We spent two days transiting through this massive country, driving through what is known as the infamous “Tete Corridor”, the section known for the “gun run” during Mozambique’s infamous and long standing civil war. Today, the country is peaceful and we spent a lot of time smiling and waving to the friendly locals. Unfortunately, our itinerary didn’t allow for any stopovers in Mozambique, but we have already vowed to return to this corner of the world since the few sights we did see were tantalizing enough to lure us back to explore in depth.

Photo of the view of our drive through Mozambique's infamous "Tete Corridor" (the gun running section during Mozambique's long standing civil war) Cows transported in a Chinese truck A typical view of a traditional Mozambique village Washing laundry down by the riverside Colorful wraparound cloths for sale against a vibrant red backdrop Women transporting firewood View of the pretty countryside Green oranges for sale by the bowlful, side of the road An elderly woman struggles with her heavy load Young boys playing with old tires for fun A brick workshop lines the front of a small village Sugarcane and tomatoes for sale at this makeshift market Happy locals cheer our truck as we pass on by We found the mountain ranges that dominate the landscape in the countryside to be quite picturesque A market scene in the Mozambique countryside Donkey transport Simple hut dwellings are found everywhere throughout the Mozambique countryside Baobab tree A picturesque road scene in easy going Mozambique Bed frames for sale An age old method of transport Tree saplings are protected with a makeshift stick fence to prevent animals from making a meal out of them A goodbye "Boa Viagem" signpost bids us farewell as we leave this Mozambique town A neat and proper fence delineates this owner's property from that of his neighbors Christianity seems to be the dominant religion in Mozambique as dozens of churches are seen throughout the countryside A rustic wooden store A "caution, cow crossing" sign post is perhaps the most common sign in Mozambique where cows are in abundance Tire problems are a common sight on overloaded vehicles plying Mozambique's roads A local schoolhouse A quintessential image in Mozambique: an ox cart loaded to the brim and friendly locals waving hello Its a colorful and lively affair at the village's only well Village scene Becky's hair stands on end underneath the power lines of Cancune After lots of alcohol we decided it would be a good idea to do a 12 man Pyramid Market day is always a scene of vendors selling produce and locals searching for the best deals Clothing stalls next to a polluted river A well developed village is one with more than a hundred dwellings (they were few and far between in the Mozambique countryside) Villagers drawing water from the main well Massive baobab trees are used as makeshift stores, jails, or storage facilities Portuguese dominates many of the signposts in Mozambique, a former colony We found the Mozambique people to be quite friendly. Here, a farmer directing his donkey cart waves at our passing truck Locals load their pickup truck with large bags of coal A boy manages to ride in front of a herd of cattle as they seek a suitable grazing area The sign of a wealthy villager (there are plenty of grass mat storage containers, a separate kitchen hut, and living quarters) The bustling market stalls have obviously died down during the midday heat as only a few hard core vendors are left selling their produce Potatoes for sale at a roadside market A cowherd watches over his cows Its market time as the local farmers sell their produce Massive bags of charcoal for sale by the road side Snapshot of village kids as they curiously check us out A young boy strolls over to see what the fuss is all about The entire entourage of kids in this small village come running when they hear of "Mzungus" (white people) in a big yellow truck Friendly locals laugh as we bid them farewell after purchasing 10 bags of charcoal ($2 a bag!) We are about to approach a massive bridge spanning the Zambezi River (photos of the bridge are strictly forbidden) foto gallery lightboxby v6.1

21 May: It was a straight forward drive to the border, and Nancy was able to get all of us stamped out of Zimbabwe with no hassle. However, there were two separate forms to fill in for Mozambique, and we had to wait a while for our passports and visa requests to be processed ($30 USD per person for a transit visa). Cook group started preparing truck lunch as it was well past 1 pm by the time we finally ate lunch. Poor Ally got busted by the police for peeing in the bushes. Apparently, the caretaker for the dismal looking toilets wanted to charge us $1 to use the horrible facilities, and everyone refused to pay the extortionate prices. Matt didn’t help matters any when he told the caretaker that he would just pee into the bushes and was told an adamant “no, that is not allowed” and retorted with “Get the police then!”. Ally was their scapegoat and she was singled out for peeing in the bushes until Chris came to the rescue, pointing out at all the other refuse in the bushes and exclaiming that $1 was highway robbery and none of us were going to pay it. When the policeman tried to say that was the price, Chris turned the tables on him and asked him if it was normal for locals to pay $1 to use the toilet. After admitting that it was ridiculous, Ally was let off the hook and everyone laughed the incident off. After truck lunch, we waited for over an hour for our passports to be processed, and finally, Nancy was back with passports in hand and we thought we could cross. However, the officials demanded that we all disembark from the truck and walk across the border. A fight was brewing in the background, as a young man who was either drunk or high kept getting into a shoving match with the border officials. He was ganged up upon by the officials who finally pulled out a whip and started beating his ass. Unable to defend against the whip, he turned tail and ran, and all the local onlookers kept jeering their abuse. One of the policemen had drawn out his weapon, and we were fearful that we were going to witness a man’s murder. However, the situation seemed to diffuse as the man ran off and stayed away from the border officials, and Chris wasted no time in zooming off into Mozambique, trying to put as much distance between our truck and the unfortunate man. We had a short drive within Mozambique to our bush camp, which was beneath power lines near a town called Cancune. Since it was a combined “FDNCTP” (First Day New Country Truck Party) and “LDNCTP” (Last Day New Country Truck Party), we ended up drinking a bit and getting merry. Cook group 1 (Dowelly, Lisa and Sara) made Cancune Risotto, which was quite tasty and went down well. The power lines seemed to be turned out partway through the night, and we giggled as we watched each other’s hair soar towards the sky. Lars made “Cane Tang” with a contribution of cane liquor from Lars and Robby and it was a hit, making everyone more merry as the night went on. After human pyramids and a couple of tumbles, we called it a night as we didn’t want a sore head tomorrow especially with a long drive day and border crossing into Malawi.

22 May: It was an early morning with breakfast at 6:30 am while nursing a slight hangover. This bush camp was quite memorable for its horrible pricklies that stuck to all of us and our clothing. While trying to clear our clothes, the pricklies would stick into our fingers instead, making it a tedious task to clear our clothes. By 7:30, we were on the road and Chris was zooming along. Since it was an overcast day, it felt quite chilly and everyone was bundled up trying to stay warm. We tried our best to capture some memories of Mozambique, but it really is a travesty that we only have one transit day in this wonderful country. The people seemed to be lovely and the countryside was absolutely pristine and beautiful. The locals happily waved to us throughout the day, and we admired the passing scenery with a sense of wistfulness that we couldn’t spend more time here. Almost all the houses were simple wooden circular shacks with thatched roofs. Our main highlight in Mozambique was stopping to buy charcoal (bargain priced at $2 for a massive bag), loading up on 10 bags. The villagers curiously trickled out to get a glimpse of us and the children were especially precious. Some of the shyer kids were escorted by the braver friends, and pretty soon, we had a massive crowd of curious onlookers. We weren’t sure how the word spread that our truck was in town, but tiny tots seemed to pop out from nowhere, running up so as to not miss the ongoing spectacle. It was awesome and everyone enjoyed the interaction between our two groups. At one point in our journey, we crossed the mighty Zambezi River in the town of Bascula, but we were sternly warned that absolutely no photos would be tolerated while we were crossing the bridge (which looked like the Golden Gate bridge), so everyone reluctantly put their cameras away for the river crossing. It was mid afternoon by the time we reached the Calomue border crossing, and we only had one easy form to fill out.

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