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Trip Report Mozambique, Down By The Seashore Maputo

Leaving the Crocodile Bridge Exit of Kruger National Park, I am less than an hour away from the Mozambique border. During my years of travel I have crossed many borders and I make a bit of a false assumption that this one would not be much different.

My Mozambique border crossing experience begins when I am waved aside by one of the many young men soliciting my business to purchase mandatory (rip off) auto insurance. For a fee to be negotiated later, he also helps me through the lengthy immigration and customs process. Almost two hours later and about US$100 lighter, I am headed down a pitch black highway for just one experience I am really looking forward to.

Armed with instructions and helpful information that I received at the border from a couple of expiates living here, I arrive at my destination for the night, Mozambique Backpackers Fatima's. Warned about the night time safety of the city, I limit my initial exploration of Maputo. Returning to Fatima's bar for a local brew, I begin to plan tomorrow's outing, the main reason that I am here.

Having breakfast the next morning, I discover that there are few others here with the same shared purpose. With a little coordination, a group of us set off on our somewhat fishy mission that will take us along the Indian Ocean coastline of Mozambique.

It is early enough in the day that beach area along our routine is just beginning to come to life. Various local vendors are beginning to set up shop for the day, like fresh fruit stands. Meanwhile, young girls canvass the streets selling candy and nuts.

Looking east, the water and the beach area does not remind of the Caribbean or the islands of the Pacific. However, they have a beauty of their own and knowing that Madagascar is just beyond the horizon makes looking in their direction somewhat special.

As the day develops so does life along the seashore as kids begin to bury each other in the sand and groups of locals set up for soccer and volleyball matches. Just off shore fisherman prepare their boats for a hard day of work. In less than an hour we will appreciate their previous day's work and that is something for us to get excited or maybe even flip out about.


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