Dhow prowAfter a marathon journey involving two overloaded chappas (minibus taxis, or Volkswagen Combis / Toyota Hiaces modified to carry fifteen passengers carrying thirty) and the ferry from Inhambane to Maxixe, I arrived in the suspiciously Tofo-like beach resort of Vilanculos – which thankfully had a decent self-catering kitchen (the one at Tofo consisting of two pans, four knives and two plates). I immediately managed to get myself on a dhow trip to a nearby island along with three beer-drinking South Africans on a fishing trip (total fish caught: 1) and spent a delightful few hours snorkelling the coral reef despite the presence of twenty or so Dutch tourists on an overland truck holiday. There were lots of fish, most of which I couldn’t identify so you’ll be spared lots of Latin names.

Working at the hostel as an artist was a guy from Zimbabwe, who showed a particular interest in my guitar and had his own local instrument which looked a bit like a typewriter and sounded kind of like a wind-up music box. He liked Damien Rice (who wouldn’t?). There was also a Rastafarian from Malawi who was a little put out that I didn’t know the Redemption Song but was satisfied with No Woman, No Cry.

I’m writing this from the small town of Chimoio, and tomorrow (at a ridiculously early hour) I’ll be heading to Tete and then on to Blantyre. There was another Zimbabwean guy at the hostel, and after less than an hour discussing world politics I may have incited him to pre-empt the fall of the current government and start an activist network. Look out for him when the revolution starts.

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