Best of April 2011

This best was dreamed a year ago, when I visited Ponta da Barra in Inhambane and decided to return. As it happens with so many things planned well in advance, nothing followed our initial intentions.

We couldn’t stay at a friend’s beach house as before just because this is the second busiest holiday period of the year. Instead of postponing for a week or two, we found a very basic accommodation in Inhambane from where we could easily reach several interesting destinations.

We spent the first day at Ponta da Barra, where we discovered a somehow crowded and neglected beach. The sand was stained by a countless number of new private constructions, tourists and medusa. With no regrets at all we visited the house where I stayed the previous year. If it had happened as intended, we would have to deal with a medusa invasion undermining any beach or sea exploration. So we said goodbye to Ponta da Barra and with no sorrow returned to Inhambane.

I truly appreciated staying in Inhambane. If I am not mistaken, Inhambane is the second colonial settlement in Mozambique, after Ilha de Moçambique. Unfortunately, I was too busy and too dependent of my companions’ own projects to have real time to appreciate or photograph aspects like people, architecture and landscapes.

It was during the return to Inhambane that we noticed a problem with the car. That changed our plan for Guinjata Bay, including a dive safari Andy had really enjoyed previously. Due to the conditions of the 30km dirty road, we had to swap Guinjata for Tofo.

I hated the idea of Tofo! For me Tofo represented the same I had reproved the previous day in Barra: unclean beach, frenzy construction and too many people. Years ago I had rated Tofo as a backpacker beach and Barra as an idyllic destination. I could only imagine how bad Tofo had become… Surprise, surprise!

Nowadays Barra is a middle class investment, attracting the sort that only cares to own a piece of it and get some cash back at any cost. On the contrary, Tofo beach is shared by small to medium investors, some of them local. Over the years they realized the importance of maintaining a spotless clean beach. It’s still a backpacker favorite destination, but such an attractive one! It wasn’t as perfect as I had imagined Guinjata, even so it was a good day, far better than Barra had been.

Anyway, I was in Inhambane watching blue seas and red sunsets while the rest of the world watched a royal wedding. Up to this moment I caught a 20 seconds glimpse of a bride wearing a V-neck white dress. I usually associate V with the word victory: a victory for their royal wedding and, beyond any doubts, a victory for my own plebeian best of April too!

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