Thursday, September 20, 2012

Long Weekend, Pemba Style


Relaxing at Bush Camp

The recent long weekend was in honour of the historic women of Mozambique but our celebrations seemed to revolve more around the ocean and sealife. Beginning with Pemba Bush Camp, a hidden oasis on the outskirts of town, where we kayaked and I learned that archery is not in my future career plans. After watching the sunset, we began the bumpy trip back to Pemba with a full car of people, empty coolers, and a dog balanced on our laps. 

Bush Camp mangroves

This was the beginning of my first real run in with the police.  Everyone drives like a maniac here, but police seem to only stop you for having one too many people in the back of a car.  In anticipation of this, one of the people we were with got out of the car before the station and walked along the shoulder of the road.  As expected, we were pulled over and showed the officers every piece of official looking paper we had.  As soon as we were given the nod to continue, we drove on and picked up our fugitive passenger.  For the rest of the drive home, we only had to take turns ducking down to avoid attracting more police attention. 

Senhor Riaz in the setting sun

The coast on our boat tour

The fun continued the next day with a whale watching trip in the bay of Pemba and an impromptu snorkeling stop.  Growing up on Maui, I expected a huge yacht for the whale watching, so I was surprised and excited when I saw the boat was a one engine dinghy to fit 10 people, a huge picnic, and Shaza the dog. 
Our secret snorkelling spot
After hours of no whale sightings, action was finally spotted and we began our chase to see the 4 humpback whales playing, slapping their flippers, and jumping fully out of the water. As we continued motoring towards them, I wondered how our little boat would end up back on shore  or if we would end up in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  
We did make it back, some with 3rd degree sunburns, but everyone ecstatic that we saw the famous whales up close and personal. I didn't actually get any photos of these whales but I promise you we saw them!  I was too busy dancing and jumping on the little boat to bother with photography.   
Anchoring for some snorkelling turned into making bikini tops out of live starfish.
This is me modelling the latest trends in crustacean fashion
with Shaza the dog keeping watch.

A three day weekend requires proper nutrition so good thing we could celebrate the crab harvest of another expat who works at an organization helping with small enterprises for the fishing industry.  He brought home kilos of crabs, including the Heavyweight Champion who weighed in at 1.5kg.  This is the same man who hosted a lobster party too, so our shellfish needs are covered.
Mangrove King

This was the first weekend of “tourist” activities for us and it felt like a week vacation from work.  Seeing the whales and eating giant crabs fresh from the mangroves was a lovely way to spend a couple days!
We also managed to squeeze in a birthday dinner for our colleague and friend Nancy!
Let me introduce the M&E Team!
Ashlea, Nancy, Sarah, and Zaido (aka Obama or Presidente das Meninas - President of the M&E Girls, a position everyone at AKF is envious of!)


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