi, a white Malawian, one of a few thousand. Malawi you may have now heard of because Madonna’s adopted child David is from there. Everything in the town was in walking distance, tons of backpackers and campers come to Ponta d’Ouro, a ton of South Africans and beach/water toys were in abundance. I could go back in a second and am aiming to next year.

Tons of surfers, kite surfers, wave runners, dune buggies and ATVs, perfect for someone who loves extreme sports. Diving is popular with divers from all over the world, but mostly South Africans and dolphin/whale watching cruises are very popular. It was truly paradise. At night we hit an outdoor club and the DJ spun some wicked house music, this area is my thing and I could have stayed there for weeks. For a person with boundless energy you never bore but also relax as well. The diving was fantastic and at 4:30am I joined a group of 12 divers from Durban and made new friends. It was a fantastic experience, the ride out into the ocean was in a speedboat dinghy type of thing, an exhilarating ride where at the end we actually drove up the beach from the ocean with great force. Such a trip! We were surrounded on the 100′ deep dive by about 20 14′ bull sharks (the 2nd most dangerous after great whites), all around the diving was fantastic.

The markets were fun and we went to our last school and handed out school supplies and clothes, played soccer with the kids and took pictures with them, they loved seeing their faces on the camera screens. Too cute. 

Unfortunately not enough time in Mocambique (Portuguese) but I’ll be back. Highly recommended. We left this morning and are back in South Africa right now, on the way to St. Lucia (not pronounced the same as the Caribbean island).

I’ll write more later. Miss you all. Hugs. Julie

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