A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To An Island Off Mozambique…

We began  our holiday with a three day train ride from Cape Town to Pretoria.

The Train
The Only Train Picture I Have

Since we confiscated electronics, we also began with some rage.  Fortunately that turned into a lot of card playing.  Each night we got dressed up to go to the dining car– a novelty that was super fun for a few nights.    The train stopped for three hours every morning between two and five am.  The theory was that this was just enough time for anyone perturbed by the clanging of wheels, to doze.  We liked the sound.   The constant and reassuring clackety clack clack clanking of wheels on steel was hypnotic. We would lie in bed right next to the open window and listen.   The sky twinkled.  It was easy to lose yourself.   I was reminded of the Waterboys song, Fisherman’s Blues.

“I wish I was the brakeman/ On a hurtling fevered train/ Crashing head long into the heartland/ Like a canon in the rain/ With the beating of the sleepers/ And the burning of the coal/ Counting the towns flashing by me/ And a night that’s full of soul/ With light in my hair/ And you in my arms/  Woohooo.”

Coco says she loves Africa because it is so dangerous.  It’s true – one push and splat.  You are out the window and dead on the tracks.  Fortunately we all loved one another for most of the first three days so we were ok.

The Happy Children

Onto Johannesburg for not enough time.   I love this city.  It is electric – creativity runs rampant here.  The second gallery that we walked into had a bronze sculpture of a dead song bird.  It was called, “The Best Politician is a Dead Politician.”  I loved the piece and the place.   Sean captured the kids loving it too.

Then it was a flight and a short drive to Vilanculus– a  small Mozambican village north of Maputo on the coast. From here we boat journeyed to luxo land aka Bazaruto Island. Thank you to the O’Sullivan and Greene Families for recommending this place.  It was spectacular.

If you can believe it, there were times the sea was too hot to swim in.  Seriously.  It was too hot.  I had to walk way way way WAY out just to reach water that was cool enough to swim in.  I am not kidding you.  I’m surprised the crabs that I was constantly trying to avoid weren’t poached.  Luckily, there were other things to do in the blazing heat besides swim in the Indian Ocean.

Traditional Rural Home

We rode horses through the countryside and  past several  villages.  The homes here were round with thatched roofs.   There were usually three or four homes in a cluster and sometimes there would be a rectangular tin shelter that resembled a train car.  They looked so hot in the burning sun – like cookers.  I thought about the air conditioned train cars that we journeyed in.


We looked for crocodiles, played tag in a three level infiniti pool with water falls, caves and lots of hiding spots, hiked, water skied and went on a sunset cruise in a traditional Mozambican sail boat called a dhow.

Leo and Sean on Dhow Cruise
Oscar and Sara on Dhow Cruise
Coco Alone On The Dhow Cruise
Does Anyone Read These Captions?

And we sand boarded down giant dunes…

Wipe Out
Wipe Out

We decided to do a day trip to another island for some snorkelling.

Heading Out On Day Trip

There was also a once famous hotel on the island where Bob Dylan wrote the song Mozambique. We thought we could entice the kids with the prospect of dilapidated danger. We thought we could have fun exploring the abandoned hotel.  Not.  The idea was met with resounding rejection.  So,  Sean and I explored while we abandoned the kids.


But the coolest thing we saw was on the way to snorkelling when we came across this …


and if you freeze frame at the right spot you see this …


Yep.  And that’s all she wrote folks.


Next post Namibia.