Mozambique - Pemba to Nacala

December 6, 2011 - Nacala, Mozambique

 

‘What....Marco and Karen again!’ In came their damaged 4x4 Toyota Prada, the first time they returned it was to fix the airconditioner; this time was more serious, they had rolled a few times and although the engine worked the body was badly battered. Their roof top tent was now tied straight to the roof as their rack was mangled along with gerry cans and the windscreen. Out of the woods came many locals to help but half were villains and robbed them of all they could! Thankfully they were not hurt and drove back to Pemba for a makeover once a vehicle passing by had helped to pull their car back onto it’s wheels. Paula and I scurried around fixing dinner whilst they sorted out their chaos. Russel Camp – the camp of the stranded! Well at least we were all in it together!

An sms came through, that dreaded Wilson man AGAIN! We had bought some goods from his shop where George had paid by credit card. The lady said the transaction was approved, she had the slip but could not print out a copy for George. That night at their restaurant where we celebrated Noddy’s return Wilson told George the transaction had not gone through. George said he wanted to check his statements first since he had seen that the slip had said approved and he assured Wilson that we would of course settle the bill if it had not. We left giving him our contact details. The following day the rude texts began starting from ‘I strongly advise you to settle your account immediately’ to threats to send the police to detain us until the matter was settled in court.... ‘decent people settle their bills’ ...blah blah. Our statements did not go up to the current date so it took a couple of days for us to verify the transaction was complete. Unbelievably the abuse continued even after we pointed out to him that the transaction had actually gone off our account and we had proof of that ...... what an obnoxious man and it seemed locals in Pemba knew this only too well!

The landy was ready, George picked me up to do last minute shopping before we hit the road. We did not even get to town when the engine spluttered to a halt and petrol was spewing out everywhere. This was just great, what was it with this Pemba place where everything seemed against us? George left me in the car, ran up to the main road caught a taxi into town and went back to the garage. The owner came out and ran me home whilst another vehicle towed George in. So there we were stuck again for another day whilst they put a new petrol pipe in and fixed other damage from this event. George went in the next day and sat on their case the entire day, it was a depressing picture seeing him transported back home by the owner. The landy now had a water leak all from the same area and we were back to square one, the engine had to be taken apart for the third time! It seemed they had only made things worse!

In the meantime the tent was taken down and all our clutter was ready to be reloaded into the landy which arrived still leaking oil that afternoon. The drive around Pemba showed that the leak was not too bad so we decided to say goodbye to Russel camp after a tiresome 17 night stop over and push on to a bigger city to get things attended to. Once out on the open road we were going through much more oil than we had anticipated, it was even splattering the caravan! Determined not to take it back to that same workshop we pressed on with lots of supplies, George stopped and topped up a litre and a half every hour or so and we made calls to find parts and get contacts for another mechanic further south. Of course the timing of everything was again bad so we made our way to Nacala and planned to get things fixed in Nampula after the weekend.

We spent a few nights at Libelula rustic camp site, not really a camp site at all but at least the snorkelling was good once you got down the 96 steps to the beach. Steve had to reverse the caravans in since the campsite was so tight it was impossible to turn around in. Since Paula has trouble with her hips and neither of them swim in the sea the Thomas’s have had nothing but the hot dust bowl of the campsite to endure....at least they love reading! I spent the days snorkelling or hiding from the sun and taking many cold showers in my clothes to try and cool down, our fan was working overtime!

Nacala is beginning to boom with one of the largest coal deposits in the world recently found in Tete. A rail road is being built from Tete to Nacala where the coal will be shipped out, the area is becoming a buzz of activity as are Pemba and Mocimboa da Praia with all the gas, oil and coal reserves. Mozambique - a land of plentiful opportunities and by far the most expensive country we have been in! Northern Mozambique - so remote, so hot and absolutely the worst possible place to have transport problems in....... I can’t wait to be out of here!

 


Pictures

Good bye to Russel Camp at last!!
pemba-nacala 017-550
Libelula - a hot dust bowl of a camp, George busy sorting dem flies
Libelula Camp - too tight for trailers, Paula directs as Steve reversed us all in on the Cruisers nose
 
 

10 Comments

Boet:
December 6, 2011
What a story ---- poor you!! I am convinced that Wilson wanted to make a few bucks. Keep your cool, take care.One day you will laugh about your Pemba experience
Ant & Cherie:
December 6, 2011
Hi Ally, sorry to hear about your hassles - bet you're now looking forward to hitting the Cape!?!
I have followed your entire journey and vote that you write a book!! Love Ant

Mum is with us in Oz at the moment - she has a few words..Hi Ally and George. Have loved reading your blog - fascinating. What an experience. Hope you get moving asap. All my love Ro
Amy:
December 6, 2011
Hey sjoe who would have known Mozambique would be so dissapointing :( Pity you can't pop in at Iris Ministeries that would be cool . Hope things get all sorted . This travelling around Africa is definitely not for the faint hearted . You seem to be persevering well. I am most impressed with all the things you have managed to fix ,fly in and 'Magyver' very impressive George !! George doent take any BS ! We are having our end of year Innercity party tomorrow and Christo and Eise just got back from their India trip which for some included an outreach of sorts into Nagaland!

