Inhambane and Barra Beach 15 & 16 February 2018 Mozambique

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February 16th 2018
Published: February 23rd 2018
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Thursday 15 February Inhambane

This was a long driving day through local villages. We saw the rural life of Mozambique which makes up around 80%!o(MISSING)f the country. The roadside stalls were selling fruit, cashews (very famous in the country) and clothing as well as charcoal and grasses.

Inhambane (pronounced in-yam-ban) is in the Jangamo District of Inhambane Province, Mozambique. It is a sleepy historic town some 485 km north of Maputo. It has some great colonial architecture (in a low-key sort of a way) and is considered by many to be one of the prettiest towns in Mozambique. It is situated on a peninsula overlooking a bay, and also serves as a springboard to the coastal resorts around Tofo beach (some 30km due east, along a reasonably good road).

The road was relatively good up to Xai-Xai (215 km north), but then deteriorated rapidly: potholes. The bad road is only as far as Chidenguele, some 64 km north of Xai Xai. From here on, the road was in good condition having been recently rebuilt. We drove through Inharrime and Chidenguela. And then to Lindela before we hit Inhambane. Our path was blocked by roadworks, so we found a retour through the villages on the perimeter of the town.

We were staying at the Bay View Lodge on the Barra Peninsular. The Bay View development consists of Bay View Lodge - a superior selfcatering lodge, and Bay View Estate - privately owned, face brick with thatched roof beach houses. Both developments are located at Barra (Praia da Barra) on the north-eastern tip of the beautiful Barra peninsula, with an estuary behind and a l-o-n-g sandy beach in front of the two developments.We settled into our 2 bedroom bungalow with Helena being in the single room and Tom and I in the double. The beds had a full mosquito net over them, but we didn’t have any mosquito problems.

That night we met at the Neptune Restaurant which is right on the beach. They were experiencing very high tides due to the full moon. The road we drove along to get to the Lodge had the water right up to the road. The beach was suffering from erosion. The locals have placed large sandbags along the beach to stop the under cutting of the sand near the buildings.

For dinner, our meal was a traditional Mozambique dish called Matapa. This is made up of Cocoanuts, peanuts, cassava and green vegetables, which is simmered for 4 hours before barracuda fish is shredded into it. It is served with rice and hot chilli condiments. It was very tasty. This of course was washed down with M2 beer and a dry white (local) wine – which was OK!

Friday 16 February Bara Beach near Inhambane

After an 8.00am breakfast we all met back at Neptune’s where there was an Africaan who owned the dive shop. We wanted to go out in the bay to see if we could see Whale Sharks. The weather looked doubtful as there were a lot of white caps in the ocean. After some consideration and some more googling, we decided to go to the calmer Barra lagoon for snorkelling over the coral. We hopped in a tender with 2x90hp outboards on the back. There were 4 of us who went (our new Swedish friends). Once the locals got the boat in the water, after a lot of trouble as the boat wouldn’t slide off the trailer, we were away. It was very rough, so they had to “gun” the motors to get the boat over the wash. Once we rounded the bend into the lagoon, it was very calm. We got very wet going through the waves.

We anchored the boat and hopped into water that was around 27 degrees – beautiful! With snorkel on and underwater camera in hand, off we went.

All the coral was dead. We saw a dozen or so reef fish, many sea urchins, a seahorse and many star fish. The camera worked well.

We then visited Pansy Island where there were many flat shells with a pansy pattern on each. We wondered how long before the pansy shells disappeared as there was no restriction on their collection.

We got back into the speed boat and headed back to the Neptune restaurant. Yvonne and Carl got very wet from the spray of the boat. It was great fun as they got back into the rough surf, with waves around 3-4 metres high. It was such a lot of fun.

We arrived back onto the beach and hopped out of the boat into the low surf. They wanted us to take our bags but I wouldn’t as I knew the possibility of being knocked over by the boat or waves. Poor Yvonne took her bad and was knocked over by the boat. She ran out of the water to rescue her camera which was inside her very wet backpack. Fortunately, the camera remained dry.

I had a swim in the pool whilst waiting to hand over our coral shoes and snorkels.

We had a beer at the Neptune Bar as well as the Turtle Bar which were next to each other. We had noticed the very high tide which continued to undermine the sand from under the buildings along the beach. We had dinner made by Annelisa inside their 2-story accommodation kitchen (pasta, pineapple and vegetables).

Additional photos below
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