A Travellerspoint blog

November 2008

Part 3: Mozambique

Now this is poverty


View Africa on tway's travel map.

I wasn't expecting Mozambique to look like that.

I mean, I'd seen pictures of Africa, with its poor villages and crowds of people and the struggle for every and anything. And we'd just been through parts of South Africa where tin villages sat on dry sand and people made their living doing whatever was at hand. It was haphazard and poor and terribly simple, but it felt grounded in some culture that wasn't for us to understand, some way of life that was different and fundamentally good.

But Mozambique was chaos.

It started at the border. Three of us had our visas already, but everyone else--wisely--had waited till the border to get theirs (so much for my $80 in Puralator fees!). So we picked up a "helper" just outside the border, who was supposed to speed up the process and ensure we dotted all our I's and made quick time.

Well.

The border was a mess. There were people everywhere--standing around, trying to trade Mozambique Metacals for South African Rand, pushing and shoving and sweating and eyeing our big, red bus as Jimmy locked and left it at the gate. And in we went, to the vilest, most pathetic excuse for a customs point I'd ever seen. Lining up meant shoving to keep your place, and Neal's "Is that your hand on my butt?" was proof enough for me that we'd been right to keep our wallets on the bus (my passport and the 17 Rand needed to get in was tucked safely, if uncomfortably, in my left 36C).

The three via holders made it out, only to find the others--perplexed--standing without passports and looking a little worried. The "helper" had gone off with their papers. All of them. And he was nowhere in sight. Then his helper came, and everyone went back off to fill more papers, and we waited ages and fret with them until everyone had everything in order. Then money exchanged hands here, slipped into a pocket there, and the bus was--thankfully--off. Seems the helpers either get on and get paid or they inform the authorities that your bus needs a thorough search. Welcome to Mozambique.

The toll road was much the same. A bill exchanged hands and a request for change was met with a laugh. Cursing from the front of the bus, but who could you complain to? Everyone seemed to be on the take or in your pocket--part corruption, part Communism, part survival. But it was all rather disgusting.

And then we saw the city.

Crumbling apartment blocks. With satellite TV.
Life_in_Maputo.jpg

The road into Maputo was surreal. There were people everywhere, lying along the road, under trees, in garbage. Just lying there, at times with an outstretched hand, a wave, and always a look. We turned every head we went by--and we went by a whole lot. And the road-side stands were like nothing in South Africa. Here, people were selling the same things, over and over, in dirty stalls, under torn umbrellas, hawking muddy bits of scrap and stuff picked from trees. The city was somehow worse, covered in mud and deep puddles, advertising--everywhere, everywhere--two rival cell-phone companies. These people living in filth, not noticing they were living in filth, carrying cell phones and chatting on the rediculously packed busses, under tree after tree, in the middle of fields. Wherever they'd plopped themselves. Chatting and begging.

I hate to say it--it's so terrible to say it--but I thought: No amount of money from the rest of the world--no relief teams, no fundraiser, no good will or ambassador, no nothing--is going to fix this. Because this has become a way of life. And you can't fix a way of life. These small children, just learning to walk, who already know to outstretch their hands at a passing bus. This is learned poverty. This is helplessness. How could I have come to Africa and seen for myself and changed my mind?

So it was with a little self-loathing and shame that I watched our progress to Bilene, way up the coast. Who was I, 6 days into Africa, to judge what was what?

I still don't have an answer.

Nonetheless, the bus drove on and on up to Bilene and Laugna camp--our stop for the next two days. We pulled in when it was long dark, and hoisted our bags to a small hut. Being the honeymoon couple has its perks, and we enjoyed--once again--the biggest place for just the two of us. It was clean and cozy and, after a quick shower to wash off the long day, we sat down to our first real supper altogether. Priscilla cooked and we set and cleaned up, and shared stories amongst ourselves: Philip and Harry, from the north of England, now living in northern France with a place in southern Spain. Connie and Erin, mother and daughter, from California and Lake Tahoe. Steve, from London and with an accent that was near incomprehensible. Bill, from Michigan, the most well-travelled of all. Sasha, from Toronto. Jo, from Finland. Alan, from Montreal like us. Eleven people who became like family for three weeks.

