Memories of being irresponsible: Part One, Getting there

Bazaruto Island today is nothing like Bazaruto Island in the early 1970s. Today, according to the Internet, there are luxury hotels and resorts costing well over US$1,000 per night. Getting there now is as simple as chartering a light plane and flying from Maputo. Getting off the island can be achieved in much the same way. Not so when we planned our big adventure in 1970.

mozambique-map

We left our home in Salisbury (Harare) in our short-wheel base Land Rover heading toward Inhassoro in Mozambique. Our ultimate destination was Bazaruto Island. We travelled in convoy with our friends, Cliff and Wendy – they in their Peugeot bakkie (ute) towing Cliff’s boat – a fibreglass runabout. Cliff’s father Alec, and Glifford, the African cook, were in their vehicle. Kath, who was about three years old, with us in the Land Rover.

Naturally, we took the road less travelled, bypassing the port of Beira and driving south, down the coast of Mozambique. In fact the road was only partially built, a work in progress, and the new bridge being built over the Save (Sah-veh) River had a magnificent span but no access. So, we travelled underneath the bridge, on a track in the dry riverbed. The first night we spent under a tree, in the bush, near an African village. Parts of the road were sealed and then, suddenly, there would be a deep ditch and the road became a dirt track. Nevertheless, we made it to Inhassoro. I used to have 8mm films of the trip but over time the reels have been lost.

Thirty years later in 2000, Inhassoro, and other coastal towns, were more-or-less wiped out in floods caused by Cyclone Eline. Many stories came out of that terrible time. Many lives were lost. The rebuilt Inhassoro is nothing like the fishing village we knew 30 years before. The bridge over the Save was also washed away when the river came down in flood.

How did we get to the island? We caught a fishing boat/ferry from Inhassoro over the Mozambique Channel to Bazaruto Island and the ferry towed Cliff’s runabout. It is only about 35kms but the trip took at least four hours. The trip to the island was fun, the sun shone and, apart from Glifford, no one else was seasick. We caught the right tide and were able to get off the ferry before the tide receded and left a huge expanse of mudflats. I can remember great big sea cucumbers holothurians all over the place. They really freaked me out.

Edible Sea Cucumber (Holothuria edulis)

We had to take all our water as in those days there was no potable water on Bazaruto. All our food, such as tea, sugar flour and powdered milk was carted from home to Bazaruto. I asked Wendy what she remembered about the trip and she told me we also took a lot of wine and a sack of lemons – for the fish we were going to catch? Perhaps to prevent scurvy? I don’t really remember!

Next time, the crazy accommodation and the cockroaches …

Memories of being irresponsible: Part One, Getting there

Senggigi, Lombok holiday

Waiting to fly!

A different kind of holiday (for me)!

Kath, Dean, Lily and I fly from Perth to Praya (Lombok) on Jetstar, an Airbus A320 – packed to the last seat. The flight takes just over 3 hours. I think Roland and Rosie may be regretting not coming with us. I am enjoying reading Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Quest and have to limit myself to a couple of chapters at a time so as to savour the tale. This fits in well with the flight time to Lombok.

My first impression of Lombok is the similarity to Bali, but not nearly so busy. The weather is warm and humid – delightful after the cool weather in Perth. I took this screen shot to post on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Our driver, Jamie, collects us at Praya and we travel to Senggigi in just over an hour. The countryside is lush and now I can see many differences to Bali. There are many Mosques and the sound of the call to prayer is everywhere. On the car radio we listen to the Rolling Stones (Angie) while the voice of the Muezzin rings from the minarets. I am immediately in love with Lombok! I notice there are not as many dogs on the roads as in Bali but Jamie assures me there are many dogs on the island.

There are many pony carts. Single, small ponies pull this traditional form of transport along the highways and byways. These are called cidomo. Most of the ponies I see during the week in Lombok seem well cared for but a couple look thin and wretched.

Lombok has not yet been discovered by the tourist hoards. I only spot one fast food outlet on the trip.

The Sheraton, Senggigi, is a lovely place to stay. The gardens are beautiful and the staff are friendly and courteous.  The power supply is a bit dicey. The lights flicker and go out fairly frequently! The air-conditioner is turned up to the max so I have to figure out how to turn it down. I am loving the warmth and humidity.

 The gardens abut the Senggigi beach. Colourful fishing boats often draw up on the sand. The sea is quite dirty and the incoming tide brings in a variety of rubbish – such as plastic bags.

There are some mosquitoes, we are well prepared with insect repellent. Early each morning I anoint myself with repellent before beginning Yoga practice on the balcony. The warm, humid climate allows me to bend and flex easily. Each day, after Yoga, I swim for a while and then breakfast at the buffet.

More to follow … including airport stories; searching for the perfect massage and a tropical thunder storm.

Senggigi, Lombok holiday

Summer Holidays

Summer holidays are coming to an end.
Summer is warming up as thermal lag begins. January, February and March are the warmest months here in Western Australia.
Back to school happens at the beginning of February in the searing heat.

Christmas is a dim memory and New Year’s Resolutions are fading (well, not really; I’m still turning upside down everyday and I am studiously avoiding the doctor – being healthy is so good). These are my resolutions:
1) turn upside down everyday
2) avoid the doctor

Long walks on the beach early in the morning will continue through the hot weather. I’m so looking forward to Yoga classes starting again in February. The gym just doesn’t do it for me although I attend as often as I can drag my body along. In fact, it is the deafening music that most puts me off going to the gym. I’ve tried earplugs but they pop out with all the exertions. Strange how clumsy gym workouts make me. After a Yoga asana session I am balanced and centred, but after a gym workout I can barely balance on both feet.

I had so many good intentions of keeping a regular blog and it doesn’t happen. Procrastination and lack of motivation are the main reasons plus my entries seem so banal. I started this blog in 2009 and still fight with ‘blogger’ every time I post something!

Summer Holidays