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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: -18.777, 34.4751
We had a lazy start before we decided to head out to the Park to look for elephants. The camp owner turned up to say good morning and to see how we bedded down.. as it turned out he was actually 18 years old and had started this business with a couple of Mozambique doods.. well nearly started they were waiting for the final tick from the Tourist Branch of Mozambique, thus he said I cannot charge you however please feel free to donate some cash if you so please. For any body else heading this way go the Gorongosa National Park turn off (8km south of Gorongosa) then head in for approx 10Kms, look for a funny Blue sign near the old school (if you get to the metal bridge then you have gone too far) on the right and head in, turn right at the Envirotrade sign and somebody will sort you out.
The owner brought with him an intriguing chap called Colin, he had two cameras over his shoulder and we figured out he was actually a freelance journalist. Looking and sounding like Peter Garrett in his more political days (prior to being polluted by the Labour Party mentality) it turned out he was documenting how African countries were helping them selves to improve their financial GDP as opposed to surviving on aid.. part of the conversation included a invitation to a local school where he was going to show the kids a David Attenborough documentary.. I did not give Lisa a chance to say no I jumped straight in with sound great what time do you want us to be ready..
At 5:00pm Colin arrives in his 2nd hand Mitsubishi Delica 4WD van.. and yes the vehicle had broken down may times on his journey from Mapito.. We jump in and sat in the back with 3 sisters from the place Colin was staying and headed up to pick up Gary.. Well Gary was originally from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and had a real African twang and a real funny sense of humour.. I introduced myself as Harry and that was it after that we were all basically wetting our pants with laughter.. The drive started out okay then the fuel filter started to let some air into the fuel lines and the Mitsubishi started to miss.. so we pull over and pump, Gary would have to get out the passengers seat, raise the seat so colin could prime the fuel filter pump.. off we go again.. then stop again to prime the pump.. all good up the next hill nearly.. as Gary said F***cking Hell Harry if we have to pump this thing again we may as well walk.. Finally arrive at the village and it all got fairly crazy.. it was getting dark thus the locals could not see we were new to the environment and assumed we could talk Portuguese, luckily the 3 sisters helped us out. . Gary had brought a few beers with him which were drunk on the journey out and had now run out.. I indicated I needed a leak and Gary offered to show me where.. alarm bells should have rung out.. Gary and I wandered back along the track to a mud hut thing which he called a bunker.. come on Harry lets stop here for some more beers.. now those who know me know I do not drink very much at all, however Gary was not to be deterred, I personally staggered back after 3 stubbies (each stubby is 550ml thus 1.6 ltrs of beer) and the beer was hot as there is no electricity hence no fridges in villages.. A great time was had by all as Gary is a very funny story teller.
In the meantime Lisa and Colin managed to set up a travel notebook laptop on a table and show the locals a documentary about whales and polar bears in English. Colin was able to speak a little Portugese so he translated to the teacher who then translated to the local dialect to let the kids know what they were watching. Slowly but surely a lot of the villagers crowded around to see what was probably a surreal having no concept of what is in the world outside there village. Now the only problem with all this is that the more crowded it became the more smelly it became. There is clearly a water shortage issue in the village hence the Africans smell. Now I really do not like to be prejudice and I thought Indians were bad but these Africans are really dreadful. The smell got so bad I climbed back into the front seat of the Mitsubishi for some fresh air.
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