This story just shows a little bit how different the perceptions of time can be and how good we humans can be at solution finding even if there are hardly any tools available and we find our selves in a rough enviroment.
We spent the last days of our trip to Mozambique on a little island in the Querimba Archipelago and on the day we left we had 4 more days to catch our planes back home. Hudie to Venezuela and me to Germany.
We woke up early in the morning, packed our stuff, said good bye to our nice hosts and walked to the other end of the island from where we could get a Dao to Qizanga, the little port village on the mainland. Luckily there was wind and our Dao arrived quite fast in Quizanga and we were able to catch the bus before 8 o’clock.
When we got to the bus there were about 5 fishermen loading the little carrier behind the bus with big bags full of dried fish on top of which they finally maintained our luggage. I did not feel really good about it, as the road back to Pemba was nothing but a dirt-road with loats of holes in it and I did not think our luggage to be secure on the top of the fish. But I felt somehow relieved when we got a seat in the back row so we could always have an eye on the carrier.
The journey was suposed to take us not more than three hours, which would make it possible to arrive in Pemba before midday and even start traveling down south to Nampula the same day. And yes we were going fine in the beginning. Even though it was a dirt-road the driver seemed to be sure of running on a German motorway and the dried out Savanah to our sides just flew by. And luckily the shaking of the bus kept us awake so we could keep an eye on the carrier.
After 15 km we passed a little bridge and the driver did not think of avoiding the big hole in the street after the bridge. “Rahm”, you could hear the wheels and I thought the bus must be damaged by now, but everything ok. We kept driving as if nothing happened. I turned arround to see if our luggage still was save on top of the fish… “Where is the carrier?” I turned to Hudie, and then shouting: “Stop the bus!!! Stop the bus!!”
The whole carrier turned over and our luggage was burried under the carrier and hundreds of kilos of dried fish. Everybody got of the car and together we men turned over the carrier and loaded the stuff back on it. The wheel broke, but luckily there was an compact spare tire at hand and the driver fixed it in no time. Everything fine. We moved on, nobody complaining and we can still feel confident about getting to Nampula the same day.
An other 10 kilometers later there was an other “Rahm”. The spare tire was even less willing to keep going on this kind of road. Now there was no spare tire left and we were in the middle of nowhere. As far as our eyes could see there were only dried out trees and red earth. We thought we will never get out of there, and I really started to doubt that we will manage to get our flights, which worried me because I really wanted to get home, as I had not been to Germany for 2 years already.
But the driver just said without waiting long time: “Everybody back into the bus!”. Was he really gooing to keep driving with a flat tire on his carrier? Yes he was. But at walking speed. So it took about two and a half hours until we finally arrived at the next village. Hudie was doubting that anybody there would be able to fix this tire because it was just a small village in which you could be happy to find some basic stuff in the little stores.
But of course somebody would be. People know each other, people know where to ask and people know which services are needed on a road like this. Within one minute there was a bunch of people starting to work on the problem. They welded the tire, digged a hole under the carrier so they could change the tires again and the whole thing was done in a bit more than an hour.
Back on the road, maybe still not at top speed as even the driver had to realize that he better changes his way of driving, but moving and at about shortly before 4 o’clock we arrived in Pemba. Nobody of our travelmates in the bus was complaining seriously. And for us complaining would not change anything neither. It was too late to keep going already, because one travelling rule for us is to try not to arrive at night in an unfamiliar place. So we had to stay in Pemba an other night, going down south the next day with no stops really.
So whenever going to Mozambique, probably many countries in Africa, don’t be in a hurry, don’t ever travel with time pressure. In Bilibiza I had to explain these two words “time pressure” because they did not know what I meant with it. If you travel here with time pressure, feeling nervous and starting to blame others for it, you will have a really bad time because many people would not understand your problem. “There is always a solution and with patience you can achieve everything”, was a kind of a message of this trip for me.