Crossing the River

In Africa, From Johannesburg to Bilibiza, Journeys, Mozambique, Mozambique 2015, Our Blog by hufanLeave a Comment

After this busride, which seemed like it will never end, we are now finally in Mocuba. We get of the bus, but it seems like no one knows for sure how to keep on. The assistant already collected money from those who want to proceed to Nampula, so he has to make sure that we reach the other side. He talks to one of the various motorcycle drivers who approached our bus as soon as we stopped. Then he jumps on the motorcycle and leaves us here waiting until he found out what the situation is like. The minutes pass by and I feel a bit anxious, because I was expecting to easily be able to reach Nampula before night time. Therefore we have to keep going and can not just stand around here waiting. But the assistant took the keys with him and there is nothing that we can do but wait.

After half an hour he comes back saying that it is a big chaos down at the riverside and that we probably will not be able to make it today. Any way we want to try and insist on our luggage so we can keep going. Then we ask the motorcycle taxis how much they charge and they say 20 Metticais, which means that it would be 80 in total, because we need two more for our luggage.

The ride only takes about ten minutes but it is enough to realize that Mocuba seems a quite nice city with a lot of colonial, well maintained buildings.

When we arrive our drivers change the price and suddenly insist on 50 per bike, which really pisses me of, but in the end Hudie just pays this outrages price so we can keep going.

In total there is six little motorboats that cross the river for all these people. The bridge, that connected Mocuba to the other side of the river is the only connection from north to south that existed in Mozambique, and now these little boats are substituting this important bridge. No wonder that the queue is long. We hear that there are people here who already wait for 5 days to cross the river.

Is this it, will we really get stuck here without getting further north? I stay in the queue while Hudie goes down to talk to one of the soldiers. Not five minutes later we take our luggage and get down to the boats, waiting for the next one to come. “What did you say Hudie?”. “That we work for an development organisation and that we are going to the north of the country to deliver our aid and they accepted it.”

Now we are already crossing the river and the impression of destruction caused by nature leaves us breathless. More than 90 people lost their lives and over 25 000 lost their home in this flood.

Do you remember this flood being mentioned in your local newspaper or was the private live of Barack Obama more important?


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