Our chalet at Inhambane, where our bug spray mysteriously disappeared...
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The next day it was cloudy, so we wandered off quietly to the lagoon--sitting around and playing in the sand, Neal and Steve tossing a football around. We headed back for lunch, and Neal and I went to find a new can of bug spray, since we'd unthinkingly left ours out on the porch--apparently an invitation to take and enjoy. Then someone thought to book a boat trip out beyond the lagoon, and so began the highlights that came with every day of our trip.

Watch out, Neal!
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One of the boats along the lagoon.
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The boat was a little wonky--sputtering across the lagoon just a few hours before sunset. We wanted to swim something a little deeper than the shallow waters around our camp, and setting down on the beach and disembarking I could suddenly hear them, up and over the other side of the sand dune: the waves. So we ran--a challenge in the sand--over to the other side, only to spot the bigest waves I'd ever seen and my very first view of the Indian Ocean.

Waves in the Indian Ocean.
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I'm going down!
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The waves and the rip were incredible. I couldn't get more than a few feet in before being knocked over. Neal and Alan swam out beyond the swells, but the rest of us tempted the crashing waves and ran in and out and got sand in every possible place sand could get to. It was fabulous, out on the beach in the almost-setting sun, running up and over the dunes and rinsing off in the lagoon to catch our breath. With the sun going down, it was time to head back--and although the boat started with promise, it took us half-way back before sputtering and cranking and slowing to a snail's pace in the middle of the lagoon. The driver started and restarted the engine, and the sun kept going down, while we shivered in the small section below deck until the driver produced a cell phone and, in bits of Portuguese, called for help to pick us up onshore. So the boat sputtered to the edge of the water where it crashed into the boat hoist, sending us plowing into one another. We then declined a lift from the truck driver and walked the 10 minutes to camp in the quick-fading light, passed by the truck on the way (who offered us another refused lift) and arriving in time for a quick shower and a beautifully set table with supper--a piece of meat so bit it must have been sliced clean from the middle of a bull and saran-wrapped--on the BBQ. Delicious.

Priscilla's artistic table touch!
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The next day we left for Inhambane--a little further up the coast with the promise of an ocean beach. We arrived to a waiting Jeep and an open truck--our transport to the camp. Our Avis bus would have to be locked away for the next few days, as the roads were too sandy to take us in. So we unloaded our endless supplies, hopped on the back of the truck, and held on for dear life as we drove through sand pits and dunes to our new home: an open-walled chalet lined with tents.

Unpacking the bus.
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Taken through the Jeep while holding on for dear life.
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Our tent-chalet. Dont be fooled!
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And even though the trip itinerary said camping, and we'd brought sleeping bags, there's just something about sleeping in a tent. On the ground. In 30 degree heat with no air. It would turn out to be the worst nights' sleep for everybody, with moans and groans and attempts to switch to the chalets (just an extra $12 a person--surely GAP could have given us the option?). It was like trying to sleep on sand in a sauna, and it was mutually awful.

But the beach! Oh, the beach. So blue and vast with white sand and an endless, endless coastline. We went to swim, then stopped for a drink at the bar (where a soccer-playing dog kept us company), then came back for supper, then went back in the dark--or, rather, the moonlight. So bright you could read by it. It lit up the beach and looked so beautiful it was almost unreal. Alan took a honeymoon picture of Neal and I, with the moon shining behind us and the water lit up by the sky. And we walked back, reluctantly, so happy to be there and so thankful to be seeing all of it, all of it.

The beach! Who could ask for more?
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Kool and the Gang.
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Neal and I woke up before 6, broken by the night's heat, and headed for a long walk on the beach, meeting Bill and Alan and a few others on the way--all too overtired and overheated to sleep. A quick breakfast and a break in the clouds, and we were off to the beach again to catch a boat ride, this time to snorkel. The ride was bumpy in a Miami-vice way--making us girls scream in glee which made the driver's head turn in panic every time. Then we stopped, and flopped off the side (I thought they only did that in movies!) into a bay where the coral reef held so much to see. Starfish and see urchins and colourful fish and coral, all kinds of things hidden in nooks and crannies. I love that scary-fascinating feeling, being so close to things that are beautiful and somehow frightening. I tugged on Neal's arms over and over to show him what new thing I'd found.

Then it was back on the boat (with a great tug from the driver) to a waiting lollipop--just what I needed after drinking a ton of salt water. Then bumpy ride back to shore, followed by lunch, swimming, a little boogie-boarding, and finally supper--this time at the beach restaurant: shrimp and baracuda with wine and bread and a slide show from the visiting scuba-dive TV crew and it was back to the tents, to another semi-sleepless night. But after a near-perfect day, it was hard to complain.

