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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: -18.777, 34.4751
We had planned for an easy days drive to the National Park called Gorongosa about 350Kms from Inharroso..easy.. we consulted the map and the Southern Africa road atlas and decided on a route which included approximately 70kms of minor roads right at the end.
We arrived and turned onto the minor road and headed to the next town called Blue Maria??? The track stared well then slowly deteriorated into a winding smaller track..We picked up a local wanting a lift, he sat on top of the spare tyre that is mounted on the back door of the Shorty.. No worries all were happy.. Not long after our passenger alighted the track went through a small river and then really started to get narrow.. I mean so narrow the grass as being pushed out of the way by the bull bar.. The track now progressed into a single file walking trail.. Check the GPS.. yep all is good only 500 more meters until we meet the next road.. we pop up onto a ridge and find we have driven into a school ground. Not like the ones back in Oz a single building with open sides and about 50 small
Darren's new Drinking Buddy
children peeking out at us.. Again now worries we barrel on towards the other end of the yard to meet the track.. Well bugger me if it was not there.. yep gone straight into a river, a large river with no bridge. Did a U turn on their soccer oval (only recognisable by goal posts of sorts) and pulled up outside the school building.. Yep you guessed it all the kids were checking us out. I jumped out and had a chat with the teacher, I was talking English he was talking Portuguese.. say no more.. In the end we got from the teacher that the way forward is no good and you must go back and turn right.. No worries Lisa grabs the camera and heads in to catch the kids checking us out, they all rushed and sat back down very prim and proper. All had big eye's probably wondering what the hell were a couple of mad white people doing here with a vehicle, I was wondering the same thing. Off we head and the next little right turn we take, I notice a couple of faint wheel marks in the sand.. all good I think a
vehicle has been here before.. and I was right.. we came across it 5kms down the track.. We managed to get from the driver that this way was also no through road for the shorty.
Without any further hesitation I chuck a U turn and decide to head back to the main road and head in another way.. Only problem was it was now 4:00pm and the park closed at 6:00pm and we had 70kms to go.. Arrived at 6:09pm and the gate was closed the chap advised us to head back to the metal bridge turn left at the old blown up church and drive towards the light there you will find a camp.. so off we head again find the bridge & the church & the lights and luckily no stray Elephants on the road. By this stage we were both exhausted and tempers were getting a little frayed. Great place was found, a South African has set up a camp ground, he showed us our spot and a fire was quickly started for us and all was good. The lesson from today was that the very flash road Atlas we purchased from the AA (RAA equivalent) in
South Africa showed roads that did not exist.
We are 215km away from Zimbabwe, and running low on fuel and Mets (local dollars). Last time we filled the car it took $2,500 meticals and we have $ 400 Mets left thus hope a Banco (Mozambique for Bank) is found soon. The key to the Banco is getting one with a good enough communication connection that when you attempt to withdraw money from the ATM it can complete the transaction before the phone line drops out. This is harder than it sounds hence our dire current financial position.
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