An easy road driving with roads all in good condition we made it to Morrungula camp at 3.30pm. What a joy, we set up camp which is now only taking about 20 minutes and then off to the beach for a stroll while sunsets. What a great campsite with clean bathrooms and grass lawns. Staff very friendly with constant smiles on their faces. The general attitude of Mozambique’s we have me- obviously besides our first encounter at the border.
Waking up at first break of day light, Justine and I went for our run along the hard sand, what a change from the soft sand at Tan ‘n Biki. So fresh and rearing to go we packed up and headed for the tourist town Vilankulus. Jeroen ahead as usual called to give us destination for lunch at the Veranda Restaurant. A little sand track was a minor challenge to compare to what happened next.
After lunch Jeroens’s GPS recommended we take a deep sand track to Inhassaro where we decided we would rest for the night. Seen as it was still early in the day and we only had to travel 60km we opted for the more adventurous route. As begun our journey the GPS was actually right and the sand was very deep and Jeroen was pushing his bike through the sand rather than riding. His first fall of the trip was on this little stretch. Known behold the sand didn’t calm down or become more compacted but instead got worse and worse. Jeroens first fall became several. The poor guy had to strip his bike down of any extra weight and dig himself out. We decided to rather turn around and backtrack the 5km we had already accomplished rather than battling through another 50km of the torturous road for the KTM. However I was impressed with Maggie for gliding through the sand without tyre deflation.
After reaching Vilankulous again and now heading to Inhassorro on a more sensible potholed tarred highway EN1, we reached Inhassoro at 4.30pm and followed the first sign- Estela de Mananisse campsite. Welcomed by the owner Henry showed us around his newly developed lodge and campsite, he showed us our spot next to our own ablution block with hot water and then pointed us in the direction of the bar across the road.
We met a group of people here and I asked for any advice of where to stay further up north. Not much information was known but was a great night with many laughs and Andrew (a cattle farmer) was highly entertaining.
A late start the next morning from the previous nights endeavors, no run for us. We eventually got ourselves on the road at 10am. We headed to Gorongoza national park, we took advice from the previous night to go and see some wildlife. However when we reached the national park at 5pm, it was getting dark already and they would not allow the motorbike in luckily there was a private campsite just down the road. We were met by a Mozambican who raced in front of us on his bicycle. He led us straight to Piet’s house. A very interesting set up Piet and his wife have with their four children. His son Saki had started the campsite but is still awaiting paper work and authorization to advertise legally. You can stay there and contribute a donation.
In the morning I popped in to pay and we got chatting about his past and how he has been there for 8 years working on the environrade project. He also informed e of a school just down the road which has the XO laptops and what a shame that no one has ever given them training etc.
So off on my first mission following Piets directions into the bush. Seriously down a tiny little track about 20km later we head straight into the school. I met up with Frank who showed me around his vegetable patch that he was very proud of. With broken English he understood what my goal was and he explained that the main problem was that they couldn’t charge the laptops. Yes they have two massive solar panels but only one inverter that can charge four laptops at a time. The school has 50 laptops and can’t use them interactively in class due to this problem. So are the laptops being used to their full potential? So far from the Soweto project in Kliptown and my first in Mozambique I am not happy with what I am seeing.
Okay so back on track and on our way to Nicuadala, again arriving at night fall and there is no where to stay. Eventually after Jeroen searched and Justine and I not finding anything we asked a lady in a shop where we could stay and she was very happy to show us to the back yard behind the shop. Our first night staying in the open and not in a camp site. They were so friendly and helpful and made us feel very comfortable. No one in the village hassled us in any way.
In the morning we had our coffee and on our way again further north to Nempalla. On the way we passed through some old colonial towns with interesting architecture before hitting a dirt track, not in the best condition and our thoughts were all the same, will we make Nempalla tonight? Yes we did in good time because the dirt track ended after 30km onto a brand new highway. What a pleasure driving on a nice new road.
Here is where we met our first overlanders. Ven and Anita have been travelling from England, what chilled out down to earth flks. Ven gave me all his tracks and even a programme he designed to access google maps offline. What a legend!!!
So awake bright and early and I just wanted to get going, so no run yet again and barked orders to Jeroen and Justine to get going so we can get to Pemba nice and early. We arrived just after 2pm and now enjoying some sun and cold beers. Hooray!!! My first goal has been achieved.