The End of a Love Affair


I think my love affair with Ponta do Ouro is coming to a close. It was kept alive for too many years. It survived distance, negligence, wartime and touristic invasions since 2000. How can one explain the end of a love affair?


First of all I can sense it’s not only me. Tourists are seeking other available options for reasons too obvious to say, but I intend to say – anyway – a few of them just as a note of disappointment.


For a paradise resort, Ponta do Ouro is too close to Maputo. If the idea was keeping the nightmarish dirty road as it is and the access via South Africa so easy to ride to stop the city crowds flux, they still come to know the place, visit friends and family. They simply don’t stay because there are no jobs and costs are prohibitively high. They just count in number, side by side with tourists, to the floating population visiting that small beach village.


Private sector has been shyly investing in Ponta do Ouro. I know for sure that tourists leave a great deal of cash, as tourists usually do, still it’s not possible to see social or structural improvements. Basically, what you see in Ponta do Ouro is natural or colonial. Can you believe there’s only one school for starters? Can you believe there’s no clinic or hospital? Can you believe that you cannot find most of the things needed to keep a house running and the few you manage to get are pretty expensive? What to say about the inexistence of a bank?


Despite all this and a lot more left to say, my love affair is ending because of a certain decrease of environmental quality. Tourists come from Maputo and react what they do in Costa do Sol. For the first time I saw so many bottles being consumed on the beach I could get drunk only with the sight and smell of it. What about people walking their dogs and leaving the dirtiness behind? I’ve never seen beach dogs dirtying the sand where people and dogs walk, seat and lie. There’s only exceptional territory questions to solve now and then, mainly at the end of the afternoon when the beach is left alone and watchful dogs are not sure who is going to show up.


Add to the above the fishing nets being used in the ‘pool’ where small fish breed and I can say my killing instincts rose as high as the tide.