First you go at the old office; which is closed. They give you a phone number to call for reservations. The language selection is “-Do you speak English? -Espera -(other voice) Yes”. The lady confirms you that “they have space”. Then, she gives you a bank account number to pay around 40 US$. You go among the locals to deposit the money (this will take around one hour in Vilancoulos). After this, you need to find a post office to send the receipt by fax. They “don’t have line“, so you find another fax. It’s at Gapo (don’t ask my what’s this, but they send you a fax for less than 1 US$). You’re almost done. Call back the lady and pray that she’ll give you a confirmation number for your e-ticket . Until now, we don’t have it, and 4 hours past already.
But the place is worth:
In Vilancoulos, the see doesn’t look the same for 2 days in a row. You can wake up having the water near your window or with a 2 km long beach just in front of you. Even more spectacular are the colors of the sea, which seem to change every day. Yesterday, I traveled to Bazaruto Archipelago, declared National Park, and area’s main touristic attraction. It was an old dhow with a small engine (I think that in Europe I wouldn’t need a license to drive it) who sailed between the sand slides created by the low-tide. The boat trip takes around 90 minutes to get not more than 11 km , but it’s interesting due landscape’s natural beauty (fishermen looking for mussels, some flamingos resting on a small sand island or simply the ocean’s colorful appearance…). You can walk around Margaruque Island in around 2 hours. The western shore forms a natural swimming pool, bordered by the coral reef and the white sand beach. The other side of the island faces directly Indian Ocean, so the waves are bigger. There is the home of some big crab family.
When we talk about Bazaruto, please forget anything I ever said regarding accommodations, transports etc in Mozambique. Bazaruto is a natural paradise and one of the most beautiful places on earth that I’ve ever seen. On the small island of Margaruque there is only a small village and some luxury homes (isn’t this huge contrast funny? But… This Is Africa…) . All the island is like a pristine perfect white sand beach that disappears when is high-tide. Knowing that “a photo is worth more than one thousand words”, I won’t use too many words to describe the beauty of the island, but I highly recommend you to pay it a visit.
Small photo gallery:
I would lie if I’d say that I liked Maputo after the first day. Being tired after a 14 hour trip, or the cloudy sky, or maybe just the simple fact that it was Monday, all this together reminded me of the famous “Why we came to visit them?”. I think it’s all about expectations and, to be honest, based on other travellers stories, I imagined Maputo to be more glamorous. On the second day, I catched better the city’s vibe. The Mozambican capital doesn’t culturally shock you at the very first glance; as most of the african towns do. Beside the tones of garbage and the abandoned houses, Maputo looks like it had some glory days: large boulevards, sky-scratchers, beautiful gardens, a nice esplanade…
I started my day with a promenade on Avenida Julius Nyerere, the main commercial boulevard. It goes almost parallel with the seashore and it hosts banks, cafes, restaurants, shops and offices. Fun fact: this is were scandinavian embassies lie in 2 buildings, within the respect of their geographical position: Denmark and Norway are sharing a big villa, Sweden and Finland are sharing the other one. So similar to Eurovivion . When the big avenue became boring, we turned right on a street that completely changed our opinion about Maputo. That area seems to be the premium location on town, hosting some gorgous sea-view proprietes.
While everybody thinks about Sicily as a hot sunny island in the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll be surprised to find out that you’ll need long pants and winter clothes if you are going there on May. At least, I was. I prepared my city-break in the Catania region as 2 lazy days of lying on the beach until I remembered about Etna, the most important European active volcano.
With a rented car, Etna National Park is easy accessible from Catania or Acireale. There are signs everywhere pointing “Etna Sud” on a not longer than 1 hour drive. With “only” 53.30 euro you’ll get a full package of cable-car, jeepy car (in fact it is a mountain bus) and tourist guide. This will lead you to the top of the mountain. If you’re a sporty person, after the cable-car you can walk to the top, saving around 20 Euro. Continue reading
So, you’re in holiday and want to get a little bit retarded. You’ll need 4 friends and to rent a car. While you’re in the middle of nowhere, 2 of them are outside the car to take photos (preferably the driver should be one of them). The other 2 take the car and drive for around 20 minutes (of course, anyone would expect to be taken back, but they’ll start to lose patience after 5 or 10 minutes). After 5 or 6 km the “car-stealers” will stop to turn around, one of them goes off and the other one takes the car to pickup the first 2. When the group of 3 is back to recover the 4th one, he’s hidden behind a tree, so they can’t see him on the road.
Funnier to do than to talk about it .
Soon, I’ll let you know how I was freezing out in the sunny Sicily Island
That’s my sea view for the next two days
3 years ago, I was almost forced to go for a weekend to Beirut. Of course, unfortunately, Lebanon‘s capital is not in Top 10 Popular Destinations either for European or American people. It sounds dangerous, it sounds like visiting a battlefield… But, once arrived there you’ll change your opinion. Not very quickly, because at the airport you can’t find any operational visitor information center nor office nor people. But, after you’re waked up, you become more selective with the “suppliers”. The bombing-car-traps don’t turn up, the people are very relaxed, so, very soon, you’ll understand that you are in a very normal city, with no particular danger. When you’ll see the amazing Mediterranean Sea, you’ll want to kiss or hug the one who forced you to go to Beirut.