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Published: February 23rd 2018
Saturday 17 February – Barra Beach and Tofo
It was an overcast day as we woke and walked to breakfast at 8.00am. After cereal, eggs and bacon, it was clear this was going to be another day of rain as it was the previous afternoon. Not to be dissuaded, and because it was not suitable to go with the boat out in the bay, we decided on riding quad-bikes to Tofo. Gareth our guide took us the Flamingo Bay Resort amongst the mangroves, to register and to pick up the bikes. It looked as though no one was staying at the resort which wasn’t unusual at this time of the year. December and January are their raining season, as well as February…apparently.
After getting our driving instructions, along with our guide, we revved the engines and off we went. I love riding ATVs and this was no exception ($30AUD). We were heading along the back road, through villages, waving to children and parents. From time to time we stopped to get information from our guide about village life. We saw peanuts, cassava, cashews and tapioca growing. There were also plenty of goats tied up along
the road. The track was sandy.
After about 30 minutes, it started to rain. We stopped to ensure our phones and cameras were protected. Then down came the heavy rain. We thought, oh well, let’s keep going. It continued to rain until we got to Tofo, a seaside holiday place where a lot of scuba diving and other water sports is done by tourists. There was also the souvenir markets and several bars and restaurants.
We parked our bikes and walked around the corner to a coffee place. Just before we got there, the rain started pelting down. Eventually it eased, and we were able to get to the little shop for a cappuccino.
After coffee, and the rain had stopped, we hopped back on the bikes, turned around and headed for home.
After 10 minutes, down came the rain again and this time is very, very intense. The rain was so heavy it was stinging my face. We kept going and after about 45 minutes, we were nearly back to base and the rain started to ease. It goes without saying that we were absolutely drenched but
didn’t really mind. It wasn’t cold although the breeze on wet skin cooled us a little.
After thanking the guide, we walked back to our accommodation and had a magnificent hot shower.
It was then lunch time (toasted sandwiches and chips and fruit). At around 2.00pm we drove in the truck, back into Tofo. It continued to rain as we drove through many big potholes, including a very long on close to Tofo. Shorty, our driver was unsure but once seeing another vehicle drive through it, he revved the engine and made it through easily.
We walked through the markets and then the 6 of us found a bar where there was lots of musing and locals. We found out they were celebrating an 88yos birthday. They were dancing and drinking and having a great time.
After a lime, vodka and sugar cocktail, we hopped back into the truck and drove back to Barra Beach. It rained on and off most of the rest of the afternoon.
That evening we had another traditional meal at the Neptune Restaurant. It was beautifully cooked barracuda, potato bake
and fresh salad. The South African red wine was OK but the white, served in Mozambique was to be dodged. The M2 beer, which was always served cold, was the best option.
The high tides were certainly playing havoc with the beach. The Neptune Restaurant front posts were undermined, and the roof had partially collapsed. Last year they suffered from a cyclone which destroyed and of the beachside resorts. Many of them haven’t been fixed, including the famous over-water bungalows of the Flamingo Bay Resort which is a photographic icon for Barra Beach.
As we were getting up for a 6.00am breakfast, we went to bed early.
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