Day 264. Tuesday 12th September. From Angel Guest House, Maputo, Mozambique to Coral Divers Camp, Sodwana Bay. Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. Start mileage 214,054.

The wind blew like the devil last night. The ill fitting windows rattled so little sleep was had. The morning dawned overcast and cold. Cold for Africa anyway. 17.8deg in Poki when cooking breakfast. By 9am we were visiting a supermarket to replenish supplies and then sight-seeing.

Driving around Maputo came with it’s own challenges. While driving up, what I thought was a one-way street, I had to quickly regain the left lane, not before a policewoman saw me and pulled us over. Here we go again! Licence, “where are you going”, “South Africa”, “Where have you been”? “Botswana.” “1000Mt fine”! Are you kidding me!! My arms folded and no response. In the end she gave me back my international licence and asked for an apology. None was forthcoming and we drove off.

Samora Mechel, in a Chairman Mao stance lecturing his people in front of City Hall?

Catholic cathedral

The railway station, designed by an associate of Gustave Eiffel, though I doubt there are any trains running?

There is a lovely expansive garden close to the waterfront along with a cathedral, in pristine condition and some lovely buildings. The old Portuguese fort was nothing but an old brick wall that. like everything else, was a shambles and in ruins. Ha ha.
How the Portuguese would cry if they saw how the former grandeur they created in Eastern Africa then, has been reduced to slums and ruins. The photos featured show a slightly different story.

There is a magnificent bridge and roadway that has been constructed recently, by the Chinese, to bridge the bay and river. There is only one other car using it and the double lanes are reduced to 60kph. A sign on the bridge depicting a camera with a line through it! Top secret obviously? The expense to build it must have been massive yet their main highway from the north is nearly un-drivable.

More grief from the police.

Despite there being no traffic, 2 k’s along the road, three policemen with a radar. Hand up, pull over! Speeding. 74kph on a 60kph zone. Same questions : “Where are you going”? etc. Come and see the radar camera. “No”. :Why not”? :Why should I”? Arms folded. Stand off. Then, a huge explosion. I ducked and said to him, “the Russians are here”! He laughed and said, “here is your licence”. Obviously blasting in a quarry nearby as a huge cloud of dust rose from the trees a couple of hundred meters away.

Fortunately the border is only a few k’s down the road and we are through. I have to say, Mozambique is my least favourite southern African country. There are perhaps many reasons for that. Did it start at the border entering from Malawi?. Perhaps it was the warmth of the people of Malawi, and before? Maybe I’m getting tired of the constant hassle?

Difficulty finding a camp

So, we are not home dry yet. Our destination for tomorrow is Rorkes Drift. I always though it was Rift. Anyway, it’s 408 k’s from the border and tracking inland. There are no camps listed between, so we head for the coast. It’s just over 100k’s and there are plenty of camps. Priority One was to recharge our S.A. SIM card. That done, we headed for a camp Jen had found on iOverlander. Trouble is, it’s shown as being in a National Park. Fronting at a barrier the attendant didn’t want to let us in. After some discussion we pay R204 and they let us in. Then another barrier…same questions. I wont give the full story but it seems the site advertising camping, does not exist.

By the time we realise we are on a wild goose chase, it’s getting dark. So, we are camped quietly in their park, amongst the trees and hope our night proceeds peacefully. It’s drizzling. The first rain for at least 2 months.

Visits: 96

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