Monday, June 18, 2012

Northern Mozambique: Final thoughts

After another night in Pemba where we stayed in a chalet instead of camping to get a hot shower, the four of us, Mike and I and Monika and Martin, headed north to Mueda, basically a transit stop. It was a pretty painless drive with more Chinese roads in progress and an overpriced guesthouse at the end offering cold bucket showers and toilets for the giveaway price of $30! Yay!

So much dust!
The road to Mueda...not the best but not the worst either
Bucket showering with cold water, yay!!
Main street in Mueda
The drive to the border from Mueda was less enjoyable, actually, quite long and painful with an average speed of 30km an hour for 170km (with Mike also taking out a chicken on the way, opps!). It took us around 5 hours to get to immigration which was amusing because at the end was a beautifully completed, multi-million dollar bridge for the crossing to Tanzania, the Unity Bridge! I have to say that I struggle to fully understand the purpose of the bridge which was funded by both governments; in theory it should enhance economic development for the regions closest to the bridge, as well as provide a route for transportation. However the road, especially on the Mozambique side, is so bad that no truck could possibly pass it in a reasonable time, if at all. And no sign of a Chinese road in progress there! Hmm, strange….

Is this really the way to the Tanzanian border???
No really, is this the right way??
Approaching the much anticipated Unity Bridge. Very strange to see after the
roads we had just come off
THE Unity Bridge, connecting Mozambique and Tanzania
All in all I did like Mozambique, however I found the northern part to be a tad frustrating. It certainly isn’t easy travelling and is not really ready for tourism yet. Of course this is fine, but someone forgot to tell the people of Mozambique that they then shouldn’t charge developed country prices for third world travelling.

The roads are the worst we’ve seen, food options very limited, (I saw hardly any fruit or veg which I really struggled with), accommodation is incredibly overpriced and bargaining is not a skill that the people of Northern Mozambique seem to have acquired.

If I was to come to Mozambique again I’d stick with the south, which based on all accounts I’ve heard is also pricey, but much better set up. Although I would like to see Ilha de Mocambique again in another 15 or so years; I’m sure it will be back to its former glory days by then!

No comments:

Post a Comment