On the last day of the trip, we got up super early! Breakfast was at 5:30 and we were all on the truck and heading off at 6. We had a long way to go again and a complicated itinerary.
We briefly stopped twice along the way, but for the most part tried to make good progress. Most people, including myself, took naps while on the road.
By lunch time we were back at Casa Lisa, where I was picked up on the first day. We had a quick lunch of sandwiches then broke into several different groups. Sabrina, Sonya and I were ending our holiday that day and had arranged to get dropped off in Maputo near our accommodation for the night. The rest of the group would continue on to Kruger national park and the Blyde River Canyon in South Africa (where Jacob and I visited by ourselves a few years ago).
The other members of the group had the option of going into Maputo for the afternoon, but because it was still 50 km away and traffic in the area is horrendous, several people decided to stay at Casa Lisa and skip the two hours in Maputo.
Most of us piled into the truck and we set off for the city. Getting there didn’t take too long and we were soon in the city center. The truck was returning to Casa Lisa in two hours so we quickly said goodbye to part of the group. A few others decided they would arrange for a taxi to take them back later that night so they could have some more time in Maputo.
I walked with this group to my accommodation and dropped off my stuff. After a few delays, they managed to book at taxi to pick them up at 9 pm so we had five hours to see the highlights of Maputo.
Luckily two people had guidebooks to Mozambique and Stephie lead us on a walking tour of the city. We visited most of the historical buildings that are still standing and the famous statues of Zamora Michele, the first president of Mozambique.
Maputo reminded me a lot of Harare: you could tell that at one point in time the city was bustling with activity and was at the height of commerce and technology. Unfortunately that period was about 40 years ago and since then the buildings and roads have not been maintained so now everything has a dirty, dilapidated look to it. It’s really sad. But there were some really nice buildings, like the large church and mosque that we passed. And there were some posh restaurants catering to foreigners.
We wanted a local experience for dinner so we went to a small hole-in-the-wall place that was recommended for good local food. I tried the traditional meal, which is a curry with cassava and shrimp. I loved it, but Sabrina and Andrea were far less enthused. It was great to dine outside and listen to some local music.
After dinner we went down to the water front to a very posh place that Andrea wanted to eat at. We had coffee but were a bit pressed for time and so rushed through everything.
We took two taxis back to my backpacker’s place and I said goodbye to the new friends that I had made.
The following morning I flew back to Jo’burg then took the train to Pretoria and was back at work.
I had a very nice time on the trip. Sure, there were things that I would have done differently if I were going on my own, but I met some very nice people and now have connections in several parts of Europe. Overall I’m very glad that I went, but I think next time I will book a holiday with more activity and less laying on the beach! 😉