Misfits Mid Life Crisis Adventures in ………….. Mozambique & Swaziland (only just).
Week 30, Friday 9th to Friday 16th January 2015.
This week I have mainly been listening to….. Smiths, Morrissey, Kate Bush, Santigold, Ed Sheeran, The Cure, The Stone Roses.
And have been watching…. Game of Thrones (Season 3 eps 3 to 10) & (Season 4 eps 1 to 6), X-Men, Days of Future Past.
Still reading on Kindle…… “A Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire” book 1 by George R.R. Martin.
Friday 9th, up at 2.30am for the 3am start for the visa run. At 3am it became clear that we weren’t leaving I sat in the kitchen very quietly so I wouldn’t wake others up, but Zak and Zelda didn’t arrive so I went back to bed in my clothes. I got woken up at 4.30am, we finally left at 5am. There was another person Megan who was also doing her visa run, I have met her a couple of times but never really stopped to talk. I spent the next few hours nodding having little snatches of sleep here and there, a couple of times waking up to find my neck in a very strange position my chin felt it was in my belly button. Once we hit Maputo the traffic got bad (it’s a capital city what do you expect). The sun was out in full force on my side of the car so I roasted. We crawled along for an hour and a half slowly making our way down a duel carriageway. I fell asleep, when I woke up we were stopping it appears that we took a wrong turn, which meant having to go back 30k to Maputo, luckily the traffic was not as bad at this time. On our travel we got stopped by the police for speeding, the female officer said that a 1000met fine was needed straight away, Zak did some Jedi mind trick by leaned over and saying “we were students” and offered her 200mets. The police officer palmed the money like a magician doing close up magic, we continued our journey. As we got nearer the Mozambique/Swaziland border the hills got bigger, the light was starting to fade and the rain came. As with any international border it really wasn’t impressive, a couple of small buildings and “no man’s land” in between. We all got stamped out of Mozambique jumped in the car went the few tens of metres to the Swazi border and queued up in the immigration building and got stamped in. I did see a huge sign saying that you were entering a “Foot and Mouth Zone”. This is where Megan and I said goodbye to Zak and Zelda who continued in to Swazi. We on the other hand walked round the building and in the other side. When the man behind the counter realised that we had only just stamped in to Swazi I was waiting for him to ask “what’s wrong with Swaziland” way weren’t we staying. Then it was back to the Mozambique side, here we did have to actually explain ourselves and that we got a lift by car there but we didn’t have transport back to Maputo of our own. Highlights at the border one man came up to me asking for my address I just said “Tofo” with a smile, and one of the border guards shouted to me that “He enjoyed me”?????… Megan and I got back to Maputo first in the back of a bakkie (a small open van/truck that might carry sand or bricks, here it carries sand or brinks and other stuff such as people) then a Chappa (a small mini bus that gets packed to the seams with people) for the hour and a half ride to the capital. At the backpackers Megan set up her tent I was shown the dorm which was a different one to usual one I felt comfortable with I might actually sleep in the bed this time. I’d not eaten much today so a quick walk in the rain to the BP garage for crisps and fruit juice and a Death by Chocolate Magnum, which I enjoyed walking in the Maputo rain.
A pic of a Bakkie, small van that can carry people (not my picture).
Saturday 10th. I did sleep in the dorm, this room was different to the normal one I have been put in on previous visits. Woke up on time for the bus, unlike other trips home the bus it actually came direct to the backpackers normally you get taken by cab to the bus station. Today it picked us up at 4.45am, and still went to the bus station where it waited till it was full of people and belonging. This time I was near the front but I still didn’t have any real leg room even with a couple of pit stops I was in real pain by the time we got to Tofo at 3pm. My bum ached, my knees were numb and my ankles were swollen. As soon as I got home I jumped in the shower. Oh I also found we had virtually no electric, so caught a lift with Mike and Johnny when they were doing the Liquid fuel run, thank god I noticed that we needed electric as it wouldn’t have lasted long.
A Chapa, small bus (Not my picture)
Sunday 11th, another hot day in paradise. We had a staff dive to “Giants Castle” it’s the last time that that Johnny, Nadia, Chris, Mike and I dive together. This is because Nadia goes away for a month from tomorrow and Johnny leaves Tuesday. It was a great dive with a little current; we all took turns to fight with the reel. I have been diving in a shortie recently due to the temps on the surface but this means that you are more susceptible to scraps at depth. Today I got cut and slightly urched again so may resort to a full length wetsuit again. During the dive I’m certain I saw a Manta, no one else did, everyone looked at where I was pointing but no one saw anything; I’m chalking it down as my Manta. I mentioned earlier Nadia is going away, so for a few days it appears that I will be running the dive shop until Jari (one of the owners) returns next weekend. I’m not management material I have enough trouble managing my life, fingers crossed that nothing really goes wrong. Who’d have thought that I would be running a dive centre? But I think it all goes towards good general overall DM experience. I would like to do the PADI instructors course but I feel deep down that I need a good 12 to 18 months as a DM before I can say I’m ready to attempt the instructors course.
