Bilene – Montego. Also August… I think?

Clayton and Matt inspecting Woody’s leak

The plan for the day included a quick trip to the village in order to find a welder that can fix Woody’s leaking petrol tank, followed by a whole day boat cruise to see flamingos, whales, dolphins and turtles. It was a good, solid plan that was simple enough and unlikely to changed. The quick trip to town took longer than expected but the with help of the guys on DriveMoz and our go-to-guy in Bilene, Pascal, the guys managed to find a welder, appropriately named Macgyver. Macgyver, despite his name, was however just a welder and not about to make a plan to get the petrol tank out himself to fix the holes. Clayton and Matt (with the assistance of Pascal) decided to do that themselves but assured us that it is just a couple of bolts and nuts that won’t take too long. Marcia and I were thus forced to slave away on the beach, getting our tan on (burnt in my case because the anti-malaria tablets I’ve been taken makes me super sensitive to the sun).

A couple of hours later with the petrol tank at the welder’s place we were ready to set off on our day out on the boat at 14:30. Despite the change in plans, the morning was quite enjoyable and relaxing. I felt far removed from the chaos of Maputo and since Bertus was behaving a bit more (I am reluctant to say “giving no problems” in fear that he might break and I honestly  do not want to get the Look from Clayton again) and Clayton had a new car to work on which seemed to make him happy.

On Pascal’s brother’s boat, with Adele’s Hello playing in the background, we lazily cruised on the lagoon making our way to the ocean.

Pascal”s brother’s boat is on the left
The lagoon

We checked off the flamingos from our list of things to see within the first couple of minutes.

Flamingo flight
The lone flamingo in flight
Our spot on the hill where PB showed us the turtles

Not really expecting to see turtles since they apparently have not seen them the day before we still went for a hike in search of them with Pascal’s brother (henceforth known as PB). We walked and climbed all along the shoreline and up a hill that made me think twice about how much I really wanted to see turtles. PB however insisted that it is the best spot to really see them so up I went with everybody else. He proved to be right and we were able to check the second item off our list. There were quite a few of them playing in the waves, chilling on rocks before going in for a dive and just generally looking super chilled out. Clayton and I had the bright-spark idea of going down to swim with them but PB advised against this since there were rocks and strong currents. We ignored the sound advice only to find that yet again, he proved to be right.

Sunset over Bilene

The weather was not playing along to our idealistic mental pictures of Mozambique the next day so while it was cold and looked like rain we decided to go to Tofo, planning to stop over on the way there but not quite sure where yet. It would seem that without our little Coast to Coast guiding us from one place to the next we were all a bit lost and iOverlander had just too many options.

We restocked on the basic groceries at the Savemor in Xai-Xai. Matt and Clayton looked for a new rim for Woody’s spare wheel that was busted as well as someone that can fix their fridge, that for reasons unknown to us decided to stop working. Clayton was sure it just needed gas. We managed to find a guy next to the side of the road that can fix the fridge (it was not the gas) but had no luck with the rim.

Using iOverlander we found Montego bay just a few km away but it came with a warning of a sand track to get to the lodge. It also said free, fast wi-fi so we were basically forced to go there being millennials and all. Amped to test Bertus’ skills on sand we set off to Montego. We were unfortunately soon disappointed with the lack of loose sand and made it to there without incident.

Bertus lurking behind Woody (photo credit to Marcia Brunner)

After pitching our camp (for Matt and Marcia it literally means parking the car), Marcia and I went to the bar (only spot where there was wi-fi) to upload some pics and update the blog. The guys went to go buy prawns for dinner – something that should have taken them max 20 minutes but instead took them a couple of hours. This was the first of many moments we realized that the Clayton-and-Matt combo were even slower together than apart. It also explained why it took them 2 hours to take a petrol tank out the previous day.

We left early the next morning, undecided as to where to go. The weather was still bad and it seemed to follow us north. We therefore decided to do another stop before we get to Tofo just to give the weather a chance to get ahead. We dropped in at Zavora lodge but decided not to stay there and eventually ended up at Sunset beach.

The road to Zavora (photo credit Marcia Brunner)
Clayton finally getting the opportunity to pose with a turtle at Zavora lodge!

On the way there we found a crashed ‘Woody’ next to the side of the road. We decided to stop to check if Marcia and Matt can persuade the owner to sell them the old rim. The owner was unfortunately not there but Matt did manage to find a new light switch for Woody.

Fun and games on the road – however people were not too happy about this and actually thought that was Woody that crashed…

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