Just before Steve and Neal threw the soccer ball and chaos ensued.
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Leaving Inhambane.
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The next day was a transit day--a long haul to Maputo, where we stopped in what must have once been a grand hotel but was now a crumbling, yet charming, place in need of a lot of TLC. Another supper of shrimp and fish (it's just so good), a huge lightening storm, then off to bed again.

A romantic pic of a once-romantic hotel.
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Coo-coo! The mysterious bathroom window.
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Then we saw Maputo. Up close. Off the bus. Walking around. With holes yay-many feet deep in the sidewalks, buildings crumbling to ruin, broken everything--a city that's been neglected for years. We stood out like sore thumbs, walking in groups of three and more, wary of everyone. I can't say I felt anything but aversion. Not even fascination. I remembered Havana, so poor and yet so charming and inviting. But this was a city after an apocalypse. Maputo may as well have been abandoned, but for the people who still lived in its ruins. And that was just it: Mozambique, so filled with people, is falling apart around them, and no one lifts a finger to fix a thing. Not one thing. Imagine having a home for 40 years and never painting, never filling a hole, never mending a fence or changing a carpet. And there you have the whole country: stopped in time for 40 some odd years since independence, with life crawling around in and around it.

I wish I could say I understood. I wish someone could change my mind.

Meet you at the corner of Lenin and 24th. Right down the street from Marx!
Ah__communism_.jpg

Posted by tway 15:01 Archived in Mozambique Comments (3)

Part 2: Kruger Park

And how a porcupine almost turned us into dinner


View Africa on tway's travel map.

Day 4 started out early. As in sometime just barely after day 3. Priscilla wanted us up before the birds to spot the Big 5 in Kruger Park, still a good few hours’ drive away. And so one of the lodge guides came round at the ungodly hour of 4 to wake us up. I’m an early bird, but anything before a 6 a.m. wakeup leaves my stomach in small waves of nausea and my eyes rather unflatteringly puffy.

But we managed to shower, and pack the last little bit (packing and unpacking was a long hassle, as I tied everything tight on Priscilla’s warning that snakes make their way into ANYTHING) before heading down the dreaded bug path one last time to a waiting Jimmy—up and refreshed and in his Avis gear—ready to pack the bus. David had made us all packed lunches, but mine sat unopened till I finally threw it out 2 days later—a sandwich and boiled egg with no chance of making it in one piece into my churning stomach.

The whole getting up thing was just a blip in our nights’ sleep, though, as we all nodded off for the ride. (Near the end of the trip, Alan—a fellow Montrealer and Jimmy’s co-pilot after the almost-didn’t-make-it-asthma incident—speculated that Jimmy amused himself by warbling the steering wheel and watching our sleeping heads fly about in the mirror). A few hours later and we were in Kruger, bright and early, walking around the gate to stretch our legs and snap a few pics (including a croc some 100 feet away) before heading on our Avis bus tour of the park.

Paul Kruger Gate entrance to Kruger Park
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We probably spotted a Kudu first—a deer-like thing with white stripes across its back. So impressive and swift, and everywhere. But soon we were spotting more and more: buffalo, hippos (the most dangerous animal in Africa, believe it or not), white rhinos, two impressive giraffes, zebras, klipspringers, chimps (including one atop a tree doing what young men with dirty magazines usually do in the bathroom), warthogs, two lionesses hunting for prey, and—finally—elephants. Sasha spotted them first, earning her Priscilla’s elephant-spotting trophy: a bottle of Amarula.

Kudu in the bush
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Klipspringer on a rock
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Lion on the lookout
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Fish eagle drying its wings
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Croc!
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As we congratulated her on impressive spotting skills, however, Alan started to yell—between mighty asthma coughs and inhales on his puffer—that we’d better move the bus. Because just a few metres away, in a fit of adolescent bravado and a honk of his horn, one elephant was getting ready to charge. The bus. And so Jimmy got us moving and Priscilla gave us a play-by-play, including a moment of relief when she said the elephant finally realized what big, red monster it was up against and decided to back down. Still, our Avis queen would have looked impressive with a battle scar or two.

