Posts tagged ‘Maputo’

40 hours in Ponta Do Ouro

Friday, October 29th, 2010

For the trip to Ponta D’Ouro from Maputo you should take the ferry to Catembe (20 cent) which takes about 10 minutes, and from Catembe the minibus (4 euro). Be aware that it can take time to fill the minibus, and although they tell you the trip is about 2,5-3,5 hours it will probably take longer. The road is really bad, mostly dirt road or sand, and if you decide to drive yourself you will need a 4 wheel drive and a good map. For me, because of missed mini buses, problem with driver, flat tire and police bribes the trip took about 8-9 hours from Maputo.

Arriving just when the sunlight is gone, the driver takes me the whole way to a scuba place I found on the Internet in advance. There I am lucky enough to be able to book a scuba dive for the next morning (because of low season) and also get a recommendation for a nearby hostel with really nice owner and workers. The first evening I spend in their company and also checks out a restaurant for an incredible sea food pasta.

The next morning I wake up 6:30 for my scuba dive. The dive is good, just me and another guy that joins a scuba diving club traveling here from South Africa. When trying to return to land from the furious sea with huge waves, one of the motors don’t start and on top of this the radio is dead. After a while we gets rescued by a boat passing by and they drop us off near the shore.

In the afternoon I take a walk away from the normal beach along the coast and a rocky almost hidden path (towards South Africa). After a while I arrive at a beautiful misty beach with sand dunes, where I am totally alone and without earlier foot prints. I soon realize the mist is not mist at all, but instead sand blowing in the air which I also feel on my skin when the wind picks up in speed now and then.

I take a long walk, running up and down the sand dunes and playing around, finding a water snake plus hatched turtle eggs. To have a big chance of seeing turtles I should have been here some weeks later though when the turtles lay their eggs.

Back in town I walk around the small huts in the alley behind the local outdoor market. After a while I decide for a restaurant with excellent food, and end up spending the evening there talking to people mostly from Maputo and Tanzania.

The next morning I go up at 7 to do some wave surfing for the first time in my life. The board I rented for 10 euro the last evening, to be able to surf before the surf shop opens in the morning. The waves are perfect, which not my technique is of course. But a good start and now I want more! One of the reasons why I move to Spain in November is actually to learn how to surf.

When I have no more strength to fight the strong current I end my surfing for this time, moving on to the minibus where I write this blog entry while waiting for the minibus to fill up. Little do I know it will take 5 hours for the bus to get filled and start the journey.

Boat Maputo to Zitundo, Mozambique

Zitundo boats

Zitundo stranded boat

Mozambique packed/crowded minibus taxi

Minibus 4-wheel  drive punctured

Fruit stands under tree shadow

Ponta do Ouro sand road

Cliff passage Ponta do Ouro

Crab on cliffs (Mozambique)

Deserted empty beach - Ponta d'ouro

Strong waves & current in Mozambique

Blowing sand storm - Mozambique

Sand dune - Ponta do Ouro

Ponta do Ouro turtle beach

Unknown object on beach

Water snake on beach

Water snake shallow water

Water snake in wave

Desert flower beach

Footsteps in sand beach

Ponta do Ouro market

Simple Mozambique houses/sheds

Ponta do Ouro backstreet

Walking chicken with her children

Mozambique boy with car toy

Woman carrying on head

American mine sweepers in Mozambique

Surfing board room

Point D’Ouro facts:

When I write this the town have got only one ATM-machine, although so far it only takes some specific cards so bring cash to be sure to have money.

Minibuses leave from/to Maputo at least two times every day and costs 4 euro. Be prepared for one of the most uncomfortable bus trip in your life, or one of the best, depending on how good seat you get and what your idea of fun is. Also bring food and water because there is no place on the way to buy this.

What else to do in Point D’Ouro:

Swim with dolphins (90% hit rate, book in advance)

Fish market in Maputo, Mozambique

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

Wow. I went to the fish market in Maputo last week to get some lunch and got a really nice over all experience. I can not enough recommend this place! The fish market is located near the beach in Maputo so you get a nice walk first to get there. Then, when you enter the place, you see fish everywhere and in all different shapes. Prices (without trying to bargain) was 2 euro for 1 kg of clams, 2 euro for 1 kilo of crab, and 2 euro for ½ kilo of tiger fish. All the fish is incredibly fresh and some is still alive, like the clams and the crabs.

After selecting what you want to eat you can, instead of taking it home, go to one of the nearby restaurants and ask them to cook this. The price for this is about 2 euro per dish, and if you want rice or salad to the dishes it will cost you extra. I can truly say this was one of the best food I have eaten in my life, specially the fresh crab. Because I love sea food I will really miss this place when I move away from Mozambique.

A tip is to go into the kitchen when they cook your food, both because it is interesting and also to see that they actually cook the food you brought and not some older fish to save money.

Maputo fish market (with Barracudas)

Red fish at Maputo fish market

Clam seller, Maputo fishmarket

Living clams squirting water

Huge sized tiger prawn

Raw tiger prawn with man holding

Raw tiger prawns in bucket

Living King crabs

Fresh squid octopus, Maputo fish market

Preparing seafood in kitchen

Clam soup (mussels)

Fresh crab plate

Grilled tiger prawns

Prices in Mozambique (examples from Maputo)

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

After three days here in Mozambique I am ready to give some examples of the prices here, mostly for regular living costs like food and transportation:

50 cl water bottle (store) 30 cent
500 cl water bottle (store) 1 euro
Tea (restaurant) 40 cent
Bread 10 cent
Vegetables (street) 40 cent / kilo
Fast food 40 cent – 1 euro
Food in normal restaurant 1-4 euro
Food in expensive restaurant 6-8 euro
Minibus (chapa) 50 cent
Rickshaw (chopela) 1-2 euro
Taxi within the city 2-3 euro
Mobile phone card
store / street)
50 cent for the card, 1-20 euro for charging
Mobile internet (mcel) 5 euro/day (1 GB – called “unlimited bandwidth”)
16 euro/week (3 GB)
20 euro//month (1 GB)
27 euro/month (3 GB)
48 euro/month (10 GB – called “unlimited bandwidth”)
Prices above are excluded modem and mobile phone card

South Africa & Mozambique

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Yesterday I arrived in Maputo (Mozambique), after a weekend in Johannesburg (South Africa). Johannesburg was huge and I was lucky to get to know some new friends with cars. In other case it would have been very difficult to get around in this 10 million people city. As the locals say there is not so much things to do or see in JB, besides partying which I of course managed to have on the agenda. Also I did a visit to the apartheid museum plus it’s temporary exhibition of Nelson Mandela.

After 9 hours on the bus and a somewhat confusing border control I am now in Maputo. This city seems much more easy to get around in, both with walking (6 hours today) and local transportation. You have the local mini busses, shapas, which have fixed but somewhat unknown routes, that stop anywhere you want on the route for you. On top of this there is normal taxi which is quite cheap, and the motorized rickshaws (chopelas) which is like a taxi but about one third of the price, and reminds of the bicycle taxis you can find in Thailand and a lot of other places In Asia.

The food here seems great, with a lot of influence from Europe but also with it’s own dishes. Focus is on sea food which, luckily, is my favorite.

Chapa (minibus) in Maputo, Mozambique

More updates coming soon!