|5 women, 1 cooler, 2 boxes of bottled water, 5 backpacks, |
1 Mozambican playlist, and a lot of love (and sweat and dust)
As per the website, we were anticipating "the rustic Taratibu Bush Camp (meaning to go slowly and carefully) nestled between three soaring granite outcrops known as inselbergs, within the boundaries of the Quirimbas National Park features huge sub-tropical rain-forest trees which shelter a great diversity of bird life, insects and various primate species". Totally true!
We filled up Sarah's trusty beast of a 4x4, bartered for tomatoes and mangoes on the side of the road, and began the dusty drive. Things were going very well-the breakfast of biscuits was eaten, dance moves were tried out, and everyone was laughing when we decided to stop for a quick rest break. We had already pulled off the main road and had begun the bumpier and dustier trek into essentially the middle of nowhere.
When we all piled back in the car and Nil turned the engine, the car made a sound like it was a space shuttle about to take off. After a couple attempts and the result still being the engine doing a non-stop revving, we all got out of the car and put on our mechanic faces. Nil's suggestion was to open the hood and "let it breathe, it just needs fresh air". This was our only remedy so we all stuck our heads in to try to diagnose the problem. After a half-hearted attempt to remember where water goes for the engine, Yumi called her boyfriend in Maputo who told us to look for the accelerator cable. Of course, all five of us knew exactly where that was... But somehow, after the 20 minutes of fresh air, with all of us waiting nervously to see if our last days would be spent in rural Mozambique, the car started like nothing had happened. We made a vow not to stop until we reached Taratibu...
|5 professional mechanics on the scene|
"It just needs to breathe"
|Taratibu's reception service|
|Devil Ear Mountain (our name, not official Mozambican mountain name)|
|One of the many rock faces surrounding the camp|
|Fairy trees protecting the camp|
|Jawbones of the 30 adult elephants poached last year|
|First order of business: making lunch|
|Part of the giant monkey and baboon family |
that kept us company and ate our fruit peels
|Our trusty guide|
|Yumi's sunset bar - according to the Amarula commercials, |
"it's what every African drinks at sunset"
|A 15 minute walk requires a large dinner and numerous bottles of red wine|
Yumi and Nil preparing the barbeque
After sleeping like the dead in the quiet of Taratibu, we woke up for a quick breakfast before a 2.5 hour hike through the forest and mountains. Not quite what we expected and I was waiting for round two of sunstroke in the heat up there, but it was beautiful to climb to the top of the peaks and look down into the valley at the hidden camp. You would never imagine that people were living down there as the trees camouflaged everything.
|The trek started out easy...|
|Yumi, our yoga teacher, showing us how it's done|
|The tree roots are a world of their own|
|Rest stop between scaling the mountain side|
|The road to Taratibu|
Once again, another weekend where I realised how lucky I am - to be in Mozambique, to be with these people, and to come back with the stories of climbing mountains, running away from baboon herds, and being completely isolated from everything. I never imagined that parts of the earth looked like this and I feel so fortunate to have been to a place on a map I never thought I would visit.