19.10.2009 - 23.10.2009
How can you not enjoy a place where the hostel is called the Zombie Cucumber?
Though I couldn't really explain why, I enjoyed Vilanculo – another beach resort, further north - significantly more than Tofo, even though I did just as little there as I had in Tofo. Our main reason for visiting, to pay a trip to the Bazaruto archipelago, had sadly been canceled on financial grounds. We simply could not justify the 50euro cost of a trip to the main island, and though there were cheaper options to other islands, it was one of those situations where if you don't do it properly, it isn't really worth doing at all. So we didn't
With the one place I really wanted to visit on Mozambique – Isla de Mozambique – having already sadly had to be dropped on time grounds, this was not really a great piece of news. But, as they say, sh1t happens. Instead we just spent a few days wandering around Vilanculos (of which there are at least a half dozen different spellings). There were some interesting people around, and, we discovered in the way that you do, that an English guy there used to go out with a Finnish friend of Maaret, and the two had missed meeting in Ecuador a few years previously only by a few hours.
But mostly what kept me interested in Vilanculo was the bay. The the bay is extremely shallow, and as a result, the tide goes out a ridiculously long way: If you time it right, it looks like it would be possible to walk all the way to the islands some 14km away. And when the sea is going out, the vista shows glorious layers of colour, as sand, water channels, shallow water and green seaweed and plant life all intermingle. It is absolutely beautiful, and no picture can ever really do it justice.
The pictures really don't do it justice; In reality, it is much more beautiful that than
It is a town with some security issues, especially after dark, and a chunk of which had been destroyed by a cyclone a few years previously and after which a short burst of redevelopment/rebuilding had been undertaken before the government quietly withdrew funds leaving several half built concrete buildings and an air of decay. It is also the sort of place that i think could be hideous in high season, when it would doubtless be flooded by mostly South African holiday makers. But out of season, it was fine – good seafood, and colorful and happy locals (especially when the fishing fleet came back in mid-afternoons, something we watched repeatedly) and I enjoyed being there.
Women surround one of the fishing vessels on it's return to Vilanculo, and (below) some of the days catch