This post was originally from March 15, 2020
It has been a bizarre few days where we have been completely off the grid and when we find WiFi it’s very spotty. It was only until Saturday when we got off the boat that the Corona Virus became a reality. Reading all the news updates and checking my emails seeing that University courses have been cancelled has really been a shock. It’s like we’ve been living in a bubble. It’s been a bubble of utter paradise, but a bubble nonetheless. Right now we will go on with our trip as normal but it seems like things change on a daily basis. By the looks of things, we are much safer here, it’s our flights home through Europe that might pose a problem.
Anyway, back to paradise…on Friday we hopped on a dhow to sail around the Bazaruto archipelago islands around Vilankulos. One word – paradise! Mozambique is so untouched by tourism and it couldn’t be more apparent than sailing around these picture perfect, white sandy beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters. We sailed on a traditional dhow boat which is made of wood where in the back is a sand pit where we had a cook make us all our meals from scratch. There was fresh barracuda and calamari along with amazing vegetarian options. Matapa is one of the local dishes – it looks like green sludge but made of crushed cassava leaves, coconut milk and peanut powder. It’s really delicious!
We sailed from island to island, getting off for a swim and snorkeling among the reefs. On one island we climbed dunes and got the most spectacular vantage point of amazing white sandbars in turquoise waters. It’s the best snorkeling I’ve ever done too. I saw so many different fish flashing us in every colour of the rainbow. From puffer fish, to sting ray, to trumpet fish…the list was endless. At one point Kris and I were swimming together when we found ourselves trapped within the coral reef. We are not supposed to touch the coral and the water got so shallow as we swam along completely mesmerized. I tried not to panic but once we looked at each other and realized that we were stuck on the reef we both started laughing our asses off and of course this let water in our masks and soon enough we were both beached on coral just killing ourselves laughing.
We stayed the night on one of the beaches where we slept in a tent and went to sleep listening to the waves crash so near to us. I can’t think of a more perfect way to end the day.
In the morning we got up to do it all over again. Snorkel. Sail. And explore different islands. We were able to see the local school on one of the islands and it literally was a windowless structure with a blackboard and a few rocks on the floor for the children to sit on. Boy do our kids have it good in the Western world!!!!!
I keep saying it but what is so refreshing about Mozambique is how completely untouched it is. Things that seem so odd to us are completely normal to this part of the world. For instance as we drove down village dirt roads there were children trying to sell they’re catch of the day – mice! Holding the dead rodent by its tail while waiving at us for a sale – just another day in Mozambique!!!!
What saddens me is that there are glimpses of destruction of this self sustaining country. The Chinese have come and are building bridges and refineries. They are literally taking the coal produced here back to China. Near the capital city of Maputo there are clear signs that China is leaving its mark. There are cars with Chinese writing and signs with the Mozambique and Chinese flags on them. Sadly the Chinese are not employing the locals so although there might have been a select few who benefit, the majority of the population don’t see any of it. My worry is that China will keep building and ruining what is so pristine and magical about this country.
Tomorrow we leave Mozambique and cross back into South Africa. It saddens me to leave this beautiful country, but what makes my heart break a little more is knowing my trip is coming to an end. The friendships we’ve made with some of the others are truly so special and the thought of saying goodbye makes me feel sick. I know I have to enjoy each day but it’s becoming more and more real how sad I’ll be to leave these amazing people.
If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check out G Adventure’s Mozambique, Kruger & Swazi Discoverer