Ilha da Mocambique

 Posted by Elizabeth at 6:02 pm
Jun 012011

After first stopping at Shoprite in Nampula to stock up on groceries, we headed east towards the coast and the Liha da Mocambique. (For anyone who needs to shop at Shoprite in Nampula, we were warned by the couple staying at the campsite with us the previous night that they had their car door prised open and their mobile phone stolen, but not their GPS or camera, whilst they were inside shopping even though there are security guards outside and heaps of people around).

Casuarina Camp, Ilha da MocambiqueThe road was generally in pretty good condition and we easily made it to the Casuarina Camp by lunchtime. The camp is located directly beside the bridge that connects the island and the mainland. We camped on the sand and sat watching the fisherman and the local people for the rest of the afternoon only moving to venture a couple of hundred metres up the beach to see what was going on when the fishing boats came in. Our interpretation is that you must pay for a place on a fishing boat and then whatever you catch is yours. The boats were overladen with people and I’m not sure I’d want to be travelling very far in them, but I guess it works for them. People were then selling the fish directly from the beach.

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Ilha da MocambiqueWe cooked our dinner over the campfire on the beach whilst we watched the the world go by. It was amusing at times to watch the traffic on the bridge as it is a one lane bridge, about 3.5km long, View from our tent, Casuarina Camp, Ilha da Mocambiquewith 3 passing bays and African traffic. The camp has no running water, so the toilets are flushed with a scoop from the bucket and we chose to use our own shower and showered on the beach. The picture shows the view from our tent – such a hard life!

As we left the next morning though, we managed to get very stuck in the sand. 4 cars with trailers had pulled in the evening before and our only way out of camp was down and onto the beach – bad idea! We ended up with every male in the village I think helping to push us out and eventually made it back on to firm land.

Unfortunately the President of Mozambique was visiting the island the day we went across so the Fort and the museum were not open. We were told they would be open by midday, but being Africa I doubted that very much and when we left at 11.30 the President had still not arrived. We did though drive all around the island. It must have been a pretty impressive place in its time, but unfortunately now it is very run down with buildings in need of restoration. We spoke to a young guide for some time who lives on the island which was interesting, bought some bread rolls at the market and decided to head north to Nacala.

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