Vilancula on a shoestring. It took from 9a until 2p to get here, we are staying at a backpackers hostel. Not exactly what I am used to….but for two nights I can survive. We stopped on the way for a picnic where Ben found a chameleon. Everyone photographed it repeatedly. THEN Ben spotted a green tree snake. I said, I think that snake is venomous, but they said it was not. Photos again! Then Felix checked it on his iphone…and yes, it is a very poisonous snake whose bite can be fatal. I’m grateful no one grabbed it. Right now I am in the “restaurant” of the backpackers, and a momma dog has 9 pups in here. They are so cute, but life is too tough here for these poor dogs. People cannot take care of themselves let alone animals.
Back from snorkeling. Apparently, they do not know what clear visability is in Mozambique. Oh well, it was an interesting trip over on a wooden boat that looked a hundred years old, and it had a campfire on it to cook on. The mast was made of wood…and I mean, it used to be a tree. I actually fell up and into the boat. Yes, it is possible to do. It is all very primitive, and a fascinating study. Overall, I would say the trip really wasn’t worth the trouble it took to get here, but it is an experience. I have never traveled this way, staying at backpackers in a closet like room with 4 bunkbeds and no hot water in the shower. We did ask about hot water…and they brought us water in a bucket that had been boiled. As I said, I have never traveled in this manner before, and I am keeping my mouth shut and just going with the flow. I don’t want to be the American bitch who complains about everything, so I choose to be amused instead. After all, I am learning a new culture, new way of diving, new way of living and eating, and getting to know new people. Overall, a great experience for me. Very eye opening in many respects. Absolutely no regrets.
I thought the poverty in Mexico was bad….it is as bad as the worst poverty in Mexico. People live in huts with no running water, no electricity, no easy access to medical care or the ability to travel very far. For the very poor, life is extremely hard in Mozambique, and it is no wonder the life expectancy is mid-forties here. You see very few old people. It is difficult to put what I am seeing into words, and I hesitate to take photos…I don’t want to make them feel like their poverty is worth taking photos of. It is distressing, and certainly I feel like I am roughing it, but I am living like royalty in comparison. I would not survive this kind of poverty, I am sure I would never have made it past 2 years old. One’s immune system has to be iron here.
Tomorrow it is the long drive back to Tofo, then a “work” week ahead I’m going to go on the ocean safaris and do the dives required, but I doubt I will do extra diving. There is abundant life on the reefs, amazing life, but I am a bit disappointed that in nearly 2 weeks I have yet to see a whale shark, and have seen only two mantas, and no mantas on dives. Hopefully there will be something next week. Mantas used to be abundant here, but with a population that is down 87% in 10 years, they are not abundant anymore. I don’t think Randy will like the diving….it is much harder than the California diving we did, and he did not enjoy that. I can hear “this is bullshit”, a famous Randy phrase. It would be worth it if there were mantas on every dive, but as I said, I’ve been diving every day for a week and I’ve seen nada. The weather is supposed to turn bad next week, and I have decided that if it is really rough on the ocean I will not dive. I can only imagine how difficult it would be in bad weather, but I don’t think I will take the chance to find out. Hopefully, it will remain nice and calm (for here). Time for bed…or should I say board? The mattress is less than 5 inches thick, and a damned rooster crows from about 4a until 8a. I might decide to eat chicken if I stayed here much longer! Yes, a new experience for Tam!