June 13, 2011
Today is the longest of our travel days as we make the 14 to 15 hour drive from Swaziland to Tofo, Mozambique. We were planning on leaving last night, but too many things got in the way. Our big red bus broke down yesterday morning. AVIS was being a problem and wouldn’t do what our tour leader asked, so our new bus from South Africa didn’t make it to the Swazi border until after it had already closed. Our amazing driver, ended up staying at the border all night so he could be first in line this morning to pick us up for this epic long drive. What a great guy!
Our leader had warned us about this border. Apparently the Mozambicans are pretty strict about who they let in! Particularly, we had to pay $80 to get a visa. The lady making them hardly spoke any English, so it was pretty slow-going. Perhaps the best part was that she didn’t warn us that she was taking our pictures, so they all looked kind of terrible. Some people even sat in terrible poses the entire time just to get a funny picture. Mine looks kind of bad, and not even on purpose.
We were told that the Mozambique cops (wielding AK-47s) were going to continually pull us over and harass us, but we didn’t get stopped a single time. I was actually kind of disappointed that we missed out on this genuine part of the African experience…
Our welcome in Tofo was very warm for showing up in the middle of the night. Twelve or so of us crammed into the bed of a small pickup truck for a short ride up a dirt road to our accommodations. I was stuck crouching in the middle which is, to be honest, a pretty good workout! As for the place we’re staying, it is pretty nice! It’s also the first time I’ve gotten to use mosquito nets!