Day 9 – Friday the 13th

I get up at 5Am and I start getting my shit together. I want to be on the road by six. I have to be in Maputo by tonight and I have to cross the entire country to get to the Lomahasha border post. I take a quick shower. Rub myself with sun lotion because I’m pretty tanned from yesterday. The plan is to be in Ezulwini by nine when the Spur opens. One of the only places where I can get wifi as far as I know. Well, I find a ride much quicker than expected and they are also going to Ezulwini. I get dropped off at the corner where they turn off. From here, a taxi gives me a ride for free to the Gables Shopping Centre where the Spur is. It’s 7:45 and Spur opens at nine. Just another hour and 15 minutes. There’s a map of the area on a wall near Spur and I see that the National Museum is close by. Maybe I can go and check it out while I wait. I don’t feel like carrying my backpack all the way for no reason so I leave it at a police post in the parking lot.

Long story short, I walk all the way to the museum to be greeted by a E120.00 entrance fee. I only have about E80 left for food until I can withdraw money at an ATM, but before that I have to get internet in order to notify the bank that I am about to use my card in a foreign country. I still don’t have a clue where I’m sleeping tonight or any other night for that matter. I’m going to try and find a last minute host on Couchsurfing or ask a hostel if they have a volunteering job for me… No success at all!

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When I’m done here, it takes me about another 10 rides all the way to the border. One of them is a  lovely couple. With a lovely story. She’s an American, she came to Swaziland on holiday 5 years ago and fell in love with a Swazi. So she never returned to the US, they are married now with a beautiful daughter. Anyway. I walk over the border and find myself in Mozambique. I walk about 10km out of Namaacha before getting picked up. A woman who hardly speaks any English. She takes me to a bus stop and gives me 100 Meticais. The bus charges me 20Mt all the way to Maputo. Which is actually really cheap. A public taxi would’ve cost me 1500Mt.

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The bus that takes me to Maputo

Once I get to Maputo, the real nightmare begins. I try to find directions to a hostel I found in my Coast to Coast book. No one speaks or understands a word of English. The Swazi’s warned me about this, they told me that very few people in Mozambique actually understands English. I finally find someone who speaks bad English. At least he understands me. He walk all the way to the hostel with me. By now it’s already dark and the hostel refuses me. I literally beg them for any kind of place to sleep but they refuse. Now I’m out on the street with no money, no food, nowhere to go, no one speaks English and in the middle of a foreign city at night. Eventually I stumble upon another hostel. I walk into the reception, the woman behind the desk are busy breastfeeding a baby and guess what. She doesn’t speak a word of English either. After about an hour of begging and trying to find someone who understands me. I’m back on the street again. This is by far the worst day of all my travels so far. It’s the absolute first time to get rejected so much and not being able to get a place to sleep for the night. I always manage to get something for free… Until now… After walking around the city for about another two hours. I get on a bus that takes me somewhere for 10Mt.

I have no idea where it’s taking me because I don’t understand any of the people on the bus. I just get on. Let’s see where I end up… About 30 minutes later and I get off in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t look very safe here. At least I’m out of the city center now. I see a sign down the road with a word on it that resembles “Faculty”. Might be a college or something. Maybe I can sneak in, to at least get a safe place to camp out for the night.

As I approach the gate. I notice three security guards. Luckily one of them speaks English. I beg him for a safe place inside to sleep. He takes me to a bus and tells me that I can sleep in the bus but I have to be out by 4:30AM before his boss finds me there. I can’t thank him enough. I take the backseat. It’s just long enough for me to lie down. It’s half past twelve now. Funny how the worst day of my travels are Friday the 13th huh? Well good thing I’m not superstitious.

Good night.

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