We parked the bakkie and, without doing any unpacking, headed for the bar.
Not easily phased though, we settled for the floor and the one remaining mattress. We couldn't have been out for more than an hour though when the heavens opened it became clear why those two particular tents had been available…
Despite the Mozambique December heat sleep became increasingly difficult given the rising water level on the tent floor, not to mention the near absence of a roof.
Off course this didn't bother our brother Eben who slept like a corpse, but by 5:00 we’d had enough and announced that we’d be leaving.
Despite the grumbling we finally had the corpse in the passenger seat in a state of near consciousness and we were off into the relative unknown towards the north.
Now when it rains, sand driving actually becomes a bit easier. This same rain however turned our gravel driving to…well mud driving.
This mud wasn't particularity sticky, in fact quite the opposite.
For scarily long sections of our journey the front and rear wheels of the Hilux didn't even come close to being aligned, and actually keeping it on the road was a constant battle.
At one stage we gave up the battle and allowed the bakkie to leave the road and slide up an embankment.
Slightly shaken we reversed back and continued on our way.
Thinking back on it now that was FUN!
In its currently state it certainly has a charm of its own but we couldn't help wondering what it would have been like to see it in its colonial heyday.
This ferry, our second for the day, didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence. If it were a bridge, then calling it rickety would have been a compliment. It takes a maximum of six vehicles at time, and once we were installed we made our way across the river in a puff of smoke and diesel fumes wondering about the kind of creatures that stalked this river.
The two optional side walls were meant to block out the early morning sun while other remaining two walls were covered in mosquito nets.
When you camp like this it takes only minutes before every single one of your possessions, your own body included, is completely covered in sand, but hey, while our friends were sweating in their tents we were dozing off in the cool evening breeze.
All in all the approximately 600km drive to Pomene took us 12 gruelling hours to complete.
It seemed that there had been a misunderstanding in the arrangements (another reason to never arrange anything), and our prospective hosts didn't seem very welcoming. Thus we pitched our tent, in the rain, at respectful distance and tried to get some sleep. The next day would see a repeat of our odyssey.
At first light the next morning we did take a stroll on Pomene’s massive beach, and oh boy, we need to come back here someday…
It was light this time around and, despite the morning traffic, we made our way back to the main road within two hours.
About that traffic: For much of this road between Massinga and Pomene you are driving on what is essentially a strip of thick sand leading you through an even more treacherous swamp on the one side, and a steep sand dune on the other. This makes passing impossible and can make driving behind Fortuner-4x4-Trailer-Man a frustrating experience
It all started off well but, as things tend to go, faded into a black and white blur…