First elephants spotted!
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Disco elephant
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Bad elephants! Blocking our exit from Kruger Park. Detour took an hour.
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We spent the afternoon touring the park, stopping for lunch and a few purchases at the gift shop (isn’t there always a gift shop?), including a bandana for me. Because for all my intentions to rough it and pack as lightly as possible and not turn into some girly-girl, I was cursing myself for leaving the hairdryer at home. The big, wet lump of hair down my back felt like having a rain-soaked cat stuck to my neck, day in and day out. Nothing dries in humid weather—it just warms up and sticks and smells and drives one completely mad. So—following Erin from Tahoe’s example—I got a bandana and stuck my hair up out of my face and off my neck, for good.

We finally pulled into Pretoriuskop camp at about 5—just in time for us to run over to the waiting open-jeep for our night drive through Kruger. No time to get my coat, just a fleece and my camera and Neal and I squeezed to the middle at the front. (What’s with couples taking a window seat EACH, anyway? The nasty Russian guy next to me took up ¾ of the seat with his legs and his camera tripod and elbowed me whenever he needed a shot on my side—all while his girlfriend had her own comfortable window seat in back of him. So I elbowed him one for good measure.)

Our guide spotted Kudus and chimps climbing across a rock face—plus a klipspringer way up high and a family of rhinos and another of elephants that we got to see close up. Then dusk settled in, and out came the spotlights—2 in front and 2 in back—attracting bugs that occasionally whipped at our heads (with one so big it hit me from under my nose to my chin—and I covered my mouth after that). We spotted a few glowing eyes in the spotlights, the guide carefully trying not to shine the light at any prey, who’d be helpless to outwit their predators if blinded. Somehow the guide spotted a chameleon in the trees, in the dark—a green thing with great, big eyes amongst the leaves.

Then we traveled a little while longer, down the bumpy dirt road—scaring wild rabbits and blue-tailed birds, one of which somehow flew through the open windshield and into the back of the jeep before sailing out the other side.

And that’s when the guide spotted the porcupine.

Fat and round and prickly and running like mad to get out of the light. And just as it we started to chase us, the Jeep stopped. Stuck.

In the mud.

In the middle of Kruger park.

After dark.

And so he tried to drive backwards. The forwards. Then he got out and stuck a piece of wood under the wheel. And then he said it, the words we didn’t want to hear: We’ll have to get out and push. As in get out in the park, after dark, when THE LIONS ARE HUNTING. For meat! And here we were, a walking smorgasboard of Canadian, French, Russian, American, and who-knows-what-else kinda delicacies, all wrapped up piggy-in-a-blanket-like in coats and marinating in bug spray and perfume and other such yumminess.

So we got out. And pushed. And we stuck close together, me looking around to see what I can spot—which ended up being some dim-wit woman from France who decided to take a good 20 steps back to capture the whole thing on film. And, forgive me, I thought—oh good. The lions can get that idiot first and give us ample warning to hop back on the Jeep and drive like mad.

Hurry! Push!!
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But the lions must have been looking elsewhere, and we all drove on in search of a lion and cheetah but found nothing more, pulling back into camp 3 hours after setting off, a little tired, a little cold, and covered in bugs (Sasha, holding the lamp in the back, with bugs up both arms). But dinner was ready, and our room was lovely—a clean and simple chalet with high ceilings, a sink, and warm clean blankets and not a bug in sight. We ate a barbeque and opened—ironically—our bottle of Porcupine Ridge and finished the night sharing Sasha’s bottle of Amarula on ice Jimmy found somewhere, and I felt the welcome, welcome relief of being pleasantly tired.

Neal wanted to stay up, but I knew it was my window. After 2 nights of tossing and turning in fear of the unknown, I was ready for a night of oblivious sleep. So I headed back, and fell asleep almost instantly—leaving Neal to finish up the wine with Steve from London (tall and kind and funny with an accent confused us all). Neal knocked on the door 20 minutes later, but I must have opened it in my sleep.

Our restful chalet in Pretoriuskup
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I’ve never slept so well in my life.

Posted by tway 13:36 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

Part 1: Out of Africa (and wishing I was back)

Setting off on the big, red Avis bus


View Africa on tway's travel map.

Why Africa?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked us that--sometimes with horror and disgust written all over their face--I'd have paid the trip and had enough left over to pick up part of next month's rent. But, no matter! It was actually secretly pleasing, knowing so many people thought we were partly odd and slightly crazy. I pictured them lounging on some Cuban beach for their honeymoon, red as beets and on their 4th mojito before 10 in the morning. And here we were off to Africa, someplace unknown, not quite sure what to expect. It was exciting.

