Need some R&R after those R&R’s

Do yourself a favour, and DON’T ever drink an R&R. If you do, at least learn from your mistakes. And then learn from the mistake of not learning from your mistakes… I tell you this because that drink is delicious, delicious and VERY dangerous. I don’t even want to know what they put in that rum of theirs, but those Mozambique-folk use it for one hell of a party.

We went from the extreme cold of the French Alps to the sticky heat of the African East coast. It was the first time we had driven to Mozambique and if I can give you one piece of advice before you head across South Africa on a road trip, it is this: before you leave, make sure you know which town’s you’ll be driving through, and confirm that their names have not changed since the directions were last distributed by your dive charter. We spent about an hour driving in what we hoped was the right direction, waiting for the signs to Witbank, until we finally discovered that Witbank had, in fact, changed its name to E’Malahleni, in Mpumalanga. We were very lucky that we were going in the right direction.

The way to the burning beach

The way to the burning beach

We had a pleasant Mozambique-border experience. We had travelled through the night and arrived at the Kosi Bay post at 5am on 27 December. There were a few other cars, but it wasn’t as bad as the 7km queue of cars that had been rumoured around Christmas Eve. We had decided to leave our car on the South African side, which I wouldn’t recommend: we were very lucky to get our car out of there because of the bad way that all the cars had been parked in.

Busy busy busy

Busy busy busy

Our first two beach days were wonderful. While Ponta do Ouro was very busy, we were staying at Phambuka Dive Centre, which was a short walk and a scalding beach sprint to a much quieter rock pool beach. Following our first days, however, I barely swam at all because the beach was overpopulated with blue buggers bottles. They pretty much defined where the water ended and the beach started, and there was hardly a break between them. Their tentacles were longer than people, so there was little chance of out-swimming them. Thus, I did not swim in the sea again in Mozambique. (I do recommend taking a gazebo to the beach. I intend to invest in one of these soon).

It was a bit of a long walk to the main beach though...

It was a bit of a long walk to the main beach though…

Ponta has a reputation for being a great place to scuba dive, so we booked to do four dives. We saw some great things: loads of star fish, potato bass, nudibranchs, rock fish, parrot fish, Nemos and Dorys, and rays. My mother saw sharks on a dive she did without us. However, the water was cold and the visibility was a little bit shocking: I almost had face-on-face action with a ray when my mother pointed it out to me, but I couldn’t tell what she was pointing at. I pulled away very fast when it bolted, a mere 0.5m from my mask.

We spent New Year’s here, and it was such a huge party! I was a bit disappointed because the random people that I had met that night had disappeared right before midnight, so I was alone. Apart from that 10 minute period where I was wondering around like a lost soul, though, I had a fabulous party.

Party on the beach!

Party on the beach!

And about the R&R’s: they are a local concoction of Mozambican rum with Raspberry mixer (Spar-Berry), and rumour has it that the lack of production regulation means that this rum could have traces of petrol in it. I wouldn’t be surprised. Fernando’s, home of this evil, makes it really strong, and good luck remembering the party of the night before if you have more than 2 of these red wonders.

By the way, backstreet beach bars are officially the best places ever!

By the way, backstreet beach bars are officially the best places ever!

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One thought on “Need some R&R after those R&R’s

  1. taog12 March 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm Reply

    HI MY Darling

    I do like reading your stories We went to Moz a few times camping when Mum was vv young and there was no body there hardly but we were up the coast That was when it was still Portuguese, before they left & raped the country dry after independence

    Good news for you You won 25 x 3 PBS ie 75 in total Youve had a few wins lately



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