White sand. Indiglo blue water. Succulent seafood of prawns, lula (squid), and fish. A holiday at the beach. That's what our family needs.
In June I started planning our holiday to the northern shores of the neighboring country of Mozambique in East Africa. The first day of driving would be a hard one: 12 hours of dirt roads dodging potholes as we would average around 40km/hr in some parts. And rough it was as we trailed the truck of our Aussie traveling companions toward our first destination of Nampula.
After crossing the Malawian and Mozambique border posts uneventufully by 7:30AM we cruised along at a good speed towards Cuamba from the Mandimba border town. There is little indication that Cuamba is approaching until towering electric poles begin to rise 90km south of Mandimba on the right side of the road, following at times the railroad. The newest one holds 7 guys sitting high in the sky as they piece the poles together like an erector set.
The people are sparse here. It makes the drive much more relaxing than in Malawi where people are everywhere, even in rural areas. And they make an effort to get off the road as vehicles approach. Instead of maize field everywhere I see more trees, patches of mantioc and wilted sunflowers. By morning tea time we arrive in Cuamba for cokes, pao, and bathroom breaks. Brasilian TV news pipes through the sattellite, transfixing my wife Naomi for a few precious moments as memories of home come back to her before we hit the road again. Ah the familiar sound of Portuguese!
Fascinating rock formations begin to crop up around us as the road rapidly deteriorates, crossing and recrossing the well-maintained railroad tracks that carry good and passengers from the port of Nacala through to Liwonde, Malawi or north to Lichinga. From here all the way to Nampula we drive at snails pace trying in vain to avoid the many holes that threaten to wreak havoc on our 4x4. It isn't until we hit the town of Malema till we stop for lunch at a quaint but impressive (for the area) tourist complex.
We arrive in Nampula past dark. The children are all fast asleep as we begin to look around town for a bite to eat. We settle on Rei do Franco (Chicken King) and head off to our accomodations for the evening at the SIL guesthouses (available to those working under church-related groups for $20/night).
Next >> In Nampula Town