I had been very hardworking and moving along the road at great speed over the past few weeks. Since the last update, I had already gone from Malawi over to northern Mozambique, followed by Zimbabwe, and am now on the Zambian side of the legendary Victoria Falls.
The Swiss-Germans and I reunited trying out several different modes of public transport in Malawi…
After Lake Malawi, I passed through breathtaking Mount Mulanje and entered Mozambique. In Mulanje, I was very fortunate to have met Jun, a volunteer working there who let me crash at his place, in return for me cooking for him a very simple Chinese meal, using Japanese seasonings.
Of course he did the dishes afterwards! Hahaa..
Breathtaking Mount Mulanje…
Then it was a hectic daylong journey on a truck, a night sleeping at a bus station, and another day on buses and chapas, before I reached Ilha de Mocambique, an island off the Indian coast connected to the mainland by a 3km bridge and former capital of Portuguese East Africa. The northern part of the island was lined with crumbling old pastel coloured colonial buildings, while the southern part was inhabited by locals, mostly fishermen living in reed houses. As I looked out through the car window while the minibus made its grand entrance onto the island – I was wowed by the surreality of it all.
Packed on the back of a truck, and afterwards sleeping in the bus station next to a bar of drunken people…
Buildings like a filmset against azure waters… so raw and so beautiful.
Then I headed north to Pemba, with a long white sand beach and too many annoying beach boys, followed by Ibo, the main island of the Quirimbas Archipelago, another former Arab trading post off the Indian coast later occupied by the Portuguese. Ibo is a tiny village and within a day, I think I had met most of the people living there. I had a fantastic time on Ibo, spending much of my time with Ayesha’s family, whom I stayed with; and at the house of Maria’s family, which I randomly crashed in one afternoon as I got too hungry after spending two hours lost and finding my way in the mangroves. They cooked me a very organic meal with ingredients all fresh from their garden!
I also went on a trip to swim and snorkel in and around sandbank, an island of sand at low tide which disappears underwater at high tide. So beautiful!
During the evenings, I hung out with the crew in Miti Miwiri Lodge, the owners of which I had met by chance in Malawi. I joined them one evening to the only disco in town, with a big party as it was the first weekend after the end of Ramadan. I guess probably over half of the village, from as young as 3 to as old as 60, were gathered there to show off their uniquely Mozambican dance moves. It was an awesome evening.
The seafood there made this place only a step away from heaven! The fish and crabs were cheap and fresh, and on my last evening there, I was treated a wonderful meal of a dozen massive crab claws, thanks to Robert the great chef of 5-star Ibo Lodge!
Riverside Vic Falls
Next, I hit the road for 3 days in a row, and slept on the streetside for 2 nights, to get from the northern end of Mozambique all the way to Harare, Zimbabwe. I stayed with Serge, a French expat working at WHO with a beautiful house and a swimming pool. I could finally wash myself clean, after over a week without running water for a proper shower, and I had never seen my clothes this white for a long time! Funnily ironic though, was how Harare was plagued with power cuts every so often – something that didn’t seem quite fitting to such a clean and well-organized city, with big shopping malls and nice restaurants.
I also went for a live reggae show in town…
Then, of course – I went to the Vic Falls. Thundering massive curtain of flowing water, gift of mother nature. Although I was stunned by the scale of the Vic Falls, I was more impressed by the volume of water at the Iguacu Falls in South America, perhaps it was dry season right now…
Of the three greatest waterfalls in the world, check, check, check – I’ve been to all! Yayyy!!
At the lip of the falls at 108 meters high!!