19 November 2022, Maputo, Mozambique
Good evening, Family. Today has been a long day.
I was up at 6:15am to be able to meet my tour at the port terminal gate at 8:45am.
Ate a crepe with apple, strawberry, and berry fillings for breakfast with orange juice and coffee. Took a few distant photos of Maputo, Mozambique from around the Ocean View Pool. Then I went to the Lower Promenade deck 3 for more photos.
Jeremy announced that we were late docking, because another ship was still in our berth at 8am. Again, we will use the ship’s gangway, which also takes extra time.
I went to stand in line at 8:15am. It was already a long line to leave the ship from A deck, midship, starboard. At 8:50am the line started moving. Unfortunately, some people were stopped when told they did not have a Visa. Luckily that was corrected.
Connor photographed me on the dock.
I was thrilled to see the local dancers & musicians welcoming us. $1 into their basket.
It was a long hike to the cruise terminal where Tourist Information gave me a Maputo map and guide booklet.
I went outside to meet my Across Africa Tour group and found no signs. Waited with Ruth’s AAT group and was told to go back to the terminal door for Mary Anne’s group.
Glad to see tablemates Jan & David board the shuttle bus. Nice to see Charlotte & Bill pulling bags to go on their five-day Safari. 200 passengers left on Safaris today.
Found Mary Anne’s group and followed them a long way to the port gate, where several vans were waiting. No #3. I asked and was to board the “Elephant” van. Onboard I confirmed that this was the #3 group. Some were grumping because the tour lunch had been cancelled yesterday. We waited and waited and finally left without three people showing up.
Our tour guide Egish introduced himself and the correct itinerary. (Not enough time for everything.). He told us that China had built the big bridge, but it was so expensive, that not many people used it.
Our first stop was at the Railway Station. It is one of the three or ten most beautiful railway stations in the world. We have also been to the ones in Mumbai and Kwanza, Japan.
Since I look like an accident waiting to happen with my hiking stick and white hair, Wally volunteered to stay close to me on this terribly hot day. 101- and 97-degrees F and 35 C were all mentioned.
Lots of street salesmen selling souvenirs, but I needed to keep up with the group.
Our next stop was at the Municipal Market building. Crowded. Fruits, veggies, fish, handicrafts, housewares, local cure alls, but no time to shop there. Portuguese is spoken here, so I brushed up on “Bom dia” and “obrigado” thank you.
Then we went to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It looked ready for a wedding. Pope John Paul had visited there. I liked the bas relief scenes on the side walls.
The Iron House by Gustaf Eiffel was across the street from the Tunduru Botanical Gardens. Crowds were gathered for wedding ceremonies there. The gardens were beautiful with big shade trees. People were all dressed up for the weddings. Egish pointed out the huge bats up in the trees.
Then we stopped at the Natural History Museum “with impressive exhibits of wildlife in Mozambique. A very interesting part is the only collection of Elephant fetuses in the world.”
Behind the museum was a colorful mural of war in Mozambique, reminding me of Picasso’s “Guernica.”
Finally we arrived at FEIMA, the handicrafts market. Only 15 minutes to shop, so not much could be bought here. (The bright red dirt caught my attention.) I needed to sit down and thought I was late, so I went and sat in the van. And waited. Asked the driver to phone the guide, but he did not understand. Our guide finally came and was so happy to find me.
The group wanted to get a drink, so had been enjoying cold beer in the heat. I was happy to sit in the almost air-conditioned van.
By now we needed to return to the port. Drove along the waterfront. Saw several flame or Christmas trees with bright red flowers.
Gave sweet Egish a Port Angeles brochure along with the tips to him and the driver.
It was a long walk in the heat to the port terminal and another long walk to the ship.
I enjoyed shopping in the terminal. Bought a $10 batik fabric picture of Elephants with a Rhinoceros.
When I reached the ship’s gangway, I had to sit down in the shade with a cool wet washcloth on the back of my neck.
It was 1:45pm when I reached my room. Took a quick nap.
Our ship pulled away from Maputo at 3:10pm. During dinner Captain Smit announced that the strong winds and three-meter waves would make walking difficult. And we might dock an hour late tomorrow in Durban, South Africa.
My dinner was the Classic Caesar Salad with Anchovies, the Caribbean Curried Lamb, Strawberry Pavlova, White Zinfandel, and decaf coffee.
“On World Stage: Mentalist Michael Abrahamson, double memory record holder and international mentalist is back to enthrall you with memory demos, mathematical mysteries, mind reading, and psychology.”
My evening after the entertainment was spent writing in this journal, remembering a HOT but satisfying day in Maputo, Mozambique.
Photo Gallery by Barbara Cumming