But my goodness was I scared.

I'm not even sure why. I just sat on the front porch—waiting for the taxi to the airport—and realized we were off to the most dangerous city in the world followed by 3 weeks with 13 strangers on a bus through god-knows-where. That's when—after 3 years of breaking the habit—I started to bite my nails.

And so we were off: Montreal to Paris, wait an hour and a half, then a long flight down to Johannesburg where we arrived, tired and travel-smelly, to a 2-hour line-up at customs, where 2 agents (one on the phone to her boyfriend the entire time) processed 2 full planes' worth of passengers. Welcome to Africa—and Africa time!

We had 2 days' of pre-tour time off, so we booked an organized trip through Jo'burg and the Apartheid museum, accompanied by Sasha (from Toronto) and Bill (63 and on his gazillionth trip)—both on our upcoming GAP tour. It's hard to say if Jo'burg was what I expected—dirty, crumbling, a miss-loved relic. Not somewhere I'd feel safe on my own. Yet in the middle, erected amongst in the ruins of an old prison, was the new court—designed to be fair and representative. A true reflection of South Africa and its people. It's hard to wrap your mind around South Africa, a constant tug of war between dirt and hope and poverty and reconciliation. It pulls you in so many ways.

Entrance to the Apartheid Museum
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That night we met our group: 11 people from all over the world, plus Priscilla our guide, and Jimmy the bus driver. Jimmy elicited fear and respect in all of us from the get go (although we would eventually discover the pussy cat hidden beneath) and Priscilla gave us a taste of what was to come: 3 weeks of travel in some of the most beautiful scenery to meet some of the world's most wonderful people. She had a knowledge of everything botany and a spirit of utter kindness and goodwill (which never wavered once the whole trip).

We also met the grand dame of our trip: the big, red Avis bus we would be travelling on. The rolling cash machine, as we came to call it. Jimmy's pride and joy. Never in my life have I seen such a clean, well-kept, ship-shape shiny bus. No matter where we were, Jimmy would find a second to polish her here, wipe her down there. If Avis ever wants a spokesman for their company, they've got a prime candidate in Jimmy, sporting his Avis cap at all times and keeping us safe and secure.

The trip started bright and early with breakfast and a run through the rain to pack the bus. Then we found our seats for the trip (a weird habit, that—coming back to the same seat again and again) and we were off. Around Pretoria, through the downtown, with bits of history on this building and that street, seeing dilapidated shops and pristine squares, then off to stock up on missing supplies, food for Mozambique, and the all-important liquor run (where I spent $20—$20!!!—on 4 bottles of wine that would have easily set me back over $100 here).

Then we were off—through the incredible countryside, the bus whizzing through Mpumalanga province, our big, red road machine turning heads wherever we went. A quick nod to the small city of Belfast—shacks out there to the left, with dirt floors and tin roofs—had Neal running for the camera. It all looked so peaceful and green, interspersed with more of those little ghetto-like towns, where, Priscilla told us, people use their homes for sleeping and little else. No need for a mansion here. The land is their home.

Then came my internal tug of war again. A huge sign, with flashing lights, warning drivers not to stop. In fact, warning them to not stop under any circumstance, as wherever we were was apparently notorious for highjackings. As in, shoot-now-ask later highjackings. And the bus went silent, and the signs passed, followed by more green, more mountains, more shanty towns, more people waving, people staring, women carrying impossible loads on their heads, children with big smiles.

Hours and hours and many bathroom breaks later, we were in the Drakensberg escarpment, rolling through the mountains and turning such steep angles along the fenceless roadway that I closed my eyes and held my breath. A quick stop at God’s Window, with a view of the whole world, was more than worth it—along with a quick hike to the edge of Blyde River Canyon, a 250-million year-old canyon carved by the slim river below. We spotted out first dung beetle—a hard-working thing with his days’ work rolling along in front of him—an endangered and protected insect bigger than I’d care to meet in a dark alley.

God's Window
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Neal and I at Blyde River Canyon
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Sunset at Blyde River Canyon
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Then off again, though the last bit of sunset and into the dark, heads lolling on the bus, now into our 12th hour or so of travel, half delirious and half asleep. At some point, the Afrikaans-mixed-with-English whispers at the front of the bus let us know we were lost, out here in the dark. And on go the lights inside, down some dark dirt road, and suddenly we were exposed in front of so many dark figures walking alongside the bus. Thirteen whiter-than-whites, faces half-frozen in the windows. Thirteen potential paydays on a big, red rolling cash machine.

