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Ω2

Mozambique: Life in ruins…

   Mozambique is a quite big country and I had almost a month to explore just its northern part. I rode 1,400 km (870 miles) from the border with Zimbabwe to reach the coast. When I saw those exotic beaches with the turquoise water, I knew it was worth the effort! I relaxed for a few days in a spartan room in Mossuril, next to the water, being hosted by some friendly locals. Everyday I was exploring the region around there. My favorite beach was Cabaceira Pequena with its long, white sand. I loved watching women and children fishing on the coast while the wind was blowing the sails of picturesque dhows in the background…

The coast of Mossuril

The coast of Mossuril

   Somewhere around there, I celebrated a great moment… Since 2007, when I first hit the road on my motorbike, I spent more time traveling around the world than being settled in Greece! Between my two long trips in Asia and Africa, I stayed in Greece for four years. However, the time I am exploring the world is longer since now and… I’m still going strong!

Women and children fish on the coast, while men fish by boats.

Women and children fish on the coast, while men fish by boats.

   I visited Mozambique Island which packs so much of history… Well before the 15th century, it was already an important trading settlement dealing with Madagascar, Persia, Arabia and elsewhere. Then, Vasco da Gama landed there and eventually Mozambique Island became the capital of Portuguese East Africa. The Portuguese architecture is still evident on the forts and the old houses which survive. As a result of history, this little place is home to a diverse and multicultural society. On an island that you can walk from side to side in a few minutes, you can find Christian churches, mosques and a Hindu temple!

São Sebastião Fort in Mozambique Island is the oldest complete fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa.

São Sebastião Fort in Mozambique Island is the oldest complete fort still standing in sub-Saharan Africa.

   I couldn’t stop enjoying the majestic coastline, so I spent several more days around the small town of Nacala-a-Velha. With my host, Joachim, and his friends we visited the Catholic mission of Cava. On Sunday, Father Silvano got his motorbike, I got mine and we were riding on trails in the bush for an hour to reach a remote settlement. Tens of villagers from the whole region came to attend the open-air liturgy. They were surprised to see me there and they were very curious about my adventures in Africa. I was answering their questions in English, Elena was translating my answers to Portuguese and a local elder who speaks Portuguese was finally translating everything to Makua, the language that the villagers could understand. They never had a guest from that far, so they made me feel really honorable. They even organized some traditional dancing for me! The interaction with those people was really interesting…

These villagers never had a guest from that far, so they even organized some traditional dancing to honor me!

These villagers never had a guest from that far, so they even organized some traditional dancing to honor me!

   After singing all together “What are the problems in your house?”, the villagers were replying to the question one by one. This way everybody knows what is happening in the village and if it is possible, the elders give their advices. After that, the liturgy started with local music and dancing, mostly by women. They had brought two live chickens to prepare a meal on the fire for everybody. After eating, we bid farewell and they asked me to let them know if I will reach my country safe and sound.

That's the small church that the villagers built in the bush and we reached with Father Silvano to make a liturgy.

That’s the small church that the villagers built in the bush and we reached with Father Silvano to make a liturgy.

   It was time to leave my motorcycle for a while and take a small boat to Ibo Island. I had to camp on the coast and wait 22 hours until the next boat would leave. Forty people were packed on a tiny, wooden boat with their luggage. Men, patient women and children were sitting anywhere, on the floor or on the luggage. As the old boat was battling with the waves and some water was getting inside, I felt that this must be what all those African immigrants go through for days when they try to cross the Mediterranean Sea and reach the promised land, Europe…

While sailing to Ibo Island, I felt that this must be what all those African immigrants go through for days when they try to cross the Mediterranean Sea and reach the promised land, Europe...

While sailing to Ibo Island, I felt that this must be what all those African immigrants go through for days when they try to cross the Mediterranean Sea and reach the promised land, Europe…

   Ibo used to be an important slave-trading port and Mozambique’s second-most important town. Now it’s a surreal place full of old, dilapidated Portuguese houses. Some of them are already ruined, while some other look ruined but people live inside. Mozambique suffered a terrible civil war for 15 years and everything now looks ruined. The country is less developed than its neighbors but Mozambicans are still smiling and trying to build a life out of the ruins…

After 15 years of a brutal civil war, life is going on in Mozambique between old, Portuguese ruins...

After 15 years of a brutal civil war, life is going on in Mozambique between old, Portuguese ruins…

   It was time to move inland again, since I definitely wanted to visit Malawi. It was more than 1,000 km (621 miles) away but I took some nice shortcuts through dirt roads. Some of them had quite a lot of sand and what they call “fis-fis” in Sahara. It’s that powder-like sand which makes a whole cloud of dust once you hit it. Anyway, the ride was enjoyable and after a couple of nights wild camping in the bush, I reached the border…

I finally replaced my broken windscreen with a Chinese one... Price: 3 euros for the windscreen plus 1 euro for the bracket. Installation was included!

I finally replaced my broken windscreen with a Chinese one… Price: 3 euros for the windscreen plus 1 euro for the bracket. Installation was included!


 

Παρουσιάσεις

Κοζάνη
Σάββατο
30 Νοεμβρίου 2019, 20:00
Όμιλος Δικυκλιστών Κοζάνης
1ο χλμ Κοζάνης - Κρόκου

Kozani

 

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