Travels

Crossing from South Africa to Mozambique

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The van I traveled in was not the only one that stopped in this village

It was on the South African bus that took me from Johannesburg to Nelspruit - entrance to the incredible kruger park- where I met a kid from Mozambique That spoke wonders of his country. I started to get more interested and look for information and, in the end, I decided to include in my 2 month route through South Africa to the country that was a Portuguese colony until 1975.

One Friday morning in early March I went out with my two backpacks to the bus station mounted in the Crazy Dave van. This South African owner of the Old Vic hostel in Nelspruit He insisted that he not take the collective vans that blacks used to cross to Maputo. There are still these prejudices in many South African whites. I pretended that he was following his advice but, once he had left me at the door of the Intercape bus company, I waited for him to leave and I went down the street to the Nelspruit market, from where the collective vans left.

A crowd of people seemed to walk aimlessly around the market. When I found the stop I ran into incredulous looks and bewildered smiles. I think they were not used to whites crossing Mozambique with them. I paid 130 ZAR (rands) for my ticket to Maputo and I took a seat in the van. As usually happens in Africa, I would not leave until it was filled.

Villages on the roadside in Mozambique

I was lucky and half an hour later the engine started. The last passenger who got on was a Zimbabwean boy named Ronald. He sat next to me, smiled at me and greeted me in good English.

Ronald made the trip - with unbearable heat and without air conditioning - much more enjoyable. It was commercial for a group of South African hotels and made the trip to Zimbabwe to see the family. Before he would go to Maputo to see a friend and stick a good party. It seemed that the fame of paradise of the farra of South Africa that Maputo had was justified.

While we waited for our passports to be sealed at the border, Ronald bought a Mozambican SIM card for his mobile. I declined the offer of the multitude of vendors who beset me because I thought I would not need it in the short time I thought I was in the country. Big mistake.

I exchanged 50 euros in local currency (Meticais) at a very good rate and without being ripped off with the tickets and we continued traveling.

Until that moment the trip had passed at a good average speed and with hardly any stops. But nevertheless, when entering Mozambican territory the thing slowed down considerably.

Streets of Maputo, my entry point in Mozambique

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