Wednesday, 1 August 2007

MEETING MOTHER EARTH







After joking in previous reports about the misfortunes of others, it was bound to backfire on me. The 4 days on back roads since Nacala have been fairly tricky (just because the map indicates a road it doesn't mean it still exists). Bridges are missing, and I even had to cross the Lurio River Estuary by dugout canoe. Heading down one of the many steep hills the other day, a bump in my path sent me into a pile of loose gravel. After one or 2 big fishtails old Saartjie decided to flip. After that it was me and Saartjie, Saartjie and me, and when we eventually came to rest in the bush the bike was on top. Fortunately neither of us sutained any serious damage. I was surprised that the accident didn't attract spectators, as in those isolated regions I was drawing record sized crowds. Camping in a fairly large village the other night I estimated at least 200 people surrounding me so close that I was having trouble pitching the tent (and none of them could speak a word of English). A translator was summoned (obviously from the bar), and upon arrival he fell on the tent - breaking one of the poles. So, in fading light and in front of 200 + expectant people, I had to do some quick improvisation (no pressure!). It didn't get any better from there, because besides his drunken state the translator knew only about 3 words of English (mostly used in a begging context). At one point I got the impression that the crowd was lining up to put their requests to me via the imposter (I suppose old Saartjie was also up for grabs). Unfortunately I must have been a major disappointment for many people that night. Now I'm in Pemba, at a comfortable camp site next to the beach. I have another 9 days to get to Tanzania without extending my visa. Distances since Nacala were:- Memba 92 km; Mosua 67 km; Natuko 87 km; and Pemba 65 km.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ernie

Ansie here. I do enjoy your adventure into Africa. Sounds like you are learning a lot about the inhabitants of our continent. Hope you travel save and have fun. Take care
Ansie

Lois said...

Hi Ernest

Looks like you are meeting some fascinating people and creating some humerous and interesting memories.
Take care of Saartjie
Lois

cliff said...

Hi Ernest
Met you at Nacala where you seemed reluctant to leave ! Myself and wife are now back in JHB and will be keeping an eye on your progress.

Denis and marlene
(with the Landcruiser and trailer)

christiaan said...

Hi Ernest

Dis lekker om jou avontuur te deel, hoop dat jy dit ook soveel geniet soos dit klink.
Sterkte, veral vir die bene:-)

Groete
christiaan

Anonymous said...

Hi Ernest,

Love reading your site. If feels like I am listening to your stories in our lounge. We are still all okay but miss you and Leana.

Lots of love from the Williams Family.
Karin