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Wednesday, July 27

Paradise, Mozambique

Brett: We liked Hashims Place ($8 pppn) in Pangani so much that we stayed 3 nights instead of 1. The camping is on the beach on a peninsula with rows of palm trees, turquoise water and a few traditional huts. The drive in was along a long rough road, but the last 10km is fun – next to the sea, on soft beach sand through the palm trees and the village – we got slightly lost getting in (the tracks are different to those on the GPS). This was a proper holiday; long walks in the early morning (before it got too hot) through the village and along the beach, swimming and reading books in the shade during the hot hours and eating lots of calamari and crayfish that the fishermen caught in the afternoon. I can highly recommend this place, but expect basic facilities (buckets rather than running water).

Mary: it was nice to have some time off. Aside from one persistent stalker who shadowed us for most of the 3 days, but usually from a distance, we found the village very peaceful and hassle free. We said our 5 words or so of Portuguese to the local fishermen and chatted to some ladies in the village who were really friendly. About 4 times a day some kids would come by with their football which had a slow leak, and Brett would heroically pump it up again as it couldn’t be fixed. I became an expert on crayfish (or was it lobster??) anatomy, having never cooked it before. The fishermen would bring us the crayfish in the mornings and we would chuck it straight in the fridge, then spend about an hour dissecting them at lunchtime. Crayfish are not easy to peel! In the end I resorted to using Brett’s pliers and made a huge mess, but we got a lovely Thai crayfish curry out of one of them. The second time I was slightly easier as we sectioned the monster and braaied it. It was still a mess, as Brett kindly pointed out that it had eight legs and asked if it could technically be classified as a spider – this freaked me out somewhat and I spent the rest of the dissection muttering, “it’s like a chicken from the sea, just a chicken from the sea….”. Then the tail twitched slightly and I lost my nerve Smile

We spent quite a frustrating evening trying to photograph the milky way from the beach, but none of the pictures came out very well. It was just so dark - the campsite, in fact the whole village, had no electricity – the only light around was from a few ships far out at sea – bliss!

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