Swimming with stingrays
June 26, 2018
From Zimbabwe, I went to Mozambique to spend some days at the coast there before going back to Malawi. In Mozambique, I continued my studies of public transport systems. I took minibuses for some overland rides. They follow similar principles as the ones in town, except that they stuff in even more people (there were several points when I thought “Ok, now it’s really full”, just to see them stopping two minutes later and pressing in another two people) and that they attach all kinds of luggage to the roof and sometimes outside the trunk. And obviously, they also play music at full volume. As you can see from these 1.5 pages, travelling and struggling/coping with the different means of transport was quite a big part of my journey. Although it got quite tiring in the end, especially if you have to travel for 12 hours a day, I still liked getting some insight into the public transport system. And I definitely won’t complain about Deutsche Bahn or Flixbus in the near future.
Somehow, I didn’t feel very comfortable travelling there: First, nobody speaks English (it’s a former Portuguese colony). So when you’re on the bus, you’re lucky if there is one person in the whole bus who speaks at least two words of English. Next, people constantly try to rip you off with everything you buy. This is in some sense true also for Malawi and Zimbabwe, but in Mozambique they do it much more bluntly and aggressively, which is just not a very nice atmosphere for travelling, especially combined with the fact that you cannot discuss with the people as they don’t speak English. Next, the roads are extremely bad, even the main roads, resulting in very long travel times. And last but not least, Mozambique is notorious for high prevalence of malaria all over the country and throughout the year.
But once I arrived at the fishermen’s village by the Indian Ocean, I was still happy to have come there: the coast is super beautiful, and there I also met some very kind and nice locals. Also, malaria was luckily not prevalent in this village. Due to the difficulties of getting around, I decided to stay there for one week and not travel to the other places where I had originally planned to go to. So in summary, Mozambique is still worth going for its beaches and laid-back atmosphere, but just not the easiest country to get around.
So far some of my impressions from the past weeks. What I’ve actually done besides studying transportation systems and being impressed, is better conveyed by some pictures 🙂