Well, we are on the road again! Actually we have been on the road for about two weeks now - we just haven't got very far and so have been too embarrassed to email! We left Pretoria on the 18th of June and our plan was to head down to Zinkwazi Beach in Natal to visit Zoe and Nic Ellender who have moved there to open a summer camp for kids. We had intended to stay here for a long weekend but, almost two weeks later, we haven't left yet! Zinkwazi is paradise. The ocean is divinely warm, the beaches are gorgeous and the weather has been superb.
Nic has a fully kitted workshop in Zinkwazi and he and Nev have spent hours banging things, welding bits and pieces on to the Land Rover and installing parts that have the most ominous sounding names like "hand controlled spot lights", "battery isolators", "courtesy light switches" and "battery monitors". Who knows what they are for! They have also done plenty of fishing and, although they have not caught anything yet, remain hopeful that they will catch something before we have to push on again. Zoe and I have spent lots of time on the beach, been for long walks and have collected loads of oysters and mussels. I have also been working on our web site which should be up and running quite soon.
Our time spent in Pretoria was hectic but very productive. We were able to have the Land Rover serviced and to have the alarm system and central locking repaired. We visited lots of embassies in Pretoria and obtained the visas that we need for the remainder of the trip. The embassies were less helpful when it came to providing us with up to date information. We visited the Mozambican embassy to try and get the latest news on the state of the roads after the recent floods. The official we spoke to was not even sure where the floods had been (even when asked in the most general terms whether the worst flood damage was in the north or the south) and was only able to hand us a newspaper from March 1999 (fat lot of help that is!). More importantly, however, we revelled in all the trappings of civilization - went to movies, out to dinner, watched TV, slept in comfy beds and, best of all, had divine long baths! I don't know how we will ever get used to camping again - and this time we are in it for the long haul. We wont be able to scurry home to the folks when the going gets tough.
Anyway, we are heading off tomorrow and have persuaded Zoe and Nic to join us for the first part of our trip into Mozambique. Tomorrow we will head for Sodwana Bay where we will spend a couple of nights before pushing on to Ponta Do Ouro via Kosi Bay. We are hoping to do some scuba diving in Sodwana and Ponta Do Ouro. Zoe is a qualified scuba instructor which is great for us although she has not seen my scuba diving capabilities yet. I am not the most avid or enthusiastic diver and am prone to under water panic attacks and bouts of jellyfish induced paranoia.
Wish us luck
lots of love