Friday 23 February and I am finally in
Mozambique. In the days preceding my arrival I’ve had friends and family asking about the rains and floods and cyclones and is it okay to be going there now. Admittedly there wasn’t all that much real information on the cyclones but knowing that news of one part of a country makes us automatically presume it means the entire country I wasn’t too worried. The cyclones were heading on a path of Bazeruto, Inhambane, Zambezia and

Sofala
Provinces
which are in the south. As it turns out Cyclone Favio actually hit Vilanculo, the other I have heard nothing about.

 

But walking off the Air Mozambique (LAM) flight to
Maputo felt almost as if the country had in fact been completely flooded, only all that water had mixed with the air to create a soup bowl of stickiness through which I had to wade to get into the terminal building. No respite here. The air was just as humid, its heaviness squeezing the breath out of me.

 

At least I had a welcoming committee. Jack and friend Micro were waiting. Their journey to the airport had ended in a 10 minute walk as their taxi had broken down before reaching its destination. A quick stop at
Fatima’s Backpacker’s
and off again for dinner on the beach –
Miramar restaurant
. The place was packed, the city’s middle classes and some foreign visitors enjoying the rainless evening with a sea breeze cooling down the cotton wool head symptomatic of extreme humidity. Apparently
Maputo has been having a heat wave which locals blame on the aluminium smelting plant, Mozal’s presence in the city.

 


Maputo and more and more of
Mozambique it seems isn’t actually such a cheap destination as one would think. The food prices are on par with
South Africa’s better establishments and accommodation is, as far as I’m concerned, way overpriced. It seems Fatima’s, having a monopoly on the backpacker market (don’t think there are actually any others in Maputo), charges bed and breakfast rates for a dingy room, even dingier shared toilets and no free breakfast in sight. In fact there isn’t even a restaurant. But people seem to accept it – perhaps because the alternatives are not much better – but I will have to see when I have more time to explore the Capital.

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