The final show of Mozambican hospitality.

Posted by Pedal2peak on 4 June 2009

“KaaKaa ka Kaaaah!” We both looked at each other in bewilderment.

The marketplace went silent and all we heard was a strange call.

“Kaaa ka Kaaaah!!”

It was a birdman.

The locals are petrified of them. The stories of them are chilling. They chop off limbs if you come to near, under their feathered costumes and masks are devils who steal children and you do not make a sound when they pass you, unless you want bad fortune.

He passed squawking and doing a dance along the road. We rode past the birdman, with enough distance between him and us mind you.

He stopped squawking for a moment as we rode passed.

He must have been shocked to see two mzungus on bicycles. I still wonder if he thought we were crazy.

We stopped for lunch in Villa Ulongwe. It is forty kilometers from the border of Malawi. While eating our chicken and rice, we contemplated crossing the next day. The owner of the restaurant came over and inspected our bicycles. This man was so impressed and insisted we stay the night for free. Decision made, we stayed the night.

The thought of a border crossing after a 100kilometer ride is just crazy. Rather be fresh and have the patience to battle immigration officers.

The following day we rode to the border. All the memories of our stay in Mozambique started playing back in our heads, like a scene from an annoying Disney movie, they flashed by with the songs from our iPods. Both Marc and I were sad that we were leaving Mozambique.

The country that everyone had warned us about and told horror stories of, was coming to an end.

We experienced nothing but fun, hospitality and honesty in Mozambique.

Not once did we feel threatened, and not once did we have to pay a bribe. Malaria did not kill us, nor did the supposedly dangerous trucks of the Tete corridor. We did not loose our bicycles in potholes big enough to fit houses into nor were they stolen while we slept.

The border crossing was unique. The officials on the Mozambican side stamped us out and then chatted around the bikes, taking photo’s of us, then them by the bikes. They were shocked to hear we were going all the way to Tanzania.

We were told that we must visit again and given a little send off when we rolled into no-mans land. We were already missing Mozambique.

So much for battling with officials.






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