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Adventures in an african paradise

My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - My Big Adventure

WORLDWIDE | Saturday, 26 March 2011 | Views [185] | Scholarship Entry

My big adventure was a trip to Mozambique. I had a limited budget, not much time and precious little travel information. The capital city, Maputo, was my first stop and would serve as my base. The next leg of the trip was getting to a small town in the north called Inhambane, which was close to two backpacker friendly places called “Bamboozie Backpackers” and “Bara Lodge” situated on the beach overlooking the Indian Ocean.

It was a hot February morning two days before my annual leave and I was in desperate need of an escape. The summer holidays, the busiest time of the year in our tourist town, had just grinded to a halt, and it meant that it was my turn for a holiday. I had heard that Mozambique was truly beautiful and being next to South Africa, my home country, made it seem like a perfect destination.

I flew from Durban, South Africa to Maputo, Mozambique in order to save time on travel. I arrived in Maputo armed with a basic backpack, an old camera and malaria tablets. Not knowing where I was heading got me anxiously chatting with a fellow passenger whilst standing in the passport line at the airport. It turned out that he was from Maputo, and he offered to give me a lift to a place he reckoned was a backpacker’s hostel. Without a tourist information counter in sight, I accepted his offer with great enthusiasm and gratitude. He made sure to tell me that he thought that I was a little insane travelling to Mozambique without having any idea or plan as to where I was heading. Sometimes I guess it helps being a little insane, because of it I was set in the right direction and got dropped off at “The Base Backpackers”. I was met by Louis, the very informative owner. Louis gave me a 3 minute rundown of the do’s and don’ts of Maputo. I spent the rest of the day checking out the capital and making a decision of where I was going to go from there.

Over a cold beverage from the community fridge in the backpackers that night, I made my decision to head north. The next morning Louis kindly dropped me off at a bus station, and helped me get a ticket and we said our goodbyes.

The trip to the little fishing town of Inhambane took about 6 hours, or at least it felt like that, with one toilet stop. After arriving in Inhambane I had to figure out the local transport to the area where “Bamboozie Backpackers” was located. It wasn’t that easy as English doesn’t get you far, in a country that uses mainly Portuguese. The transport consisted of old pick-up trucks loaded to the brim with humans, animals and firewood. I jumped on board, and we made our way through lush coconut plantations. Seated next to a “big mamma” with her new born, and looking into the friendly faces of the local people really warmed my heart. I spent two nights in “Bamboozie Backpackers” and a few nights in “Bara Lodge’s” bunkhouse.

My days were spent snorkelling in the Indian Ocean with the local village boys, enjoying the crystal clear waters with its dazzling reefs, wandering along deserted white sand beaches, taking photos and savouring stunning sun sets. My holiday ended and I returned home with a serious suntan, overloaded senses, and totally revitalised. That trip to Mozambique was truly my big adventure.

Tags: #2011Writing, Travel Writing Scholarship 2011

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