Lots of love and will pray for happy travels !!

xxxx
Annick:
December 6, 2011
Hey friends, you must have tough skins by now in more ways than one! Your Africa trip wouldn't be complete without some serious challenges, you've got the badges and the t shirts! John and I drove past your house yesreday and we were thinking of and saying that it's not long before we see you back in CT.
We'll miss you at the cell get together on Saturday.
We're meeting for lunch at Shirley Tobias's beautiful house in Rosebank.
All is well with us. My family issues lurk just below the surface. God's giving me courage and strength and protecting my heart from blame insults and false accusations. We're staying in CT over the holiday season, the best place to be.
We look forward to having you back home.
Safe driving (as far as it depends on you) Lots of love
Annick
brigitte parfitt:
December 6, 2011
Hi dear friends, before I read about your latest adventure I looked at the photos. They look so very peaceful and beautiful ... and yet, even there in the shadows the "badies" lurk. We think much of you and trust that you will have a peaceful and enjoyable end to your travels. May the Lord protect you and keep you (and Noddy) from all harm. With much love, Brigitte and Roy
Debs Blignaut:
December 6, 2011
I think you're amazing Alice sounds horrendous. Trust you will have a safe and peaceful rest of your journey home. Am so proud of all your blogging!
Moira Richards:
December 6, 2011
this all sounds so awful, shew. shame what perserverence you have had. you must be fluent in a few choice Portuguese words by now?
one day you might look back and remember with fondness your trip and travels through Mozambique? certainly many experiences you cold have done without. I pray your troubles are over and that from now it will be happy trvels all the way home. I have sorely missed you but really enjoyed reading your excellent stories. I leave on friday, trvelling in the air far above the dusty bumpy roads so not much of an adventure but will arrive quickly i hope.
see you in january, when do you get back?
philip:
December 7, 2011
Oh my poor sweet babies. After enduring what I thought to be a reasonable trip throughout Africa, our nearest neighbour seems to be the place where you experienced the most problems.
Well I trust that all is sorted out and that you are peacefully on your way further south if that is your intensions.
As Annick mentioned, this coming Saturday is our Christmas braai and it includes the group when we multiplied. It will be great to spend some time together. I find that once you multiply it starts becoming a us and them group. We try to be involved wherever we can. I still advise both groups about birthdays.

I am so sorry to hear what had happened to your friends when their Landy rolled. I suppose it's much like home. Once there is an easy target, people go for it.

Drive safely, enjoy the rest of your trip and looking forward to seeing you both soon.
GOD bless, much love and warm regards.
Heather:
December 7, 2011
Hi George & Alice,
We were sorry to hear of all your mechanical problems & hope that things are now working as they should. We love hearing of your adventures & prayer for God's protection & provision.

We had a real scare yesterday. I was ill with flu so Dave joined the hiking group without me. I later got a call to say he was experiencing chest pains up in the Silvermine area & needed an ambulance. At Constantiaberg it was confined that he was having a heart attack. Once stabilized they moved him to Vincent Palotti. This morning he had a stent inserted. He is looking & feeling so much better, but will need to rest up for a while. I am just so thankful to God for placing the right people in the right places to get him down off the mountain in time. To his hiking colleages, the mountain rangers, the ambulance guys & the medical staff - God bless you all.
With love Heather
philip:
December 12, 2011
Hi Alice and George,

We had a lovely small group Christmas party on Saturday. There is a lovely collage of pictures on Jonny Mayers facebook. We were a nice large crowd and everyone pitched in to make the day a huge success.
It was held at Shirley's home in Rosebank which has a beautiful garden. So it was a braai and we dressed proudly South African. Some stunning costumes which made for a good laugh.
And then it was present time after our sit down meal. Remember the game we played last year and the journey of that one pair of sandals ? Well this year Shane and Pauline contributed 5 pairs. Can you imagine the stealing and swopping of presents.
You were both sorely missed.
I trust and pray that you are now safely on your way and that the car and Noddy are both fixed.

Much love, warm regards and safe travels.
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