Friday, April 3, 2015

Vilanculo, Mozambique

Palm Sunday
Local boat we had to take
locals walking

Today we left Tofo to head to Vilanculo another beach village.  We first had to take a 30 minute shuttle, to a 25 minute boat ride to a 6 hour shuttle.

Once we got off the first shuttle and the boat we had to wait 2 hours until the shuttle was completely full before leaving which we had somewhat gotten used to.

As we waited Adrienne danced with a drunk man(at 8am), we asked to hold a crying baby that wouldn't stop crying to give the grandfather a break and we tried buying a begging child a pair of flip flops(since his were destroyed). but he didn't understand why we'd want to do that.

After they got the two seats filled we headed out on an overcrowded bus. We sat in the front thankfully and I actually got to hold a baby in my lap because her family of 4 wouldn't have fit into the shapa otherwise.  Of course I was thrilled with this, such a cutie!

I must say it's incredible to see the process of transportation in this country and how patient these people are.  I know I wouldn't be able to wait a whole day just to go a few hours away.  Crazy.

Anyway we got to our place opened our bottle of tipo tinto rum we bought and ordered some yummy fish sandwiches... Done!
local market
In the morning I went for a swim, we went for a walk then went to the local market for some local food and ate fish with pap in a coconut/peanut sauce.  Not bad for $1.00.

Today we rented a kayak.  Went to the local market again for some local food and beers, went for a nice walk on the beach then booked our EXPRESS bus back to Maputo!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


our shapa (Mozambican bus)
To make a long story short on our Tofo commute "9 hours" turned into 11 hot, crowded, aggravating, pee holding, stomach growling, thirsty, confusing hours on a local shuttle that we were told was a private shuttle for backpackers.  I won't go into details but this definitely rivals our "worst commute ever" in South America a few years ago.  You know the saying, "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is?"  Well with the price we paid for this shuttle to Tofo we should have known.  Lesson learned, we will be taking a different way back that's for sure.  As my best friend Bri says "TIA," when anything happened to her while in Africa, or a bus didn't show up... "This is Africa."

When we arrived in Tofo it made everything worth it.  We are staying at a beautiful place right on the beach.  We grabbed some food and beers and headed out for the night at the local bar.  Super cute, small beach town, just what we are looking for!
Last night we went to listen to some live African Jazz at a nearby hotel, then headed to the local club Dino's for happy hour.  $1.60USD for doubles of rum, vodka or tequila... I mean it's a no brainer.  While here in Tofo we ate fresh local fish with coconut rice, drank cheap beers and had their local rum tipo tinto.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sunshine Nut Company and More!!!

Today was one of my favorite days on the trip so far.  A woman who my mom works with, her brother owns a cashew company Sunshine Nut Company in Motola, Mozambique, which is about a 30 minute drive from Maputo.  He was nice enough to pick us up and have us spend the day/night with him and his wife to visit his cashew company and the orphanage that they are involved with.

First we went to Sunshine Nut Company and got to see the process of making the cashews and just how much goes into the freshness and yumminess of these cashews before they are packaged.  We got to meet the workers who all are extremely happy to have this opportunity to have such a great job and having such a caring boss.   We got to try the cashews hot out of the sunflower oil and they were delicious, best I've ever tasted.

Sunshine Nut Company is a fair trade company and 90% of their proceeds go back into the community, which is almost unheard of!  Of their proceeds, 30% goes to supporting farming communities, 30% to caring for orphans and vulnerable children, and 30% to creating new food companies! Please check the website  to find a local store near you that sells these cashews, its for a good cause and they are fantastic!

After this we headed to the orphanage and got to meet Corrie who started the orphanage years ago in hopes of housing 7 or 8 orphans.  She now has over 41 orphans living at her home that she couldn't bear to turn away, 60% of them are HIV/AIDS positive.  It was just amazing to see how big her heart is and how many lives she's saved.  She's an amazing lady.

We sadly had to say goodbye to all the children and Corrie and we went back to the house for a true home cooked Mozambique dinner, it was delicious.  Another inspirational young couple was staying with them as well who live in Mozambique.  They are opening an orphanage and are doing great things for the country, but they just adopted the sweetest, cutest, most well behaved two year old I have ever met.  His mother recently passed away from AIDs and she had asked this couple to adopt him before she passed.  Hearing their stories and what they have been through and the plans both families have for the future left me speechless.
yummy dinner
We've never experienced such hospitality during our backpacking adventures, we felt like queens.  After a great night sleep at their beautiful home we headed back to Maputo for a "9 hour" shuttle to the beaches of Tofo.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Making Our Way To Mozambique!!

Durban beach front
Today we found a place to stay in Durban and headed out for Sunday funday drinks and food.

 We were about a four minute walk to the beach, so we walked along the boardwalk where there was lots of activities, restaurants and people watching.  Many different cultures here in Durban made us feel right at home, which we loved.  We bar hopped, buying $10 bottles of yummy rose and got to relax and talk with some of the locals, everyone is so friendly here.  For dinner we got the popular Durban dish called bunny chow.
bunny chow

Border Line at 6am
The next day we hopped on a long bus ride from Durban to Johannesburg, about 7 hours.  3 hour layover in Johannesburg, then 11 hours  to Maputo.  This included waiting for the border to open for 2 hours, then we stood in line for 1 hour.  When it finally opened it took another hour to cross the border.  For traveling for almost 24 hours we handled it pretty well.
Mozambique We Have Arrived!!!
We got to Maputo and headed out to explore the town and grab some drinks and try to understand Portuguese, although most people think I'm Brazilian and assume I speak it.  We stopped by a cute little arts and crafts market, then had dinner at a popular local spot called Zambezia.  I got prego which is a popular Portuguese

art market Maputo

Maputo Streets

dish of steak fries and a salad. There wasn't too much to see in this town so we are planning our next moves for the next few days.