Rest and Relaxation
3rd – 5th February 2007
Silva heard of a trendy night club that was supposedly still happening and jumped in the truck eagerly trying to find the place. The girl (I can’t remember her name, but will refer to her from now as ‘Farida’) and I were still in the back and everything was a mess. We continued our fun nevertheless, ending up on the floor with coffee grinds all over the place. The club turned out to be a meat market, and the only two white men were immediately propositioned by all and sundry. Drunk girls simply grabbed your arse, and I’m not talking about a pinch, it was a proper grope! As much as I tried, I couldn’t shake them off.
I wanted to go swim in the sea and pass out on a desolate beach. Farida told me there was one only 30 km away.
By now, Silva was too pissed to drive, so we crammed four of us into the front of the truck. Farida’s friend (who I will call Lina), came along for the ride (and to satisfy Silva) and drove a palm tree lined single track road at 100 km/h with bicycles and pedestrians jumping for cover. I was only following the example of the local kamikaze drivers.
Zalala was a small village with an attractive beach.
We arrived there at before 06:00 and were treated to a spectacular sunrise behind dark stormy clouds. With the exception of a few fisherman, we had the entire beach to ourselves. It stretched as far as the eye could sea, and had a 100 meter thick line of pine trees separating the beach from the mainland. After a skinny dip in the warm salty ocean, we setup camp under the canopy of the trees, surrounded by thousands of these tiny luminous frogs.
I stole Silva’s swimming trunks and gave them to Farida, instructing her to wait in the middle of the beach waving them around. Silva wasn’t in the least perturbed, and walked up to her nonchalantly collected his boxer shorts.
Like most Africans living on the coast, Farida and Lina refused to jump into the sea. I’m not sure if they couldn’t swim.
It wasn’t because they didn’t want to get naked, as they had no problem flaunting their sexy bodies!
The heavens opened up again so we walked over to the local canteen, dodging all the frogs, for a giant seafood breakfast.
While we were waiting for the food, Silva arranged immaculate accommodation, a stones throw from the beach, fully furnished and with aircon! The house had just been renovated and it cost a paltry $20 each. We escaped the rain and had a great sleep in our separate refrigerated bedrooms, that is after Farida and Lina had performed their magic once more.
It wasn’t long before the fisherman came to our doorstep offering freshly caught delights from the sea. Camarão, Langoustines, and a big fat fish called Pedra, took up some space in our cavernous freezer. We spent the next two days cooking seafood, enjoying sunsets and recuperating from the harrowing long distance road trip. I made a makeshift chess board out of foil, coins, onions, cashew nuts and garlic. One day we drove on the hard beach for kilometers.
On the second day we were joined by a rowdy group of young Pakistani adolescents. They were drinking and driving and acting the way I used to when I was that age. Mohammed, their leader, bragged about his sister earning $12,500 per month from their property portfolio in Nampula. He was clearly getting access to these funds judging by the flashy 4x4 he was driving. They didn’t make too much noise as they mainly partied in town
Our butler, who came with the place and organized us anything we wanted, taught us how to grill Langoustines on the coals. His condiments were simple: garlic, salt and limes. To him, the seafood wasn’t even a delicacy, it was his daily bread.
At 05:00 on the morning before we left, I discovered a small bird on our freezer. It was truly mesmerizing and allowed us to stroke it and take pictures. I fed it some water thinking it may have a damaged wing or foot, but after 10 minutes it simply flew away. Perhaps it was someone’s pet on a joy flight. We had our last swim on the beach, packed up and left Zalala.