acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Sunday, June 26, 2011

its things like that

Driving to the Mozambique border through Kruger National Park. Having to stop and wait as two massive bull elephants walk towards us down the road in that unbreakable rhythm of long distance travel.

Driving the long road to Sao Sabastiao past lively markets, trucks piled with charcoal or coconuts, potholes and acres of coconut palms that reach to the horizon.

Stopping to buy piri piri (hot chilli sauce) at a roadside stall, only to have it explode like a roman candle when we open it at the table days later, drenching everyone and their food in red liquid spray.

Mozambique and the tropical sea turned to glass. The black silhouetted shapes of  fishing dhows crease the mirrored water - their sails sharp like a lions claw or the hooks on a palm frond.  Sea and horizon meet at a vaguely discernable point about half way.

Canoeing in mangroves flooded by the solstice high tides. Sneaking up on herons, egrets and plovers that roost on the islands of trees.  Slipping over barely submerged aerial roots of mangroves, encrusted with barnacles.  Looking down on schools of silver fish that flit through the sunlit water under the canoes.

Watching the dhow fishermen trawl the reefs and floodplains endlessly - hauling in acres of fish nets while sunlight bounces in shards of light all around them.

It is visiting the school at Matsopane Village to deliver letters from America, and a pile of new stationary - kids laughing and playing around you, while others watch with solemn concentration to hear about their new friends in USA.

It is sunsets and moonrise,  and starscapes that dazzle the brain.  It is time with friends. It is sand between the toes, pansy shells and starfish, and snorkelling on a reef full of wonder.

Mozambique - it is things like that.


Kerry said...

Dreamy and unreal. So beautiful, except maybe for the exploding chili sauce...

Lori ann said...

sounds so perfect val, i loved coming along with you. and i'm so glad you were able to kayak this time.

hello ellies in the road!

Val said...

kerry - haha yes it was - except for that :)

Lori - elephants have right of way in our world - especially these big guys! We had high tides every day which was amazing x


mermaid gallery said...

It's like you live in another age, another world.....full of spendiferous wonders...elephants. dhows....Mozambique sounds like an authentic culture to experience....the tropical sea I could dive into....thanks for that!

e said...

Thanks for taking your readers along. Sorry about the chili sauce exploding.

Amanda Summer said...


the dhows, the elephants, the exploding piri-piri. you make it all come to life, val. since i 'met' you i've been telling people i want to go to mozambique - you paint such a compelling portrait.


p.s. love the emails you sent about the package arriving and when i return to the states look forward to having tim or mina translate the letter!! thanks for delivering the package - this little school exchange is so cool!!

Anonymous said...

piri piri molotov cocktail . . . . .
** sigh ** for the gentle boating
yippee for the school children

love your trip

Angela said...

Val, you should mention your other blog on the little school in Mozambique - maybe some don`t know of it yet. Matsopane Primary School. Your last post was so lovely!
But this one is wonderful, too. What an amazingly different life! Elephants on the road, with right of way! And Dhows on the beach, and funny roadside bargains, tehee. I would love to accompany Lori and surprise you one day!

Friko said...

traffic jams everywhere, on the roads, in the sea, in mangrove swamps . . . .

what you need is a policeman or two to make order of the chaos.

I do feel for you, it's hard work, but someone has to do it.

Val said...

hi Mermaid - of course there are many levels but this is the one i like best :)

e - haha that chilli sauce was dramatic!

Amanda - great you are coming to mozambique one day and can visit the school. let me know when!

Janet - thanks. you too

Angela - maybe we should have a blogger run up there sometime...There is a link to the school blog in my sidebar

Friko - hehe :D


Chimera said...

Wow! Been away too long...lovely photos and sweet, sundrenched writing too. Thank you Val! T xx