Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 138 - Maputo to Tofo

Did some emailing in the morning, got organized and headed for the embassy to pick up the visa.  I was on the road by 11am figuring I would have enough daylight to ride the 500km to Tofo.  The GPS routed me through what seemed like all the ghettos in Maputo.  What a sight!!  I was even worried about getting a flat from all the debris and potholes on the road.  Finally made it onto the EN1 north after being stopped by police several times doing routine road checks.  It was slow going as there were cops everywhere and small villages dotted the highway so the speed limits were anything from 60 to 100kph.  For the most part the paved road was good except for a 30km stretch of construction where it was down to one lane for both directions of traffic and oddly enough,  no flagmen.  I had 5ft between the powder sand shoulder and the semis flying past at 80kph the other way.  Little nerve racking but ok.  After stopping a few times for fuel and breaks where I tried greeting people on the road (this was true for Maputo), I realized the people here, for the most part, are not very friendly.  Would not acknowledge a “hi”, would even turn the other way. Side note: this is my personal experience so far because I'm sure there are people who would disagree with me.

 The landscape was lush green vegetation contrasted against the red powder sand along the roadside.  Lots and lots of people walking along the road, specially children.  Seemed there was a school every 30km and they all were out walking the road.  Much the same as I saw in Swaziland near the border.
Ended the day at Fatima’s Backpackers in Tofo.  The 60km road in from the main highway was rough, narrow and sand covered in spots ... always near bends in the road.  The best place you could want sand. Got myself a hut right on the beach.  Bed, sand floor, fan and a mosquito net.  Aside from trying to manoeuvre my beast through the beach sand in the secured parking lot it was an amazing place!!  Had the security guard help my back it into a parking spot so I could ride out in the morning. Showered and headed for the thatched roofed bar to enjoy a beer or two in a lounge chair overlooking the Indian Ocean.  The place almost changed my opinion of this country until I got my burger with a side order of sugar ants. Nice. 

 My hut

 The beach looking south

  Cool bar

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