We are back in our hotel and Hudie just wants to lie down to give her foot a rest again. So I go out alone to change some more Rand into Metticais and finally get us a prepaid card for our phone.
The owner of our hotel advised us before to go to a little barber shop around the corner to change money. The hotel is situated within a big Muslim community, next to a mosque, and it seems like all the Muslim people here are well connected to each other.
Getting to the barber shop I first have to wait for half an hour until the boss gets back.
Now that he is here, he takes me upstairs and leads me through a 1 meter 50 small door into his hidden office. This environment makes me feel a bit strange, but I try not to show it and act as if this was the most normal thing to do. And yes, he changes our money to a decent 3:1 course and welcomes me to come back if I need any help.
Now an hour later I am back in the hotel together with Hudie and we start to make use of our credit on the phone calling our friend in the north. “Why did you not call me earlier? My brother just left Maputo in his car and is on his way north.” How should we know… “Try to get at least to Mocuba as soon as possible. I will keep you up to date about my brother how he is doing over there, crossing the river. Don’t worry, there will be a way to get to the north. But try to visit my wife before you leave, she really would like to meet you.”
This did not really sound like he knew what was going on up there in Zambezia Province. But anyway, we did not come here to stay in Maputo and we will not know really what is going on over there until we get there and form our own impression.
We write a little message to Alfeu, just saying, that we will leave Maputo by tomorrow. Not even five minutes later our phone rings and Latifa, an other sister of Alfeu calls us saying, that her family wants to meet us, and that we should come and stay at her grandmothers house…. We guess their mother told them, that they can not just let us go after we brought the saxophone. But as we are leaving tomorrow, we do not really have time to see them, but Alfeu will at least come around and help us to get the bus ticket.
So now one day later, we first meet with our friend’s wife Wanda close to our hotel and deliver a little present which we brought for our friend, a big bottle of alcohol we bought in the duty free, and our luggage becomes less and less.
In the afternoon Alfeu comes around and drives with us to the “Terminal rodoviario da junta” to by the tickets with us. We walk around for a short while when somebody comes up to us asking: “Where do you want to go?”. “Nampula”, our answer. “There is no buses going straight to Nampula at the moment. Heavy transport can not cross the river at Mocuba, but there is ways to cross, and once you cross, there will be a bus on the other side taking you up to Nampula.”
That sounds straight forward and we go with him to the bus to reserve our seats. Hudie insists on the two front seats, so she will have space to put her foot up. Then we go with the same guy to buy the tickets. Each ticket costs us 2200 Metticais and we will have to be here about 2 o’clock in the night, so we can leave at 4 in the morning.
We agree with Alfeu, that we will see again, once we are back in Maputo and then we take a Xiapa back to the city centre. We have to rest before we will sit in the bus for more than 30 hours to get to the north.