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We experienced Mozambique by train, bus, taxi, pick-up truck, kayak, chapa van, 18-wheeler (sitting in the back with the cargo!), dhow sail boat, row boat, and a few other modes of transport during our stay in this fascinating country. Each step gave us invaluable insight and access into the inner workings of Mozambique, its people, gorgeous landscape, historic charms, and all the oddball nuances that let You Know Your In Mozambique When…
Local fishermen are your best beach clean-up crew…using washed-up flip-flops as buoys for their fishing nets. (above photo)
The term “house plant” takes on a whole new meaning.
Ten people can fit in a row of seats meant for four people (this photo shows six of the passengers in our row. Not visible is me, the kid on my lap, and the mother and child to my right.
The sun sets on the northern coast and you’d think the water has been set ablaze.
You have more Portuguese forts dotting your coast-line than Portugal itself.
- The immigration office gets so flustered by a paper jam they will shut down the visa machine for two hours until a tech-savvy tourist comes along (aka. Mike).
You can get all your grocery shopping done from your train window.
Your northernmost border can only be crossed by leaky dhow boat through hippo-infested waters (note: Try not to catch the 6:30pm “sunset nail-bter”)
Dhow boats are the island delivery method of choice (aka. the ONLY choice) for everything from fruits to spices to 1,400 pound machinery.
– The Quirmbas islands are so perfect you would think you were staring at a screen saver.
– A fresh coat of paint and stucco is so last century (literally).
– You have a better chance of hitching a ride on an 18-wheel banana truck than catching a bus or a taxi in the northern territories.
– Some of your best silversmiths have, sadly, yet to hit puberty.
– Even medical students will sell you a seat on their school bus to earn a few extra bucks.
– Islands scatter along the entire northern coast like musical notes on a Mozart concerto.
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12. A list of everything we packed