Monday 12th, today would have been my Dads 86 b’day, happy b’day Dad. Before I went on my visa run I did a little thing with the watercolour pencils/paints and a pic of dad from my kindle. Since beginning of December I have been doing little cartoons for b’days and celebrations (Cirmbum that sort of thing) for this I just wrote from the heart that I remember what dad looks like but can’t hear his voice anymore. I have hundreds of hours of home video in storage from the 80s and 90s I must have footage of dad fooling around. Today really was a day of nothingness this is not good to admit but I can only tell the truth, the only people that came in were to eat or drink at Nami that Jenny runs in the dive shop. Otherwise I sat there and read Game of Thrones and waited just in case I was needed, I wasn’t. I did hear that only one of the 4 dive companies in Tofo launched today so it’s not just us that’s quiet.
Most of the Liquid Family, back row left to right, Para, Mani, Mike, Joseph, Pedro, a fat bird in blue, Jenny and Megan from Turtle cove (my visa run buddy). Front row l to r, Chris, Isadora and Jon.
Tuesday 13th.A blisteringly hot day here, really need to have a dip in the pool at some point. Because it’s quiet I have said to everyone come in at 8am, I still open up at 7am. Mike was fast asleep this morning laying on his back as I crept out of the house this morning desperately trying not to make a noise. Johnny left Mozambique today; he had a good send off from the guys who work here and friends. He’s not going straight home he is doing some traveling including visiting the skeleton coast in Namibia (I’d love to go there). This afternoon highlight was an exploding beer bottle in Jens car, we were chatting when we heard a bang which resulted in her car alarm going off. I noticed what appeared to be water on her windscreen; we all look up, nothing, in my head I’m thinking “That’s a huge bird poo”. It was Jen that then said “It’s a beer bottle”, her car was in direct sunlight and she had a full beer bottle on the dash, a little excitement on another Tofo quiet day. Ended the work day in the pool so nice to cool down, this is when the idea of home cooked chips came about with Mike and Jenny. An hour later I was eating lovely home cooked chips made by Mike. Mike and I named 4 Geckos John, Paul, George and Ringo while cooking the first chips. I watched them for ages, Ringo was great at catching moths and flies, John seemed to have beef with Paul and George was just George doing is own thing.
Wednesday 15th, Just spent a while watching 4 ants walk all the way across the counter together and down on to the floor, fascinating little fellows all in a line. Sure enough it’s been a very quiet day once again the only people that have been in have been for Jenny. There appears to be a problem with the car our mechanic is looking in to it, he has said that a part might have to get ordered from Maputo. This could be a problem as Mike is due to drive to Maputo on Saturday and collect Jari who flies in from Finland. At the end of the day sure enough Para contacted me and yes the part does have to be ordered and also it’s going to cost a little more. It’s been another swelteringly hot day today I managed to have a dip in the pool for a bit, I really hope that we get a dive soon. In the garden this evening I had toasted marshmallows have not had these since I was tiny, so yummy. We were with Filippo an Italian guy who had never had marshmallows before, this reminded of Star Trek V (The Final Frontier) when Spock was shown one for the first time, I did wonder who I was if Filippo was Spock am I Kirk or Bones, who do I most want to be… There’s a lovely dog that has followed Mike around now and then, it’s a Rhodesian ridgeback like the lovely Tank. In the morning were going to contact the people that are looking after her, such a beautiful looking creature so well behaved.
Thursday 16th, The puppy spent the morning at the dive centre, she is being looked after by some people but she keeps running off, luckily she found Mike again. Mike and the puppy spent some time in the pool which was so lovely. The rest of the day was very quiet, apart from people to eat and drink at Nami. It’s very tiring doing nothing there were a couple of times when I thought to myself if I was to lay down I would fall asleep, therefore I kept myself up and doing things. I sent my Children’s story to a couple of friends today who are published to see what they think, fingers crossed that they like it and make some suggestion that might help. All this week I have been trying to write something but I haven’t got past a few paragraphs, I just can’t break the block, got to keep trying. We haven’t dived since Sunday, Mike is going to ask Jari if we can do a staff dive, fingers crossed for a positive answer (I have a feeling it will be good). Para has updated me on the car, that part he was going to get from Maputo won’t fit, but he has found a second hand part I have said to buy it as we need the car fixed for Saturday.
Friday 16th, we were all very excited about the staff dive. It didn’t happen, the sea is rough due to bad weather (There are a couple of cyclones out to sea that are the problem) so we didn’t launch, in fact I hear no one did again. Mike and I were so disappointed really wanted this dive not got wet since Sunday. Para got the second hand part and worked his magic on the car; this means that Mike leaves very early in the morning to drive to Maputo to pick Jari up at 1pm. Because its Friday I had fish and chips from Rasta’s so nice even though it takes a while to arrive (it’s worth it really it is). I had a lovely dip in the pool, just floating about is such a beautiful sensation, the fact that you can move about by balancing and pushing with one finger is amazing I think (especially if you’re the weight I am…. LOL). Tonight I have moved to my new accommodation for the next few weeks. I am staying at Nadia’s house and a lovely little place it is, there are 3 dogs that live next door so I think I’m pretty safe. I’m back to being on my own after sharing a house, I have to admit I’m glad to be on my own again. I have come to realise that I am a very solidity person and like my space, I don’t play well with people any more.
End of week 30 of the Mid-Life Crisis, I saw a tiny (maybe) 50 metres of Swaziland, didn’t dive much at all and moved to a new house this week. Overall not a busy week for work, but still a busy and happy week in Mozambique.