Friday 9 March – Sunday 11

Tobias had to go and see clients in Nacala and in exchange for him using our car we made a weekend of it – him helping out with the bill.

Nacala is about a 2 and half hour drive from Nampula. The drive a nice, easy one and again I got behind the wheel, this time even negotiating the potholes and people of town. But leaving as we did just after 6am, the drive was cool and quiet and I only had to use the hooter a few times, mostly for crows in the road and even once a kite, sitting there on the side of the road – very unconcerned about such trivial things as cars bearing down on its life.

We tried to find out about renting a large house for the weekend but after a brief 4X4 drive to the aforementioned house we find it is only available monthly. So back we went – me giving up my spot as driver because of the difficulty of reversing in sand. Our only other option was to stay at the local backpackers/lodge called ‘Bay Diving’ or ‘Fim do Mundo’ (they appear to have some difficulty deciding which one).

Bay Diving offers a beautiful view of the bay (which forms part of the deepest natural port), a cool is somewhat greenish pool and good chalets. There is also a restaurant (which is lucky as there isn’t really anywhere else to go and to go anywhere requires a bit of a drive). Needless to say I spent the weekend having coffee and breakfast, sitting in the pool, reading, sitting in the pool, having lunch, reading, sitting in the pool, reading, reading, sitting in the pool, swimming in the sea, sitting in the pool, showering, having drinks, having dinner, having more drinks and sleeping. I was a bit disturbed by the rumour of a house snake in our room, especially the thought of it coming out of the shower head but it may just have been a joke for the ladies.

The menu has a few vege options and so there were no problems there, the coffee was good and wine was the standard fare of Nederburg Baronne (which just happens to be a favourite although I’m sure at home in SA I wouldn’t even consider it at the prices it goes for here)

The highlight of the trip must have been the rather adventurous and definately more energetic than usual excursion across the bay in a kayak. But it was good. The trip took us about 30 minutes one way and once on the other side we had a completely secluded beach to ourselves and some well-planned cold beers which were enjoyed in the sea. (the seclusion excludes the guarda guy who was on hand to help out by putting a wooden bed out for us under the shade of the hut and arranging our stuff around this very neatly – and of course the fisherman in the area)

This trip made me feel a lot better about the drinks afterwards and the general laziness of the 3 day holiday.

What strikes me about this place is the amount of ex-pats living in these parts and most of them in middle age rather than the young and adventurous one would expect. But they are there – just not so many.

I’m sure I will be seeing a lot more of Nacala and the drive might even become something of a pain in the near future where it has been an exciting prospect. One thing about Nacala that I can find complaint with are the mosquitoes – I got attacked on my left arm due to that same arm lying against the net over our bed! The bites are only just going down now!

And maybe next time I can convince everyone (myself included) to get out the pool and into the car for a bit of a recce of the area….