The streets are pale and dusty in Praia do Tofo, Mozambique. The frequent calls of “hola Amiga” are easily heard over the gentle hum of chickens scratching for morsels and soft toned Portuguese chit chat.
Life is slow. People walk slow. Even the hawkers with their bracelets, cashews and strange wooden artifacts meander rather than hurry to you. Haggling for a price is slow moving, frequented by laughter and done with the lack of urgency that only living in paradise can create.
And by paradise I mean the clearest ocean I have ever laid eyes on. Ocean bustling with the traffic of sea life. White sand backing onto palm trees lazily waving their sunburnt fronds, and more coconuts than one could possibly consume.
We spent a day in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, on our way to Tofo. It was a buzzing city with that classic overpowering African metropolis scent of incense and sewage. It was hot and windy and after a failed wild goose chase searching for the Tanzanian embassy we decided to bail to the coast.
‘Bailing’ in African terms is actually spending hour upon hour in a hot, cramped bus, frequent stopping, piling body on body until not one inch remains unoccupied. People climb in and out windows, babies are passed up and down the isle, hawkers selling bread, bananas and huge racks of sunglasses knock on the windows until after eleven or so hours, you may make the 500km distance.
Its funny when you take a moment to think of where you are. How you got there. The paths that intersected and how every choice you made somehow lead you here. It seems we spend so much time lost in the grey, stumbling in oblivion, looking for something but yet to figure out what it is.
Silently hoping you’ll recognise it when you see it.
Equally worried you won’t.
Until one morning you wake up to the sound of a mosquito buzzing in your ear, eyes wide for fear of getting malaria, and notice the east African paradise at your doorstep.
Not knowing what day it is.
Where you’re going next
And that you have in fact found what you’re looking for.
Knowing you are lost
Being oh so happy about it…