BootsnAll Travel Network

Mozambique…. Beach time…..uggghh

Swaziland was kind of like going to the country after being in the big modern cities. I guess it fits somewhere between South Africa (first world country feeling) to Zimbabwe (third world country). It was slightly more modern than Lesotho (which uses horses as its main form of transport in the highlands.) The thing you go to Swazi for is not so much the land as other places have bigger water falls, more extreme activities, and more touristic set ups. You go to Swazi to see the people who are still as happy and care free as before Apartheid because they were not actually grouped into that problem, so supposedly they don’t have as much resentment towards white people. They are known to be the most friendly and caring in Southern Africa, but I haven’t met a country yet in Africa where the people haven’t been super friendly once you got out of the tourist areas.

Well, after a three hour journey from Manzini, Swaziland through the border crossing into Mozambique I arrived in Maputo. One thing which I luckily avoided was the reciprocity charging for visas. The Mozambique government has decided to charge the USA, Australia, Canada, and the UK the same price they charge Mozmabicans to enter their countries. For the US, that means a $100US price tag. Ouch. Luckily, I had gotten mine about a month before in Durban, so I got the old price. Apparently though, you can still go through Swaziland and get your visa there for the old price. Good old Swazi, just good people.

I landed in Maputo which is the capital city of Mozambique. As soon as I got off the bus I felt like being back in a comfortable place, South America (Brazil). Portuguese is the primary language and the city was just like parts of Rio or Sao Paulo. People were out and about, there were vendor stands all over, the roads sucked, and the people were dressed like they were going to the beach. Maputo is in the southern tip and is on the ocean, so I guess that is why. It is a mixture of big city and beach life much like Durban.

The hostel I chose was Fatima’s because out of the three there it was the only one that offered camping. As soon as I got there, I fit right in with the guys staying there. There was a new guy from South Africa who just started working there and was heading up to the Fatimas in Tofo, a French guy, a Brazilian guy, a East Indian guy, and a couple of random people here and there. After I dropped my stuff off I just plopped down under a thatch awning on the sofas and hung out with those guys. All they did was smoke dope, read womens magazines, and stare out into space. That was it day after day from morning till night. Now, I am so good at being lazy, I required no mood alterating substances to get into that mind set. I brought to the party a fried chicked place that I had scouted out, so about three times a day we would call a Chicken run and we would head down for a greasy bag of chicken and chips. For five days that was the routine.

One of the best experiences in Maputo was the fish market. Basically, they have created a great tourist attraction that benefits the locals without all the middle men tour people. Basically, off the beach they have the fish market where the local fisherman bring in their catch. You go to the market and pick and choose between lobsters, shrimp, prawns, shell fish, crabs, and all the different varieties of fish. You then take your catch next door where they have all these little beach restaurants built around a tree covered patio. You hand off the fish to the waiter and tell them how you want them prepared and with what sides. It takes a long time before you get your food, so you just kick back with cold drinks while live bands play and vendors walk around showing off their artwork. An exceptional time and the top thing to do from everyone that I talked to. Oh yea, it was cheap too. I paid $100 Meticash for three medium lobsters. That is about $4US. Suuuweeetttt.

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