Next day I was so tired that I decided to stay one more day at the lodge. This lodge is managed by a wonderful Italian couple S.&F and they also managed a school close by. They cook really good Italian food and it is everything homemade. From the lodge you can see the Mulanje Massif landscape.
I sat in one of the bench and I observed all the beauty of this incredible hills lying on this colorful tea plantations. I was trying to frame this spectacular painting of nature. I started to write all the experiences I went through the day before. S. was there so we start to chat about the Mulanje hiking. I gave him some feedback and he suggested me to go and travel in Mozambique.
Mozambique is not an easy place to travel, also cities like Nacula, Beira and Pemba were destroyed by a cyclone. So as much as it always been in my plan to visit it I wasn’t sure about the social and political situation. S. ensured me that was safe and that Ilha was worth a visit.
The day after I went back to Blantyre to get the computer. They told me that the mother board was completely destroyed and that it would not work unless I change it. The mother board cost as much as a new computer sometimes. So I was fucked. When I was in the computer shop a man offered me a lift to the postal company with which I would send the computer back to UK. The first one we visited would not accept a computer with an inbuilt battery for security reasons. He brought me to another postal company. When got there this man helped me to pay the postal fee, brought me to the cash machine and took me back to the hostel. He was concerned about me being safe. So reinsured him that I would let him know when I would get to Mozambique. This wasn’t the first time that someone offered help in Malawi. People here are incredibly helpful and wonderful!
I finally made a decision that I would get to Mozambique through the Mulanje border. So I went back to the Italian lodge which was 15 mins from the Mozambican border. I also got the meet U. again. He works for the UN food program and he has travelled the world. He lived even in North Korea. I mean how many people do you know that lived in North Korea?. We chatted for a bit, I told him a many of my personal stuff. ‘It’s like you lived already 3 lives Alex!’,he told me smiling. He was right. Sometimes you don’t realise how many experience you have until you don’t talk to someone and open up. It has been a long time I didn’t expose myself so much. Maybe I just needed it.
The border crossing was very smooth if it wasn’t for the fact that I forgot to ask the yellow fewer document back. Well I managed to get it back and it’s in the Italian lodge in Malawi but not really sure if I will go back there. I might find another solution. From the border to Milangi it’s about 5km and the only transport are either your feet or the boda boda bicycle. This nice Malawian guy helped me to go through both borders and brought me to the bus to Mocuba.
The trip to Mocuba was easy and I arrived around 1.30pm. I decided to stay overnight as I would not make it to to Nampula during day light. The guest house I was staying had a restaurant downstairs. Here I met A. a very nice Muslim lady which I didn’t know she was one until next day morning. She woke up very early in the morning to bring me safe to the minibus to Nampula. She was dressed in the traditional Muslim dress. She looked very beautiful. Once at the station she said goodbye, I thanked her and then she hugged me. I was surprised by her hugs. African are very passional people, however getting a hug from them is not easy. I was very blessed for her help!.
The minibus left after 1.5 hour and I arrive in Nampula after 7 hours. The most uncomfortable trip. You got to have African guts to make a 7 hours trip in unknown lands on a minibus. For seven hours there was just desertic land. Some villages in between but nothing to see, no living things. It was a real desolated land. It was the first time in Africa that I would find myself in the middle of nowhere.
Once I got the Nampula I took a motorbike to the another minibus station where I would take the minibus towards Ilha. The minibus bus was overloaded to say the least. ‘Quanto tempo levarei da a qui para Ilha?’ ‘quatro horas’ the man next to me answered. Fuck another 4 hours.
People outside of the minibus started to argue about something I could not get aggressively. I found Nampula hostile so I just wanted to go to the peaceful place. Everybody where talking about ‘Ilha de Mozambique’…
After half an hour of moving people and things around on the minibus we were finally on our way. The minibus was packed up with things and so extremely slow.
After 4 hours of an agonizing trip and more desolated lands, the minibus dropped me in front of this long bridge which connects the mainland Lumbo to the magic Island. I literally hugged myself: I made it!.
I never seen in my life one direction bridge that connects an Island. So I took a motorbike with which we had to wait very often other cars to pass by. The Island seemed left to time. Not many changes since the Portuguese colonization. It’s a very pretty island not to mention the beach, white sand and desertic:‘isso é um paraíso da mãe terra’.
I always dreamt of such tropical paradise. I didn’t know I would make it for real one day. I got to G. guest house were a lady welcomed me and helped me with some food shopping as I wanted to cook. I didn’t want to spend money for a dinner out. However were also 11 hours of travelling, I was exhausted to say the least. The following day I met a guide that would bring me around the Island. I never hired a guide but I thought that the Island needed one as I was not very knowledgeable about the historical background. While walking my guide showed me this wonderful hostel on the sea. Quite cheap for the standard of the Island. I moved to this hostel dormitory and left the guest house right away. The landscape was too beautiful. I could not get enough.
Right now I am still here, in this wonderful hostel. Here I met wonderful people. One of them landed me her computer for the past 3 days so I could catch up with all the things happened and so update this blog. I could not believe I got so lucky. ‘Good things happens to good people’, somebody told me a few days ago. Am I any good?.
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek