Travels

Of police and axes in Mozambique

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The North of Mozambique is beautiful although you will get the attention of the cop

I talked to you a few days ago about how some police officers act in the magnificent country of Mozambique and I promised that I would tell you a much better anecdote than the one I used at that time to support my theory.

Well here it goes.

Save the night in Maputo I related in that article, I had no more incident with the police during my entire stay in the South of the country. The days flew by in the haven of tranquility that was the small coastal town of Vilanculos. The townspeople treated us great and I spent ten days deciding, without any hurry, where to continue my path.

In the end I decided to go to the North of the country and for this I would have to travel more than 1500 kilometers by road, divided into several stages.

A couple of nights before I left I met at the hostel -Baobab beach- beachman I stayed at Ophir and Alec. Israeli and American, were the two dark shadows that accompanied me to the Vilanculos market long before dawn to catch that tartana that would take us north.

Ophir would become my inseparable companion and friend during the six weeks that I still had in Africa, but that day we were almost two strangers who had fallen very well in a first contact during a dinner at the hostel. Alec was a very American American. With a sporty and clean appearance, brand and new clothing and equipment, and that enthusiasm for everything that happens around embodied in a lot of “awesomes“.

My good friend Ophir in the store in Caia

Ophir was coming all the way with me but Alec would leave us in a lost town located at a crossroads: Inchope. From there he would go to Zimbabwe, where people speak English and he could cope.

We arrived in Inchope shortly after noon.

Low houses scattered here and there without order or concert. The same chaos reigned among the people who moved through the local market. It was there that the driver of our first tartana of the day left us. Before getting off, he told us where we had to go to take the sheet (van) to Caia - in the north - and the one that would bring Alec to the border.

We said goodbye to him and walked a few meters in the indicated direction. We don't get very far.

Two military police -or so they looked for their camouflage clothes and black berets- they gave us the stop using their Kalashnikovs. Given these arguments, we were very still. And so the scene began.

The first thing they did was ask us for passports. The singing voice was carried by the greatest of the two. It was a closet that would impose on Chuck Norris himself. He groped the three passports and looked around the same pages over and over again, alternating with intimidating glances at the staff.

Seeing that each one came from a country - it seemed the joke of "this is an American, an Israeli and a Spaniard who go ..." - asked us to explain that we did all three together. I was the only one who spoke Portuguese so I tried to explain: we were simple tourists whose paths had crossed by chance. The explanation did not seem to please the law enforcement officer because he snapped at me: “You are very clever". He then told us that the backpacks were going to be checked from top to bottom.

... but it's still a country ten ...

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