Mozambique 4:1 Marcel
I decided to walk to town to check on the best route for Nelspruit, as it was my last option left. On getting to town, I found a shopping mall, in which I bought a pair of jeans and a new shirt as well as a toothbrush and a charger for my old Nokia mobile phone. I went to Maputo with enough material to spend a few nights over. But left some things like the toothbrush and phone charger in the capital city. After that I got hungry so I decided to take it easy. I wouldn't make it in time to Nelspruit to get a visa on the same day anyway. Might as well have a good breakfast before heading out. In the Riverside Cafe in the mall I ordered a Riverside Special which consisted of two fried eggs, two bacon rashes, a sausage, two slices of toast, a slice of tomato and rooibos tea. I very seldom eat a breakfast like this, and it was a welcome change and good for the moral as well.
Arriving in Nelspruit I found the police station hardest to miss, so I went in and asked about accommodation in town. They only knew about the closest hotel which was a block away and was quite expensive. The basic room price is about R 1'000 but I finally got one for R 650, which was still out of budget for me. I was happy to find out by the hotel staff, that the Mozambican embassy was really close.
Around 8:00 I left the hotel for the embassy where I filled out another visa application form and paid R 600 for the visa. That was a really good start for the day. Usually when they accept the payment it means you will get the visa. The official told me to come back at 2:00 to fetch my passport.
After some more shopping, I walked the street where the bar where I drank beers the previous night is. The guys from last night hailed me so I went up and had yet another few beers with them. They actually gave me some Hunter's Dry ciders. At 1:30 I left for the embassy where I finally got this long awaited visa. At 2:00 I already sat in a taxi leaving for Malelane. From there I chose to go to Jeppe's Reef border post (Matsamo) to Swaziland. I was afraid some people at the Ressano Garcia wouldn't be too happy to let me into Mozambique despite of my new visa, so I played the safe card. From Jeppe's Reef I drove to Buhleni and then onwards to Manzini.
I invited Sicelo for a drink, and then for supper. We both chose to have the T-Bone steak with chips and salad. It took them more than an hour to prepare it, and once we got it the meat was overcooked. As I was starving, I just ate. Sicelo then told me he was going to work by car the next day and offered me an early ride to the border, which I promptly accepted. I wanted to go as far towards Tofo as possible the next day, so we agreed on meeting at 5 minutes to 6:00 the next morning. There was no point in leaving earlier though, because the border post only opens at 7:00, and it wouldn't take us much more than an hour to get there.
The next morning, Sicelo got there a bit later than what he said, but then we drove quickly towards the border. Driving through the Hlane Royal National Park we spotted quite a few imphalas and a giraffe. At the end of the day I only had a very vague souvenir of this though. This day would prove to be very tiresome. We finally got to the border post of Lomahasha after Sicelo had been stopped by the police and fined R 40 for not wearing a seatbelt. I gave him R 100 for the fuel, which was probably overpaid, but he could no doubt use it well.
Time to get nervous again. Passport with visa in hand, I walked into the Swaziland border post and got stamped out of the country once more. That was the easy part. Then I walked across the border towards the tricky part. I couldn't buy any present in the duty free shop as it would only open at 9:00. It has always been a mission for me to get the right visa for Mozambique, even in Geneva and later in Inhambane, where they found out a number had been scratched out and corrected in my visa I got in Geneva. I was quite nervous and only after a little while did I realize I would still have to fill out one of the border entry forms as the other people did.
|My new visa|
After a horrendously long trip – excluding the waiting time – of about 9 hours, we arrived in Inhambane around 10:30-11:00. A taxi was waiting for eventual customers that would get off the bus. He wouldn't budge on the fare of mts 800 for the ride to Tofo. So close to “home” I didn't want to spend the night in town.