But it was our fear, our imagination. Because a quick call to the lodge and a bus back-up in the middle of nowhere, with hands outside the window waving us cheerfully on, and we made the right turn, hours and hours late, into Shalati Bush Lodge—somewhere in Limpopo province on the edge of Kruger park.

So we unpacked, dragging our packs and weary selves though the dimly lit front gate, in the middle of what seemed like nowhere. The electricity was virtually shut off, the owner told us. A product of being in the middle of nowhere. Still, the bit of light showed the bar, the outside restaurant, the fire pit keeping supper warm, and the pool.

And the scorpion in the pool.

“Um...” I asked the owner. “Is that, a…um... scorpion?”

“Yes,” replied the Dutch Crocodile Dundee.

“Don’t they, um… bite?”

“If you step on one, yes.”

And that’s when fear bordering on delirium set in. Not helped one bit by a giant, hairy tarantula-like spider stalking a tiny frog on the edge of the pool. Something in the back of my head went into panic mode and stayed there.

Neal braving the dreaded pool of scorpions!
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We were guided to our hut by one of the local guides, holding a kerosene lantern to light the way. I was busy studying the ground, watching for everything—spotting 10-inch centipedes, giant snails, flying bugs the size of mice. My brain in overdrive. Opening the front door, the guide lit another lamp and left us, me searching frantically in every nook and corner for things that could sting, bite, badger, or scare us to death in the middle of the night. The geckos on the wall even scared me, although not as much as turning back around and finding them gone.

Supper was delicious, the walk back anxious, and the entire night sleepless—at least for me. Neal snored on like always, while I tucked and retucked the mosquito net, with visions of malaria dancing though my head. I had to keep pulling Neal’s hand away from the edge, where he’d flop it against the net in his blissful sleep (no use—he got bit anyway). Then, at dawn, I heard it. A rustle. A loud one. Over our heads. Running across the inside of our thatched roof. And without light or contacts, I could only imagine it. A snake. A flying rat. World’s largest malaria-infected mosquito. Torture. Torture. And still no sleep.

We were up ridiculously early, quickly showered and looking for people—anyone, just people. A quick breakfast, and David—from the local Mnisi village—took us all to see his home. A long, hot walk up a dusty road to a tin-roof village, and the local school where the children rushed inside at the sight of us, sitting in polite rows and ready to show what they know.

“This is my head!” they said at the top of their lungs, clutching their heads.

“These are my eyes!” they yelled loud and clear, pointing.

“This is my stomach!”

So loud and confident, in a language not their own. And so polite, and smiling. I asked if I could take a picture, since it seemed almost cruel to capture them like a souvenir. But David said yes, please do—and I realized they were proud to be so good and smart, to impress. Proud to have people walk up the dusty road to see what they’d learned to do.

Children at the local school
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On the way to the village
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Back down we went, though the cattle and the meager shade and the waving people.

And back into another Tina nightmare. Outside Priscilla’s guide’s hut, there was a squiggle in the sand.

“A puff adder!” the she said, which meant nothing to me.

“No,” said David. “The line would be straight, not curved.”

And then I started to catch on.

“I think,” said David. But I didn’t want to hear it.

“I think it was a spitting cobra.”

And so I slipped a little further into delirium. How could I possibly take 3 weeks of this? My mind was a mess, I couldn’t sleep, and every step was terrifying. Potential death. Terrible pain. Around every corner. Priscilla brought out books on insects and I read though them all, seeing my imminent death on every page.

10-inch centipede!
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That’s when we saw them—the Dutch. The big, white coach full of travelling Dutch. They pulled up like we did the night before, spilling bags and people (and one very done-up guide in heels and mile-high hair) all over the entrance.

And it was the Dutch that saved me. Because if Granny Klumpen can think nothing of hairy spiders and spitting snakes and god-knows-what-else lurking in the corners… If this bunch of suitcase-toting, hairdryer-packing visitors from the homeland can step out here without a flinch or a squeal, well… who was I to worry over scorpion in the pool?

Plus the lights finally came back on.

Our hut of sleepless nights.
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And that’s when I started to love Africa. And I mean really love Africa.

Posted by tway 14:16 Archived in South Africa Comments (0)

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