Sometimes we plan, we make all the arrangements, but everything goes wrong. We had the perfect journey planned! As the road to Macaneta wasn’t passable due to the heavy rain falling during the last days, Andy suggested a tempting solution: he would drive us to Marracuene and from there we would take a boat to the lodge.
With this option we could avoid the road and the ferryboat. Instead of both, we would navigate on a centenary boat along the river. I was ecstatic with the perspective of a different adventure and the opportunity of taking photos of the river and its margins.
Andy was supposed to come back for us 24 hours later. Unfortunately for the three of us, “patrão” Pires (old lazy boat) was out of order. Paul and I had to forget our river promenade, while Andy and a friend had to face the worst road you can imagine, twice! The photo that I could take is from one of the “good” parts, because if the car stopped in the muddy road it would be the end of our weekend.
So we had to cross the river on the ferryboat and prepare ourselves for the worst. Andy is a good driver, very popular in Marracuene, to where he used to go from early age for bike and motorbike adventures. Because of that, everybody asked a lift on the back of our 4×4 and Andy just said yes and yes… Later, when the car was gliding in the mud, I could hear the shouting and laughing on the back. People were covered with pieces of mud thrown at them by the action of the tyres on the soft ground.
Everybody arrived as if we had been participating in an endurance rally. Andy and friend had a cold drink and left again for the worst 10km you can imagine. In the middle of 2006, there was a bid to maintain and recuperate these 10km of terrible road so important to the tourism. The value allocated for the job was USD200.000, and eventually it was done and finalized within 2006. I know that it is not a big amount, but nobody could see the result of it. The road is precisely as it was before!
The next day, Andy confessed to me that he had been naughty. He saw a group of people near the shops all dressed up in white for religious Sunday ceremonies waiting for a safe transport to Marracuene. He just couldn’t resist! He stopped and offered a lift. They were a little surprised with such gentle attitude, because usually people have to beg for a lift.
Andy indicated the back of the car to them and drove to the muddy swamp. Once near Maputo, when they signaled to stop, Andy and friend couldn’t stop giggling. The poor guys were covered with mud!