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Published: February 15th 2012
Sometimes life is too good to be true, huh! Mozambique is one of the most amazing countries in the world and we don’t want to wake up from this awesome dream. Here you’ll find crystal blue water, friendly and smiling people, incredible weather, white and long beaches, fresh seafood and paradise for every tourist. But reality for locals is much darker than we expected, life isn’t easy for the locals and the tourists don’t make it easier either since they are spending a local monthly salary for a dinner in front of their eyes. We have tried to come as close to the local life in Vilankulo. It has been great an experience to visit the cozy markets, to buy fresh fish from the beach, to laugh and share the new experiences. So we are learning, moving and appreciating every moment in this country since it is so easy to come closer to the local life and see it with own eyes (and maybe go through it). It is amazing to be one of them and experience the real life in Mozambique. Finally we found that in Mozambique people want to just talk and share with you and they don’t have
another though behind the conversation like in other countries we have visited so far in Africa. The children are lovely and they are saying “Hi” or “Hola” just to be polite and when you reply to them so they start to giggle. It is a nice to see curious children and mums who don’t push the kids to beg for money which has been hard to face in other countries.
We were hitchhiking from Inhambane to Vilankulo which was a lucky trip. A middle aged policeman in a private luxury car stopped and pick up us. His English was quite broken but the smile on the face said everything. First we were a little worried to get in trouble since we didn’t know if it is illegal to hitchhike in Mozambique. But if you don’t risk so you won’t have fun, huh! The ride has been brilliant and we still couldn’t believe what beautiful this country is – with the pineapple plantation, palm trees and bushes. The policeman was going to another town and we were expecting him to drop off us on the road so we could get another lift to our destination since it is
quite off the road for him. Suddenly he was indicating to Vilankulo direction and took us whole the way to there. Our minds were going chaotic and we were sure that he’ll ask for money for this kind of service but we still cannot believe that he didn’t ask for anything and when we ask if we could pay to him so he didn’t really want to take. This we weren’t expecting at all. Still it is hard to get used to this type of people as we have been like dollar bags for few months and you always automatically think that they want money for the help.
Vilankulo is a small resort town and non-touristic at the moment as it is low season for tourist but in the high season it attracts many a tourist. Not many people make it so far up the coast of this country as the distances and roads are a headache. We have heard that Vilankulo’s beaches are one of the nicest, less crowded and undiscovered in Africa. Calm town, friendly people, romantic atmosphere and your eyes will be fed by crystal blue water and white beaches. Actually we really enjoyed
our time there as we don’t like too touristic places and want to spend more time with the locals. Once again we were planning to stay just two days but we decided to stay longer as we really liked the surrounding and people.
We were camping in an awesome place by the sea, palm trees and hammocks. Well we have learned that we have to watch out for falling coconuts as they quite dangerous if it will hit in your head. Our tent was standing close to a coconut tree and we can hear how coconuts are falling one after one in the night. People kept asking us if we have a coconut insurance since this is on the top of accidence’s list in Mozambique. Well we were considering calling our insurance company and asking but they would think that we are a little strange. Fortunately we haven’t been hit by a coconut but eat a lot of them under our time in Mozambique.
Coke and fizzy drinks you’ll find like the main beverage around whole Africa. Surprisingly the prices are much lower than natural water, and people prepare to buy a coke instead
to have a cold glass of fresh water. The coke-cola factory is taking over whole Africa but it is quite hard to see when parents give a small child to drink a fizzy drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food selection in the supermarket is poor and the restaurant menu prices are like at home.
Finally we decided to leave this paradise and heat to a new country which means new adventure and we have to take time to learn new things. Every time we are turning up in a new country so we need to get know the real prices if don’t want to be ripped off. Time after time we are feeling like new beginners but this is real backpacking – to go through this by yourself. However, once again we were standing on the road with the hand in waste level since this mean to get a lift in Africa. We made it safely the long distance to a magnificent town in the mountains (20 km from Zimbabwe border) called Manica. We got lifts and all of them have been amazing experience. On the road we have been attacked of thousand flying bugs
and we were forced to stop as we couldn’t see through the window, saw the local food – bush half meter long ruts etc. Especially we loved to talk with a black South African man who told us about his country and the tension between whites and blacks. We have faced absolute a different side of South Africa and we cannot wait to see it by ourselves.
When we arrived in Manica we had trouble to find a cheap accommodation since we cannot afford 50-100 dollars per night. By an accident we bumped into a lodge called Vumba lodge and decided to ask for the price. Well it looked really fancy and in the middle of mountains so we could forget to stay in this small and cozy lodge. Yes, it was really expensive but make a long story to short so we agreed with the Zimbabwean director of this lodge to camp in the garden for a small amount for a night. The director was really nice so we talked about our trip around Africa and he was absolute fascinated about our stories. The night finished that we got a nice room, five star lodge dinner,
invited for a birthday cake, watched the final of African football cup and shared the happiness when Zambia won the final. Everything cost as really small amount of money and he was happy to be a part of our trip and he made sure that we’ll have the best at the time. We really warm recommend stay in Vomba Lodge in Manica since it is an amazing location and people are so friendly. We were already warm welcomed to Zimbabwe and as we didn’t know what to expect since it has a recent and dark history behind but this guy made us look forward to our new adventure. Well our first impression of Zimbabwe has been so different and unexpected but more about this in the next blog 😊
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