Misfits Mid Life Crisis Adventures in ………….. Mozambique.
Week 15, Saturday 27 September to 3 October 2014.
This week I have mainly been listening to….. Suede, Arcade Fire, Lana Del Ray, Air, Birdy, Lorde, woke up on 3 October with the theme to Skyes in my head ?????
And have been watching…. Oceans Thirteen, Breaking Bad (season 5, have finished it), The Breakfast Club, Les Miserables, Sherlock Holmes (Directed by Guy Ritche) The Great British Bake off (season 4 final), Captain Phillips,
Saturday started much earlier than normal, at 6am I was at the bottom of the dirt road where it meets the tarmac road and waiting for a lift in to Inhambane. I was taking part in a road race, a 10k run into Inhambane. At the start point (by the side of the road) I registered and got given number 19, over the next hour or so another 160 to 170 people arrived. The road was not closed it was a live road, Chappa (small mini buses that go to and from Inhambane) 4×4 and other cars and lorries had to squeeze through the throng of runners in red, yellow and white t-shirts to carry on there journey. During the next hour and a half there were a couple of attempts at a start with count down being shouted over the crowd but for some reason they never got to zero. As time passed it go hotter and hotter, I just wanted to run. In the end we did start, most of the route was passing fields with a few houses and little shops here and there. There was water along the route, mostly at markers telling you how far you had left. Some of this you drank, some you throw over your head or got someone to pour down the back of your shirt. At 4k point we ran near Inhambane airport I saw skydivers dropping in to view. At the 7k mark I reached the outskirts of Inhambane, there were more shops and house, and lots more people doing their thing early on a Saturday morning. After the 8k marker I didn’t see any more signs, I was waiting for the 9k to appear. So I kept plodding on up a slight hill then turned a corner to be faced with the finish line, somehow I missed the 9k mark. I finished in 1hr 3mins 31 sec not a record (the winner did 10k in 35mins) but I was pleased. On the way home we stopped off at the supermarket (the only one in the area) getting cheese and milk and other supplies. The rest of the day I rested, finished watching Breaking bad and Skyped with family (my niece Anaia and nephew Jesse were at mums). Decided that as Doctor who was on much later in the UK we would do our DW Skype session Sunday.
Sunday was shop day, but I got to go on an awesome Ocean Safari. Over a period of a couple of hours I saw plenty of dolphins and humpback mums and babies. Louis gave me his camera (my GoPro battery has died and won’t hold a charge) I filmed and filmed and filmed some more. Later I found out that I managed to get footage of a humpback swimming past the boat, it’s not great quality due to the viz in the water and the distance of the humpback from the boat. I have been trying to get a shot like this for a while, by shoving the camera in to the water and hoping for the best. I was pleased with the footage. There have been more and more spotting’s of Hammerhead sharks in the waters of Tofo, today I saw a baby one it was maybe a couple of feet long, but so fast so I didn’t have time to get a shot, but what a cutie. The rest of the shop day I got snuggles and purrs from Alice Cooper. At one point he had climbed up on to the canopy that shades the front of the dive centre chasing geckos. He got down ok, but I was ready to grab him if needed when he was in reach. Finished my Liquid day with a fresh coconut, Joseph who works here climbed a tree and got a couple down then opened them. This evening I Skyped with Hel and watched new Who, which of course I enjoyed.
Monday started with a double tank to Manta Reef and Marble Arch, 2 lovely dive sites. The viz at Manta was in places crystal clear, there were patched where the temp dropped a degree or two you know you’re about to swim in to one coz the water looks different almost looking in to a broken mirror, the light fractures as it passes through the colder water. I was on reel duty so at the back of the group. The second dive to Marble arch I was able to use Louis camera again (I didn’t on manta as I had the reel), lovely Moray, puffer fish and some great swim thru’s that you negotiate through. Once back on dry land I got banana and bread (last night I had bread crunchy peanut butter and cheese, so I’m having that Masterchef meal again later). At lunch time I was round the back of the dive centre looking for an allen key when I got called over by Patrick, Parra, Pedro, Joseph who had cooked fresh fish and made soup they were having lunch. They invited me to try there food, so nice definitely the best restaurant in Tofo the fish was so nice. It was so sweet of them to offer me some of their meal.
