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On the Bay in Nacala

By mid afternoon we arrive at a South African-run tourist stop outside of the town of Nacala within easy driving distance of Nampula. As we turn off the main tarmac road that heads out to the point where another Complexo Tourista draws locals and other travelers, we go to the less-known and more intimate place we were able to book via email (a rare thing for Mozambique spots). We are happy to have a 4x4 as the last little bit of the road becomes rough in some spots, though as it turns out 2x4 pulls through just fine. We inch closer to the bay.

As we pull in to the lodge a British couple doing some short-term work at the place (in exchange for dive training) greets and ushers us to the rooms that we have booked until Sunday. They are warm and friendly and we find ourselves liking the setting of the A-frame huts perched over the beach, just a short walk down some stairs. Our family takes the dorm room and we unpack our belongings.

The warm welcome doesn't last too long, unfortunately. In a few hours the owners return from their dive instruction and we find them unhelpful and short-mannered. Hoping for the best we try to do our best to avoid contact but can't help over the next four days asking for a few things here and there. Our Aussie friends, with two adopted Malawian children, feel the brunt of ill feelings from other Afrikaaners who also share the place with us. We make it a point to spend as much time as possible at the beach and do our best to not cause any further tension.

Just past the swimming/instruction pool we found a flight of cement steps leading down to an area of white sand protected by rock and coral outcroppings. The children especially enjoyed building sand structures, burying themselves and their toys and alternately exploring shallow water pools nestled in the rocks during low tide. Plenty of microscopic sea creatures give reason for excitement to all 5 kids. We take in the surroundings each morning as we observe fishermen stringing out their nets to snare whatever may be caught, then pulling in the nets and sorting out what was snared. Further out in the bay men in boats row by singing traditional songs in their local Bantu language. Our normal schedule had us going back up the stairs for lunch, then returning for some more beach time until darkness approached.

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