Tuesday, dec 4- day in Villanculous
Ay 3:45am I wasn't awakened to hippos or lions but rather men shouting...ha! It was the fisherman getting ready to set sail during high tide as the sun rose at 4:00am. I wanted to watch the sunrise but figured I would do it another day and rolled off to sleep in today...till 6:30! Ha! It was great getting up to see such beautiful view and the water sparkling for the morning sun. I even have fantastic views of the water and beach in the reflection of the bathroom mirror while I brush my teeth! A relaxing breakfast was served where I met a couple and their baby from Germany as well as Chris.
I was off for an early village tour. Fakirie took me down the beach and then up to the road to the village. The locals live in big wooden huts with straw roofs. some of the homes are brick but they use that for storage areas. It's unique as they have nicely manicured tall bushes that act as fences to provide their privacy within their home area. Inside they keep their land very clean and plant flowers in the sand. The local village streets are fairly clean and when Fakirie sees people throw garbage on the street he yells at them not to do it...he is a young guy in 10th grade and very concerned about his environment and as we'll as the locals and whites get treated fairly and that the whites do not get over charged. The locals speak Portuguese and learn English once they are in 6th grade if their parents force them to school which doesn't always happen. They are very poor and live quite simply here but yet they are given so many great, natural resources that us Americans pay a lot for in the USA. They have banana, papa papaya, mango, coconut and cashew trees growing everywhere naturally. They also have fresh fish caught daily for the sea. We walked through the streets to the food markets. Tons and tons of woman with their younger kids selling fresh fruit, vegetables and loads of fish and crab. Overall, the people are friendly here, however, they have a STRONG dislike to photo taking. I could not even take a random photo of the markets from the distance with out them yelling at me. Fakirie had to take my camera and take the photos for me....you know how much I hate that! Some would allow him to take it and some would yell at him too. He said that they think we will take pictures of them and use it for money, or publish it. Also, some feel that their spirit is being taken away when their picture is taken. Then, a large breasted woman came up to me in the market and touched her breasts and then pointed to mine. I wasn't sure what she meant, but she was saying that I have large breasts like her...many woman did this and pointed to me! It was actually quite humorous. In their custom it is good to be large breasted and they never see white people with large breasts...they should come meet my friends! Ha! I passed their hospital and found out that there are NO doctors in Vilanculos so if you need something you must make do...and you don't need a prescription for a drug. One can go up straight to the pharmacy and get morphine! We walked back along the beach and it was Africa hot in the village and it felt good to finally get somewhat of a breeze!
And then the moment came to pick up Mark at the airport for his arrival into his first African country! We picked him up and headed back to the Inn and then onward to our horseback "sunset" ride....had to break him into the African culture right away!
Every business operation is a small privately owned company here. It was a couple, Mandy and Patrick from South Africa, that ran a horse riding company. We tried to book a sunset ride along the beach but it was more of a guided pony ride on the beach with no sunset...ha! ...but still fun. The horses were not quite broken in and if the guides did not lead the horses they would break out into full canter and take off and still tried when the guides were holding their reigns. The sun didn't set on that side either and it was very cloudy. We started riding along the beach and had a little dog following us. It was a scrappy dog getting into mischief and always had to be the leader of the pack...sort of reminded me of Madison!
After the horse back riding trip, I tried to contact the guy who I met on my flight to Vilanculos...he was staying close to the stables and right next to Patrick...such a small village here in Villanculous. Mark and I ended up meeting John for a drink at his rental place. John is part owner of this home and it was massive and beautiful !! The place had a kitchen and living room bigger than my entire condo opening out to a large outdoor deck with 2 bedrooms upstairs as well as two separate chalets with bedrooms. The house came with a huge private pool surrounded by a wooden bar and lounging space. It was the house that I had taken a picture of on my horse back ride!! ...great connection to have as the rental for this place which includes your own cook was cheap!! John had been coming here for years and it was so interesting to hear some of his stories about Mozambique and the history of it. We all went to eat at a restaurant close by but had to hurry there as everything closed early (8pm). We got to the restaurant, Archipelago, and everyone from the stables was eating there with the owners of the restaurant and their family....we ended up joining their tables and it became one festive South African brai. Only in Africa does this happen...so warm and welcoming and such fun!
By the end of dinner, it was late in Vilanculos time. John Did not know how to get to our Inn so he had Patrick drive us back in the darks it road. Upon our arrival back at Casa Babi, Mark got this horrified look on his face....he didn't have his expensive SLR camera! We had to track the camera down...it was left in John's open air truck. Sabrina was great as she said she would get it delivered back to the lodge the following morning. Whew!!