. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: May 1, 1999

Saturday, May 1, 1999
Crocodile Bridge, Kruger National Park, South Africa to Praia do Xai-Xai, Mozambique
South Africa's FlagMozambique's Flag

Praia do Xai-Xai, Mozambique:
Latitude: 25° 6' 58" South
Longitude: 33° 44' 21" East
Altitude: 75 feet
From Seattle: 11944 miles
Lodging: Camp - Xai-Xai Caravan Park

Today's Travel:
Countries: South Africa, Mozambique
Regions: Mpumalanga, Maputo, Gaza
Route: Roads: N4, EN4, EN1
Start: Crocodile Bridge, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Stop 1. Maputu
End:Praia do Xai-Xai, Mozambique
Linear:167 miles
Weather: Sunny

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 751
Linear Dist: 142642
Countries Visited: 55
Regions Visited: 216
More stats...
Hotels: 208
Friends / Family: 160
Camping: 112
Hostels: 209
Transit: 55
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 2894

Journal Entry:
Didn't quite make it out before sunrise - but it was close. Were on the road by six thirty. We got to the border and there was already a kilometer long line ?!?! Got in the queue then had an official looking guy with a clipboard tell us that we needed to drive to the front since we were tourists. Drove up the line, and had someone else tell us we had to get in line - but they directed us into line near the front. That probably saved us three hours, but it still took about two hours of chaos to get through the borders. While we were waiting Brett and I jumped out of the car and went and got Wors (sausage) rolls for everyone. While the were cooking (it took a long time) we talked a little with the girl working - not much, but at the end she asked where we were from then said you're not like the others. I thought she was talking about accents and I asked if that was a bad thing - it wasn't until she said no that I realized she was talking about the way we treated her. I think I'm quite glad to be finally leaving South Africa...

We drove towards Maputu - it immediately felt like we were back in "real" Africa. It just feels like a developing country. Also got struck by the poverty, the people asking for money, the people asking for jobs. But unlike most places people have been quite polite and friendly even after they realize you're not going to give them something. We went in to Maputu to take a look at the train station - it was built and designed by Eiffel (of tower fame). Unfortunately we didn't realize that today was May Day - and thus a major celebration of labor - with tons of parades and processions - which in effect closed down the city center. Combined with the locals lack of English and our lack of Portuguese (though Dean does well with the Spanish) we got lost and gave up fairly quickly.

The drive to Xai-Xai (pronounced 'Shy-Shy') was uneventful through varied, but undeveloped flat country. Once in Xai-Xai we headed for the beach community and found our camp site. It's right on the beach and it's wonderful to hear the sound of waves from my tent again. We had some drinks and a bite to eat at the camp grounds restaurant before getting chased off by the mosquitoes. We thought they were bad, but as the sun started to go down they got truly frightening - possibly the worst I've ever seen. They're huge, painful, and only slightly slowed by clothing or repellant - I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

A huge fire kept the mozzies at bay until we ran out of wood - then it was time for bed - at nine.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Mozambique
CIA World Fact Book: Mozambique

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