I got up early (like 4:30am) to get a lift from the shuttle bus…however I hadn’t been given a receipt to show I’d paid my hostel bill, so the security guard wouldn’t let me out!…after waking the girl who couldn’t remember that it was HER I’d paid (!) we eventually sorted it out. Of course now I had to get a Chapas to Inhambane, so an hour and 30mins MORE than was agreed later 🙁 I arrived at Inhambane where I decided (as I was still quite early for the next bus) to get a Dhow across the estuary to Maxxis (the northern route bus station) I passed captain John (EH!) my bag then waded after him into the dhow – obviously getting my shorts wet in the process…….only THEN did aforesaid captain go back to shore to get more people and CARRY them over so they DIDNT get wet!!!!! Then we ran out of wind half way across and they had to row/punt the boat across! 1.5 hrs later we arrived JUST after the bus had left!
So another chapas it was, which was fairly uneventful (I paid extra to sit in the front away from the crammed locals) arrival at Vilanculos was marked by more boys wanting to take me to the hostel (to be fair I would have struggled to find it without them). The Baobab Strand hostel is canny …a round grass roofed dorm for 8 people (one of which was a gin loving old woman – I almost printed ‘lush’ instead of woman) from Kenia and a guy called……err…we’ll call him Oswald for reasons to be found later.
My first day was spent on a RIB for a snorkelling trip to Bazaruto island and 2 Mile Reef: we landed to the voice of the dive master (there were divers on board too) telling us that it was safe to leave our bags around on the beach as there was no theft…anyhoo, the snorkelling on a rocky wall jutting out of the island was incredible…loads of fish you’d be happy to see on a ‘Blue Planet’ episode, however the best was yet to come: 2 Mile Reef is a coral reef with what looked like EVERY kind of fish on it!…shallow (3-4m) waters and fab visibility made this the snorkel of a lifetime if you go to Mosambik you HAVE to do it! One couple saw a turtle and shark, while another couple saw Manta Ray too! (oh, we went with Odyssea based at the hostel)
The next day and I wasn’t feeling well – thought it was gonna be Malaria, but it petered out, so I have no idea, anyhoo, I went out with …Oswald….to a local bar which was a bit risky apparently: we had a great night playing pool with the locals and beating them all except Albert (well done fella) on the WORST pool table you’ve EVER seen!: it had 3 A3 sized patches on the felt which were just tacked on (so the ball followed the edge if you got it right/wrong) and the balls were all dented and the single cue was crap!….then Oswald started to dance with the local…err…..girls…..and got stuck with a real pretty one with no front teeth! anyhoo, we did a deal with a local to take us to the island’s cheaply and returned to the hostel Oswald was pretty worried at this stage and gave me his wallet as he stayed outside with the girl to send her packing….he got into the hostel about 15 minutes later…..
I took a dhow with Rodriguez’ outfit (Amor Do Mar) over to another island the next day which was a real nice trip beautiful bay with incredible sand beaches and great snorkelling down a vertical rock edge (not as good as 2 mile reef though) and with lunch of Kingfish, rice, sauce, bread and soft drinks, with the ubiquitous Mango for dessert, included for 1000MTS (about 22 quid, including National Park entry) a PERFECT way to spend the day!!!
Written by: Chuggy Charles, England