April 16, 2007 GMT
Crossing border to Mozambique

Love border crossings,LOL. I actually feel that the people at the borders do bad service for their country men and women. If only they would be a bit more forthcoming, helpfull and smile all would go better. To me, im that wound up after leaving the border post, it takes me quite a time to calm down enough to actually be human again, thats me anyway.

Well in to Mozambique i went, rather wound up. every one was hassling to sell me money, said i needed it to cross some bridge, i didnt.

From the border i rode through some nice ranges and reasonable roads. Arriving at Tete i was still a bit wound up. I took a hotel room for the nite, ended up staying for 2. Not that the place was anything to rave about, just i needed to do a little work on the bike(air cleaner etc.). Also just down the street from the so called hotel was a nice bar, that sold great food.

I had a nice meal at that bar and even caught a bit of TV. The bar girl was rather funny in that she came up to me to say 'U BUY ME DRINK' i said yes thats fine, thinking she was to drink with me, what i didnt realise is that it was not the drink she wanted it was the money that a drink is worth. In Africa it all about the MONEY, OR WHAT U CAN GET FOR FREE.
Even so it was a nice place and very tidy and clean.

As i said the hotel was a bit/lot rough and i was paying top $, asking for hot water for the shower, fell on deaf ears. Turned out at the time of leaving i was shitty again with the managements slackness to my hot water requests that i started to argue over the price they where charging me. I thought for a few moments, tore up some of the cash i paid to them, told them to get stuffed and rode out of town.
Not my best day.

South of Tete i was getting a little hungry, just as i was thinking it a town came up, and would u believe, there on the side of the hyw. was a 'Resturant and Bar" in big bold letters. I park the bike to the pleasure of all the locals looking on. At the counter i ask, 'English' a little was the reply. I had an hour or so having lunch and watching all the people watching me.

Turning more east than south i headed towards Beira, on the coast. It started to get late, but the sun kept up, this had me a bit confused untill i realised that Beira is actually on a point and sort of faces west, if u get my drift. Any how it was of a great help as i wondered around town, getting directions to a camp spot from various people. Till finally one guy at a servo said 'u just follow me', in broken english. First he had to put fuel in his car, then with him and his male and female passengers enjoying a beer, i followed. Now the streets near the sea, where i wanted to camp where mostly dirt and floaded with water. Very interesting in the fadeing lite.

In no time at all the car stopped in the middle of the road, the guy got out and pointed to a small walking track through some bushes. Go through there he pointed. With caution i rode the small track, on the other side it was like another world. New 4x4s parked in a line, lights from a resturant and a welcoming smile from the secruity gaurd.

After booking in, the guard(i speak no portuguess) led me to a place i could put my tent and bike in that was under cover, safe from the rain. The gaurd raked the sand smooth and helped put the tent up. All settled, i handed him a mzn100, with a big smile he showed me his hitting stick and demistrated how he would hit the people that might want to touch my gear. Money makes many friends in Africa.

While in Beira i did an oil and filter change. This i did by the road at a pile of rubbish. My logic was the same as Arlo Gutheries in the move/record 'ALICES RESTURANT'. If u have not heard the record, do its quite good, even has referances to motorcycles. Any how as i was saying, oil change. While finishing of 3 lads come along and rumaged through the pile and yes they took my used oil containers, recycling at its simplest.

From Beira i headed to Vilankulo, it was a big day. Unable to complete the ride, in the daylite i opted for a camp off the road. As much as i try to remember i always forget about landmines. This was brought home to me the next morning. I came across a well set up camp, in a road side stop. Thinking it was a tour bus group with nice ladys to look and chat to i pulled over. That bus of ladys is still out there as the camp was for the 'land mine removal men'. I was welcomed to their camp, for coffee and chat. The main guy spoke great english. He explained what they where up to and that because of the Cyclones, the land mines have shiffted, not that they new where they where before. But it seems that land that they had cleared before must be checked again. Bloody land mines.

My thoughts after talking to the land mine guy was me camped of the road, walking around like i owned the place, what i fool i felt.

Posted by Brian Bayley at April 16, 2007 09:45 AM GMT

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