BootsnAll Travel Network

Swaziland Etc.

Well, it’s been a great morning of snorkeling with whale sharks here in Mozambique, but, back to South Africa and Swaziland! So, where did I leave off? I think I was covered in bedbug bites, ah yes. So, in total I spent about a week going up the SA coast, and took a final bus from Cintsta to Durban – Greyhound this time. Which was fine, except that they played movies on the bus, which was also fine, except the last one was Hannibal. Have you people seen this movie??? Dude actually chews someone’s face off! I had to sit there with my sweatshirt over my head and my fingers in my ears to try not to hear the screaming. Anywho, arrived in Durban at a nice hostel, but in an unsafe neighborhood (what else is new) and just chilled for the night. Spent the next day getting some books and booking my safari – doing big-city stuff cause I was off to the bush. I’m glad to be out of SA actually, not that it wasn’t beautiful, but there’s a lot of racial tension and everyone is so, so paranoid about crime that it’s nice to be someplace more relaxed. Durban is a very multicultural city though, with a huge Indian population, so I sampled something called “bunny chow,” curry that they stuff into half a loaf of bread. Tried the mutton and the chicken – both yummy, but a little weird. Left Durban last Friday for Swaziland and decided to do it the way the locals do: minibus taxi, which cost 160 Rand vs. 360 for the fancy bus. I was the only white person on the bus, and actually was the only white person all day until I got to the hostel pick-up place. I got lots of questions – “What are you doing here? Why aren’t you on the Baz Bus?” So, the minibuses: They are all white minivans, and they have their destination on the front. You wait at the stands, and put your hand out for the direction you want to go, and they cram you in and off it goes on two wheels. JK! I was sitting in the seat right by the driver, aka, the “death seat,” cause if/when the minibus crashes, guess who flies through the windshield? Anyway, I dozed off en route, only to awake to a tap on the shoulder and a “Hey, they’re talking to you,” said by the man next to me. I turned around to face the crowd: “Yes, everyone, what can I do for you?” “You can’t fall asleep – you have to keep the driver awake if you sit in that seat! Talk to him!” Um, guys? Don’t you think somebody else would be better suited to this task, seeing as we don’t speak the same language? After an awkward attempt (“So, uh, where are you from?”) on my part, it was back to silence, and about 40 kilometers outside Manzini, my Swaziland destination, a girl was crossing the road behind the bus and: We hit her. She kind of bounced off the rear left bumper and then the trailer carrying all our luggage rolled over her. Very intense. Both her legs were broken, and the driver and all us passengers had to go to the police station for quite some time. Left, with a very alert driver, arrived in Manzini alone and faced down a chaotic minibus taxi rank. A cab driver who wanted me for a fare was kind enough to walk me over to the next bus I had to get on, since I was too cheap to take a taxi. Boarded bus #2, got dropped off at a cool art collective/bar in the middle of nowhere, and waited for the shuttle to the hostel, which was on a nature reserve. Swaziland is very pretty, very hilly and lush in some places, but there is garbage everywhere. People just chuck it out the windows while they drive. So I arrived at the nature preserve around 8pm with a few beers in me, cause I met this old South African dude who bought me dinner and drinks while I was waiting – yay me! Very nice, had lost his wife recently and was alone like moi. The nature reserve was cool, but, there was a mountain bike race going on, which scared off all the animals the next morning when I went for a walk to see me a zebra. I did see a bunch of warthogs though, and was walking along a quieter path and an impala just rose up out of the grass in front of me. Very cool. Hung in Swazi for two days, met a Kiwi dude who was going on to Maputo, Mozambique and we split a taxi from Manzini. Which was actually a 1983 Honda Accord or something, with red velvety seats. The driver only charged us 50 Rand each, which is like $7, so I don’t know how he even made enough to cover the gas. We did keep stopping to pick people up though. Arrived in Maputo on Sunday afternoon, had a wander around town with dude, got a few drinks, slept under a mosquito net at Fatima’s (hostel) and left yesterday morning for paradise: Tofo. It was about a 7-hour bus ride, full of other backpackers. In each town we stopped in, kids would rush the bus, trying to sell sodas, cashews, cookies, etc. Maputo is very dirty, and poorer than any place I’ve ever seen. We drove by people living in grass huts right by the main road, garbage everywhere. It’s pretty shocking, actually. Kids wandering around with no shoes, tattered clothes, etc. But the city is also very multi-cultural, with a lot of Portuguese people still living there. Anyway, I didn’t give it much time, as I was anxious to get here, Tofo, this tiny little beach hamlet. Lots of poverty too; kids following you around trying to sell you bracelets, sodas etc. I’m staying in a place right on the beach, in a grass hut if you can believe it. The dorm area actually looks exactly like the one in The Beach. Have met some awesome people, so there’s a crew of about eight of us, just hanging out. Snorkeled with whale sharks this morning and doing some diving the rest of the week. That’s pretty up-to-the-minute, peeps! I’ll be here for about a week, then I have to bust a move through northern Mozambique to get into Malawi, and then off to Nairobi for my safari on June 23! After that, I’ll probably go to Zanzibar for 10 days or so…ah, the life. OK, lovies, keep the comments coming! Peace out. xxx


8 responses to “Swaziland Etc.”

  1. Janet says:

    Wow Becky! nrnrIt’s sounds like your having fun. I hope your taking pictures of the people in these places. I’ve seen sub-saharan Africa in movies but I’d like to be able to see streets, locals, huts, etc. It sounds like your adventure is going wonderfully.


  2. brian says:

    ya beck! you’re so cool! i hope you’re safe and happy! america is’nt the same without you!

  3. Kady says:

    Will you take the ferry from Praia do Tofo to Madagascar? I didn’t realize Mozambique was formerly subject to the Portuguese.

    Does the food have a Port. influence? Wow cool.

  4. Kady says:

    Oh, you are going to Malawi! I was just joking! Maybe you can pick up another kid for Madonna? Let me know how the fried white ants are.

  5. J and C says:

    WE tried to submit an e-mail that was very lengthy and funny, but the computer did not let us. So we are sending you nothing. So we will see you when we see you. nrnrJulie and Carrie

  6. Janet says:

    I’m moving to Phoenix, Arizona! I got the job! Checky your e-mail and call me girl!

  7. Kady says:

    I wanna know about Janet’s job, too!

  8. Janet says:

    Hi Kady!, oops, I mean Becky. Here’s my job, they’re giving me money to relocate, full benefits the day I start, a wonderful salary, and it’s in Phoenix, Arizona. I move away from Michigan on July 2nd!!!!!! Holy Moly!!

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