February 22, 2014, Ilha de Moçambique – Chocas del Mar
Suitably, for the day of our departure from Ilha, it is raining when we get up. I had felt the cold at night, and much to the amusement of the rest of the family, I war a pullover during the latter part of the night.
On the road to our next stop we realize that we at once feel ready to move but at the same time also are a bit worn. The unanimously shared opinion is that three months is long enough for us to be on the road. Correspondingly, looking forward to Switzerland in many ways occupies us more and more.
We arrive at the pitch-perfect beach – turquoise water, white sand, coconut trees – after a 80 km bumpy ride, around the bay near Ilha – with the island itself just a short distance away over the water.
Offered a choice between shadeless camping in the mosquito-infested swamps behind the dunes and an airy cottage with sea views under the palm trees we of course opt for the more expensive option… To make up for it we decide to cook ourselves rather than eat in the restaurant and we shop for dinner right on the beach. Our spaghetti will be of the “frutti di mare”-type with colorful fish, langoustines, clams and crabs – a nice representation of the local biodiversity. To wet the appetite we hit the beach despite a continued drizzle and growing darkness, and we all enjoy the fine sand and the lukewarm water of the Indian Ocean. It’s the perfect beach, even Matti get’s to enjoy the waves in the shallow water. Swimming in the sea under grey clouds and a darkening sky without one shiver is quite magical for us all.
It’s a bit of an exercise to get our seafood bounty cooked, but well worth it – apart maybe from getting sprayed with scales. Eating, crunching and tearing through the crabs turns into an biology lesson with lots of fun, after which we all are ready for bed.
February 23, 2014, Chocas del Mar
After getting up I remembered a nightmare I had with a murderer in it. The we took the Iphone and recorded stories about Star Wars and soccer. Later at the beach we had lots of fun in the water that was nearly as warm as in a bathtub. We collected shells and then we had lunch. In the afternoon we saw a crab at low tide that gave us all a fright. First he jumped up, and then he ran into a pool and dug himself into the sand.
We had dinner at the restaurant. When it got dark we collected many crabs that were running around in their shells. I was the first in bed so my mom only read “White Fang” to me.
February 24, Chocas – Pemba
In the morning we went away from Chocas early. We ate breakfast in the car, becus we hadto drive 409 km until Pemba. We also ate lunch in the car and not much happened. When we arrived in Pemba we saw that everything was flooded. We drove arrowned a long time looking for a lodge. (We had to drive through a lot of puddles.) Finaly we went to Pemba Magic Lodge (PML). I and my dad played soccer and then we all went into the pool. There we played waterball. During supper we watched music videos. Then we went to bed.
(Pemba is not worth a picture.)
February 25, Pemba
This is our “organization and administration day” – we need to go shopping, pay our bills in Switzerland and get organized for our trip to Ibo, and island that can only be reache by d’hau.
The weather is not too great, and the floods of the last few days and weeks have brought out a lot of rubbish, so we don’t really miss going to the beach. Coming back from town, we pull another vehicle out of a puddle the size (and almost the depth) of a communal swimming pool. Everybody assures us that the rains of this year have been the heaviest ever…
Pemba is a small town (and district capital) that lies close to one of Mozambiques oil fields that were only discovered recently. Oil riggers have brought money and the English language to town in the last year. We realize that our guidebooks are rather outdated and our expectations probably too. And also, how little we are used to sharing this part of the world with other foreigners.
(Pemba’s still not worth a picture.)
February 26, 2014, Pemba – Ibo
After an early start, and an only half ready breakfast, we started on our way to Ibo. Four hours later, we arrived at the “water-taxi-station”. Another hour of packing, and then we managed to get out of the mosquitos and the heat onto a hot, full boat, where we shared the space with people, fish and luggage. When we arrived on the island, there was a huge fishswarm under the dock.
After lunch, which was at the hotel, we made up for having to get up early. When we went looking at a star-formed fort, we talked to the history-man of the town: the oldest man. He liked to show pictures of himself in magazines and books.
February 27, 2014, Ibo
First we stood up very early to go find crabs in the mangroves with a fisherman. For me, it wasn’t much fun because the mangroves had lots of branches, mosquitos and we had to walk in the water all the time. At lunch, we ate the crabs. There were four crabs and we had potato salad.
After that, we went kayaking and we played hide-and-seek in the mangroves. There weren’t many mosquitos there this time but it was very hot. When we were back we played in the pool for a long time and then we ate in a restaurant with a loud TV. After a bit of “White Fang” we slept quickly.
February 28, 2014, Ibo
In the morning we went snorkeling at a shipwreck. There were a lot of difrent fish, I saw one that was 50 cm long. After snorkeling we went to a sandbank, ate lunch and stayed there until the hie-tide came… (We had to swim to the boat.) on Ibo we went to a starshaped fort. There we bought silver neklesses, rings and ear-rings. We ate a perfect supper and once in bed we slept quickly.
March 1, 2014, Ibo
Because yesterday was perfect, we simply repeated it. Snorkeling by the shipwreck, later watching the sandbank disappear beneath our feet – activities one could enjoy every day.
It seems strange that we will be flying home in only three weeks – the duration of our longest holiday before this trip.