Mozambique: Maputo

Why did we go to Mozambique?  I’m not really sure…maybe it was because we heard the beaches were nice, we wanted to figure out if we really do like scuba diving and we needed to test ourselves traveling alone in Africa.

The bus to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, departed from one of the sketchiest areas of Johannesburg and of course, it was late at night.  Since the public transport in Joburg leaves quite a bit to be desired, we were forced to take a taxi.  Our taxi driver told us we could have paid about a fifth of the price had we walked a few blocks and got on a collective taxi.  He also said we may need to run from the drop off location to the station.  No buyer’s remorse on this one…yet.

We were fortunate enough to be joined on the overnight bus by a “bachelorette party” of South African women.  They said they were on a “teambuilding,” but I don’t believe them.  Each had a picture of themselves on the front of their shirt.  Their names were scrawled across the back.  They wore various colors of velvety track suits.  They were all large…so much so that any clothing seam oozed rolls of body.  One of the ladies had 14 boobs (Joshua counted them all).  They were loud.  They spoke in Xhosa, a South African language featuring clicking.  From 10pm until 10am, the next morning, they drank the equivalent of South African wine coolers/cider and gabbed.  They took photos, kissed the drivers and were all around obnoxious.  We died.

In Maputo, we headed straight for a hostel where we could sleep…for the rest of the day.  With the amount I get bit, we were forced to take extra malaria precautions in our room.

The Base Backpackers was the perfect fit, other than the car with 100 bullet holes outside our window.  Don’t worry, Joshua deduced that they were old since there was rust around the holes.  Nothing to fear, right?

We made friends with several long term residents, spending our Saturday on a complimentary tour led by Shravanth (the first billionaire we’ve met traveling…in Zimbabwean notes) and two college-aged volunteers from the States, Graham and Trent.

It has been awhile since we’ve had to haggle for everything.  It was fortuitous to have a few experts to help us out, especially since Portuguese is the primary language of Mozambique.  Exhausted from the persistent salesman offering me the “best price” on anything from sarongs to fold-up wooden tables, we hopped on a ferry across the bay to Catembe to find a secluded spot at the beach to cool off and sip ciders (they’re so popular in Africa!).

It was a great introduction to Mozambique, although I’m still wondering why they need a Hugo Boss store?

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