Tuesday, the wind is picking up and is meant to get bad again towards the end of the week. Went on another double tank this morning to northern dive sites Reggies and Office. The viz was beautiful 15 to 20 metres, the temp was better than yesterday. At Reggies we had 3 reef mantas come past us, a huge old Loggerhead turtle swam past and slightly under me. I could see that something had taken a bite out of his shell (there was a section missing on the back right hand side) he swam round us and came back for another look. Another dive and another wonderful potato Grouper being very inquisitive, they love to get close and look at you as you look at them. After a surface interval floating on the surface for an hour and a half we went to the dive site Office, again beautiful clear viz, what made this dive was a giant manta came to the cleaning station. It was very chilled and didn’t mind us watching. The rest of the day the wind started to pick up sand blowing a storm down the road. There was a power cut from early in the afternoon until about 7.30 pm, I’d lit candles by then, when the power came back everything seems better. There has been another robbery in the area which really spooked me a little. Not opening windows and making sure doors closed.
Wednesday, this week is flying by. The wind is really up and it’s predicted to get worse the rest of the week. I still got an early morning dive to Giants Castle, I was leader. But the viz was about 4 metres and the current was howling, strange how conditions can change so quickly, due to the depth our bottom time was very short. Didn’t really see anything huge, but plenty of little things of interest. In 3 days this week so far I’ve done 5 dives, a good dive week. Spent time at the shop, Alice Cooper was taken home again by his owners; unless they shackle him to their house I think we’re going to be seeing more of him. He clearly likes it here, getting loved, petted and spoiled all the time. Once again I’m sure the geckos are pleased he’s gone, did find one that hadn’t fared well after a Alice Cooper encounter. No power again this afternoon, but It was on by the time I got home (woo hoo) unlike Tuesday.
Thursday was all about the dive of epicness. The wind is up and the sea is rough no one thought that there would be dives today. However one, then two dive centres went out so we decided to go. What a good decision. To be honest the actual sea was not as bad as I thought it would be, we went to Giants Castle which is in the bay so didn’t have to go far. As we dropped and the viz cleared there were 2 Giant Manta’s underneath me, again I was lucky to have Louis camera. Once the Manta’s had moved away from the area we were able to continue to drop towards the reef. They hung about quite near us for a while, then we got a visit from a small eye Sting Ray (the world’s largest Ray who can be about 2 metres at their widest, so there not small). Suddenly in my view I could see a Giant Manta and a Small eye at the same time. There were 4 of us in our group we just floated there watching these beautiful ocean giants. Once all that excitement drifted off, a large Grouper came to say hello and get in on the action. During all this in the background we had the sound of humpback’s signing was very loud, they were really so close, what an amazing bass line at 30 metres. Once on the surface bobbing about in the large waves we were all smiles and full of joy. On the boat our path was crossed by a number of humpbacks and then a Manta. Then things got very exciting as a Whale shark (the world’s largest fish, fact fans) appeared right next to us. We jumped in and had a very quick snorkel with it this was my 5th in the last 7 or 8 days. A dive of total epicness (if this is not actually a word then it should be). For once video I took actually looked ok, what a wonderful dive.
Friday, what can I say? I’m off, and had a few things to do like visit the airport then Inhambane. I could have got a chappa part of the way to the airport then hitch or walk. I decided to treat myself as it’s a Friday and hired Thomas taxi; he took me to the airport where I changed my LAM (the Mozambique airline). This turned out to be simple and quick, I was expecting this process to take a while. In the end I was in and out in minutes. Thomas then took me to Inhambane and dropped me off. I went to get money from a cash point; the local one at the petrol station has been out of action as they have refurbished the bank and added another machine. I spent my time walking about taking pictures and looking in shops. I got some food in a supermarket and found a house fan. The one I have been using stopped working last night so I thought id treat myself to a new one. It’s not been hugely hot today but I decided to find some shade and watch the world go buy. I ended up at the location of the finishing line of the road race I did last Saturday. Sitting there I watched the ferry going to and from Maxixe (pronounced ‘ma-sheesh’), I must take the ferry one day. I called Thomas who picked me up to take me home, I noticed a lot of army and police officers along the route, it turns out that the president of Mozambique is arriving at Inhambane airport (the one I was at earlier). When I got home there was a ginger cat on the porch, Tiger didn’t seem too upset about this visitor. The ginger cat was meowing and wanting attention, but I can’t really give it any as I can’t allow it to live here (this is not my house and Tiger and Tank live here), so I felt terrible trying to ignore it. When I went to collect Tank the cat followed me part the way, I’m hoping it finds its way home or finds a good home. Poor sweetie I felt bad. I have to say is nice to be home with the girls.
This week I have seen a number of amazing, beautiful ocean giants. I don’t see how anyone could ever get bored seeing these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat, it is a privilege every time.