This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I has taken me 10 minutes to open this web page! Long live Mozambican internet connections!

I am in Tofo. If you are moved to look that up on a map, it's north of Maputo, across the bay from the city of Inhambane. It is Paradise. There are white sand beaches and the warm Indian Ocean, which I yesterday used as an ersatz netty pot. A brief boat ride leads you to a coral reef with world class diving. One can snorkel with dolphins and manta rays. The hostel here is built on sand dunes just above the ocean. There is a beach bar and the dorms are located in reed huts with thatched roofs. There are all sorts of backpackers from 15 or so countries milling about. There is lots to do at night, beach parties, full moon parties and the like. It's the kind of place you visit for a few days, but end up staying a month. Like I said, it is Paradise.

So of course, I cannot WAIT wait to move on. I came to Mozambique for some pretty well-defined reasons. First, because I was legitimately interested in its history, politics, music, food, society, palm wine (!!), art, culture etc., and I wanted to learn more about it. Second, I wanted to begin to learn Portuguese, with a long-term goal of hopefully one day being able to research in that language. Tofo, for all it's charms, does not offer any of that. This is the surely the most commercialized place in Mozambique, and there are probably as many backpackers/expats here than Mozambicans. The only cultural insights to be gleaned here are into backpacker culture, something which quite frankly bores me now. Tofo is less a Mozambican beach town than an international backpackers' town, no different than similar places in Costa Rica or Thailand or wherever; my hostel actually is about 99% similar to a surf camp I stayed in at Malpais, Costa Rica, in February 2008 (long time TG Travels readers will remember that I didn't much care for that place). As for speaking Portuguese, that is impossible here. Mozambicans are enterprising people. Pretty much everyone in this town has learned enough English that if you ask them a question in less-than-fluent Portuguese, the response is always in English.

I do not dislike Tofo. It really is quite pleasant, and if I was traveling for longer than five weeks, I would probably stay here longer than two nights. But given my time constraints, and the fact that Tofo clearly isn't my scene, I think it's best if I get back on the road and head elsewhere. I have no idea where I'll end up tomorrow night. Tofo is in a weird location with bad transport links to the north so I may only get as far as Maxixe tomorrow; Maxixe is more or less a highway town with flophouse-type accommodation that should be palatable for a night. The goal is to eventually make it to Vilankulo, which is ironically another backpacker Paradise. This highlights the most annoying things about Mozambique so far. Budget accommodation is relatively scarce and because I'm not camping, where I spend extended periods of time is basically already decided for me. So I'm stuck going to Vilankulo even though I know it likely will not be my scene, because I won't be able to make it further north in one day (or two days, even).

But these are minor quibbles. My trip has gone rather well so far and I haven't even lost my camera yet.


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