After 4 weeks in the DRC working it was time to collect our baby. We arrive late into Maputo and head to our hotel for a few days of down time and relaxing as needed. The national museum is alright overall, and the local places to eat are fantastic. If there is one thing that gets done correctly here its chicken. To not buy chicken here is criminal.
Back to tracking the progress of our shipment, I miss the ship entering port, but I am up early enough to watch it leave, but I have not received a call yet. Panic sets in. “Did they unload my container?” A few calls later I am at the port office trying to get all the paperwork sorted… which if you start at 1pm you will not get your vehicle before close. Back to the hotel. But to calm the mind a fellow Pajero club member was stopping by for drinks. Aderito shows up for a couple beers a great chat, he tells us some places to check out and how to properly order a beer so it’s not so obvious were tourists. If you are curious we were also informed before arrival to try RandR’s which is a rum and raspberry drink. In town the water it down… more on this later.
Photos From the Museum:
That wasn’t a fart…
I wake at the crack of dawn… 8am. Time to collect our wagon. I get picked up by my shipping company and off we go to port. Now, what I didn’t know is I would spend today wearing someone else’s hard hat and work boots to get clearance. Lovely, but I did get a new hi vis vest. So that was a win. After 30 minutes I am past the gate. Now onto the bus, crammed in with all the workers, we drive 10 minutes further up the port. Ahhh here we go, more security, excellent. Another 30 minutes gone. Into the building we go, make sure you stay within the yellow lines while walking or else you will hear about it. Now the waiting begins, its painful but part of Africa. Another hour goes by. Get shuffled back to the bus for a tour? Or so it seems, but once around a corner I see my container!!! Customs comes around and breaks the lock and we are in. No damage which is a win, I quickly unload the wagon and get all items put on the roof. Customs wants to look in the rear, I open the door and they quickly change their mind when they see how packed it is.
Only 3 more stops to get out of port now, they are pretty painless with the exception of the last scanner station. She wants money for something I already paid for, I bring out receipts and a small ten minute hold up I am on my way for the inspection? Nope, just get out so we can go sit in the shade.
Finally at the gate! Freedom is 50 meters way. Now I will mention I may have mixed up the bonnet pop with the fuel cap lever, so they want to see under the bonnet. Banging on the hood, pulling the latch, getting help… nothing, they give up. Then I notice the fuel door… oops. Last 2 items inspected are the fridge for a cold coke… let down, and the drivers area where I may have had my knife sitting. After some joking about me being a serial killer they let me out.
6 hours total time
Then its fuel up time, and my bank cards don’t work… 150L of fuel isn’t the cheapest so now they station attendants are panicking. A quick trip to an ATM I get the cash. Time to pick up Asareh and hit the road.
Asareh has had a few drinks in this time. So at least a happy camper. Loaded we point south and cross the new bridge south out of Maputo headed for Ponta do Ouro. The weather is great and the miles roll by. But we do arrive late into camp and start the setup as the sun sets. A quick dinner and some sleep is needed after today.
It’s a surreal feeling to have your own vehicle in another country.