Pot Holes Part 2
Black Market Petrol - Inchope
We felt like we were back in Zimbabwe as petrol station after petrol station turned us away. ‘No Fuel’, ‘No power’. On the 470 kilometre stretch from Vilankulos to Chimois we resorted to black market fuel of dubious quality. A old stocking used as a filter for fuel before entering the tank was used constantly and we were concerned about water and other special ‘additives’! The bike continued to run, somewhat roughly at times, all that is required really.
Legacy of War
At first we deduced the majority of pot holes were in towns or just before/after bridges… then came the Save to Changara section of road. One hundred kilometers or so of pot holes laced together loosely with scraps of tar.
If its broken, simple, just put another bridge on top!
The truck coming towards us is careening all over the road. What’s going on? Is the driver drunk? Is his truck out of control? Or is he just plain barking mad? As we get closer all is revealed…. pot holes.
We watched them approaching from the bottom of the hill, a walking stick in one hand tap, tap, tapping the pavement in front of them. Their dark eyed closed off to the world around them. Free hands on children’s shoulders.
Just like Oz in the bush
The old people, old by Mozambique standards, fumbled their way towards us, dressed in little more than rags. Surrounding us, a sea of hands reached out towards us with the constant drone of ‘Ayuda me’, Help me.
The Simple Life - Drying Maize
The tidal wave of helplessness passed around us to continue up the hill and beyond our vision and hearing. A scene from HG Welles Land of the Blind.
River Blindness, a relatively easy to cure disease if treated early.
The mighty Zambezi passed behind our favourite market stalls and we were to cross it again to continue our journey north. Here in Tete it is heavily polluted. Rubbish and effluence is poured into the river sending the refuse down stream making it some one else’s problem further down the line. Tete’s water supply is straight from the river, so drinking it is out of the question.
There is not enough witches hats in the world for Mozambique
Grant mistakenly picked up a bottle containing tap water that he was using to wash the bike and with a few swift gulps downed the entire contents. Panic stricken. Disbelief at such a dumb ass thing to do.
Typical Colonial Portuguese Building Main Highway
Remedy for drinking toxic water? We decided copious amounts of whiskey should kill any bug he may have swallowed. (Note: He did not get sick, only a hangover)
Grant at the Main Markets - Tete
Wonder if they have a motorcycle jacket??
Central Mozambique is where we have begun to notice the serious amount of foreign aid that is being pumped into the African continent. The one thing that sticks in our mind and craw is how clothing, donated by the western world to clothe the poor is sold and not given away as is intended.
Chomois Post Office
A few greedy people are absconding with container loads of clothes, by paying a bribe to the dock workers, they sell them to a middle man, who in turn sells the items to the stall holders who then sells them to the people they were intended for.
Ronnie, Grant, Amilee, Lien with Baby Emma
NGO's from Europe working in Zimbabwe, taking a break from 'politics'.
Quite a racket, considering the clothes were donated by good hearted people wishing to assist the less fortunate.
A Step Back in Time
An off shoot to this is some small industries that relied on customers to purchase locally manufactured products have gone out of business as they can no longer compete in the market place, causing a vicious circle of poverty and welfare reliance rather than relieving it.
Posted by Julie Rose at April 11, 2008 01:22 PM GMT