These roads are not to be lightly taken. Just like life. We plan, we organize, we worry and we have to know how to get from here to there. Just like life.
We pre-concluded that last week rain should be dry by the time we started our journey to Ponta do Ouro and ended up facing 120km of continuous muddy pools. We had to live a nightmare before reaching paradisiacal Ponta do Ouro.
But then, like sometimes happens in life, we were lucky. The last minute two guys appeared from nowhere and suggested that we reversed and attacked a large pool from the middle to avoid a killing hole. “Huuuuuge!” they said. When we looked back and saw the crater we couldn’t believe how close we had been to end up Valentine’s weekend right there.
The road continued fastidiously the same: water, holes and constant trepidation. Suddenly I saw a van turning to the right and told: “That is unexpected. Better check why they turned there.” Paul stopped and I asked. The road ahead wasn’t passable. So we followed the van.
You cannot imagine what it’s like driving miles and miles through one way dirty roads with no other orientation but a public transportation van appearing and disappearing behind the green coastal hills.
Paul speeded up so we could catch the driver and at least confirm if we were following the right direction. We were. He was too. From that moment on and as any good Mozambican would do, he adopted us.
After one hour of blind obedience, full of adventures difficult to narrate without turning a mere comparison into a road odyssey, he stopped and left his passengers waiting while he informed us: “We separate now because I am supposed to go to the border first. You shouldn’t have problems if you follow this road. I am Zimba.” And with a smile and a friendly gesture he returned to the packed van. A driver with a lion’s name!
These roads are meeting points. They teach solidarity and humbleness. Drivers loudly buzz at us. At first I though we were doing something wrong, but someone explained to me they are energetically saluting a “brother” sharing the same fate. Mostly we meet nice people. From time to time we meet rude people. Just like in real life.
The drive from Ponta do Ouro started the wrong way, but then another angel called Thomas saved us. Thomas is a new sort of person justifying why Mozambique is part of the Commonwealth: he speaks a new language half Portuguese, half English. I think this is common around the borders with English speaking countries. After rescuing us, he and his group guided us through the worst part of the road. Bad roads and good people again. No doubt, this is Mozambique!