The Chapa to Vilankulo

Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Our day started early in Tofo and by 8am we were ready to hit the road. The original plan was to catch a Chapa to Inhabane and then the bus to Vilankulo. But we hit the jackpot and scored a ride with the owner into town.

The bus was scheduled to leave Inhabane at 12pm, and at 1pm we were still roasting in the sun. It was at this point we decided to take a Chapa. For 100,000Mt they would take us to Vilankulo, now there was the chance it could break down and leave us stranded, but we decided to roll the dice and soak up some culture.

Just before we crammed into the Chapa (only 12 people at this point) Marc made the comment. ¡§This is going to be a very interesting day¡¨ And he was right on the money. If we only knew what the next 7 hrs had in store for usfº

For those of you that have ridden in a Chapa/local taxi/Convi you know exactly what I am talking about. For the rest, I will do my best to sum it up.

OK¡K..Take a mini bus, strip it of its seat belts, carpet and general comforts. Then ram 16 people, 100¡¦s of coconuts, Kilos of rice and beans, 20 + bags of personal luggage and a funky smell that words can not even begin to describe. Are you still there¡K¡Know rip up the roads throw in some funky African music and travel for 7 hrs and you will begin to understand our journey. At the end of the day, I would do it all again and prefer to travel with the locals then in a nice bus.

About 4 hrs into the trip the Chapa began to over heat. As the driver was filling the Rad with puddle water (good thing it was raining) and letting the stream out it blew. This caused everyone to jump out like rats from a sinking ship. Including one Mama that did a superwoman out the door, blocking Marc and Zack¡¦s chance of escaping from the steaming inferno. . For that moment, we were not African, American, Canadian or Dutch. We were just people happy to be alive and laugh at our circumstances.

Now after that, the rest of our trip was pretty uneventful but safe. We arrived 7 hrs later at the Zombie Cucumber Backpacker in Vilankulo.
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