Dreams continue to come true; I’ve always loved traveling I think the first road trip out of the country was going to Mozambique in 2008. That trip shaped how I saw traveling with friends and having minimal plans. We explored XaiXai, Beline, Inhambane and Tofu for a full two weeks and the trip didn’t cost alot as well.
While we exploring the new Jaguar F-Pace in the Eastern Cape early this year – Lelo (chica.co.za), Papi (savibeza.co.za) and myself decided that we should come together as Media owners to explore possibilities as a unit. Lelo suggests that we have the meeting in Mozambique, Maputo – I got excited because I needed a mini break from running Marvin and other things. Whatsapp group was created; we discussed dates, proposals, what is required, numbers, and sponsors to make this possible.
Papi picks me up from the office in the BMW X1; I suggest that I drive first because my eyesight is bad at night. We get to Total garage to pick up Lelo on our way out. Total team is waiting for us to take pictures and bid us a safe trip. I haven’t had an opportunity to eat so I feel like a good pie, then we get told that anything that’s available at the store we can have. I mean like anything! I started with two pepper steak pies, (you can judge me all you want, I love pies). They have Mugg n Bean store as well so i got sandwiches as well, at some point I felt like I was doing my house groceries. I was surprised by that gesture which was a nice gesture.
I start driving while Lelo and Papi tweet about the trip under the #SAfricanTravelToo (Lelo suggested that hashtag because what Papi and I came up with was terrible). Lelo sang along to the songs to all the songs, while I was driving. The sound track for this road trip was Amanda Black – Amazulu, Lelo introduced us to the song. I love that song, it’s amazing – oh and Lelo lost her mind when I played the Kwaito Marvin Mix by Just Themba.
When we got to the last Total garage before the boarder we were greeted with smiles and such warmness as well. The people from Total were very friendly and kept on saying the VIP’s are here. We refilled the car and got more refreshments for the rest of the road trip.
We got to the Mozambique boarder at around 8pm. Being bombarded by everyone who is offering to help us with the papers to enter Mozambique, don’t fall for that. It doesn’t cost you a thing to cross the Mozambique border so don’t pay anyone anything just follow the process and you will be sorted out. The police are always looking for bribes, I mean always! My dodgy Tsonga saved us now and again because the cops would only communicate in Portuguese or Tsonga.
It took us another hour and half of driving from the boarder to Maputo, personally I believe it was good that it was raining when we arrived because we wouldn’t have to deal with cops. We arrive at the Radisson Blu Maputo hotel and we get told that they have been expecting us. We check in and get told that breakfast, Lunch and Dinner and anything besides alcohol are on the house, which is another surprise I didn’t expect. I was really tired; I took a shower and went straight to bed with Iron Man 3 playing in the background.
The weather was not as we expected but there was some sort of hope of the sun coming out but it stopped raining so that was good. Breakfast was cool but I was hoping on having the shrimp or the lobster omelet like I had in Beline. Lelo and Papi spoke to the guy at reception with regards to what can be done in Maputo on a Saturday, but Lelo seemed to know the places we should visit. First we had to find ATM’s to get cash because we realized that having your card is not the best option in Maputo. It’s hard to find parking in town and cops always want to stop you for a bribe when they see a GP number plate. We went to the old train station in town, which was cool – it looks run down a bit though but good enough for to be a tourist destination. I was obsessed with the next destination, which was a small Island just after town; honestly I just wanted a beach.
Arrived at the Macaneta Island, which was the closest or rather, the nicest Island in that part of town but it took forever to get there because we were not trying to break any traffic laws as well. Lelo and Papi found a Lodge to settle in while I went to the beach to get vitamin sea. The Macaneta beach is not really that nice, its ok and the Lodge where we at had mosquitos for days. The restaurant just looked a bit doggy but surprisingly the food was amazing. The beach was a cool experience for me because I got a moment to reflect on how far I’ve come and how much this trip was needed. Thanked God for the opportunity to be part of this trip as well. Driving back was not as bad but let me not forget to mention the traffic in Maputo is crazy, a huge truck reversing on the main road kind of crazy. And once again knowing how to speak Tsonga helps with the police in Maputo.
We got back to the hotel just before it got dark, which was better because Saturdays in Maputo means a lot of traffic. While we have some down time at the coffee shop before heading out for dinner. We were discussing the possibilities of this newly formed force; out of the blue Lelo’s wig fell off. I didn’t even know it was a wig, I honestly thought it was a weave and I’ve never seen Papi laugh so hard that night. We had dinner at their new establishment Azul that is part of the Radisson Blu group. The food was amazing, even the starters were good – I am not pedantic when it comes to food, I basically eat anything to survive but when you are in Maputo you need to have the food at Azul. Lelo and Papi had wine during dinner while I had some tea, I was sobering up to smoke the cigar that I bought the other day at the Roast Café in Melrose Arch. See it’s a new tradition that I have is to smoke a cigar to celebrate the little victories in life. After smoking, reflecting and planning – I took a shower, ate some snacks that we brought back from the trip and ended it with a Whatsapp call from a friend in New York.
The previous night we asked of we can check out later than usual and the hotel agreed. We needed to do more tourist things before we headed out. We had to check out the Catholic Church in Maputo and we took pictures with the great Samora Michel statue in the middle of town. Lelo spoke about the Iron House which was interesting to see because the entire house was build with iron, I thought to myself I wouldn’t want to be there in summer. Straight to the market we went – I must say that we are spoilt when it comes to markets because they are not the same as ours in Johannesburg. I got a nice laptop bag at a very nice price though which was 1000 Metcash (R180). The last place for the day was the fish market, again people were trying to get us to eat at their stand – for a price obviously. The actual fish market smells like fish, which is cool for me because I cant, smell much – everything is fresh by the fish market, hey. Food took too long to get to us and the as usual the kitchen looks a bit dodgy therefore the food is going to be amazing, I get it now.
We head back to the hotel to get our things and hit the road. The staff at the Radisson hotel bid us farewell. It’s probably one of the best trips I’ve been on in a long time.