After many days of travelling trough Mozambique, buying and fixing a car, adopting a dog, going back to Maputo after car stopped in the middle of nowhere and fixing the car ( or at least that is what I thought ), I arrived again to the middle of nowhere ( apparently they have many middles of nowhere in Mozambique) and the apprentice that was with me was saying that we might have lions there !
For some of you that might ask why I kept going, why I did not return the car and so on … I have to tell you that in Mozambique if you bought it you bought it. Warranty ? Do not make me laugh. In Nacala we bought a microwave. When we ask about the warranty in the shop they laughed at us and the owner said : ” You paid. It is yours. If you did not test it before paying and by any chance does not work, it is not our problem ! ” That is how it works.
Anyway I had only one thought in my mind : North ! Go North ! Nacala or bust !
So … here we are at around 15:30, on the side of the road, with the car in the tall grass, me, a mozambican kid and a dog. Here is where S., my Romanian friend comes in the stage. I kept talking with him all day long telling him each time the car would break and now I called him again. As I did not have signal near the car I had to go some 500 m back. By that time I was not aware that might be lions … so I went to make the phone call.
I got to talk with him and he gave me the phone number of another guy, Romanian as well that was in Mozambique for 21 years and he lived in Chimoio. I can´t remember his name so we call him the Romanian. Called him explained who I am and how come I am calling him and he said not to worry he sends a platform truck for me. It was for the first time in my life that I was happy, genuinely happy to know Romanians in a foreign country. He said that I should stay near the car, and wait. 4 hours. Was not happy about it but had no choice. At around 18:30 night will come and things would not be so nice around there. But till the night would come we would dye of thirst. No water with us. I saved some half a litre for the dog and that was it. No more. We basically dried out. Tried to find somehow shadow near the car and waited. I managed to stop a truck !!! big truck transporting wood and got some dirty water that I could not drink but my mozambican friend was happy to have. Don´t ask how I stopped the truck ! I stopped another 3.5 t van and from that guy I got a 0.5 l water for me. But still thirsty. I have sent a message to the Romanian to send us some water trough the truck but I did not knew if it went trough. At around 20:30, finally … the long-awaited truck has arrived ! Got the car on the platform and there we went ! The Romanian was nice enough and send us something like 10 l of water kept cold in an ice box ! Water for everyone !
We drove for about 1 hour and we reached a small town / village sort of thing. Of course, we got pulled over by the cops. And surprise the driver … did not have a driving license. The truck … did not have the license to transport cars like that ! Fabulous ! The truck was not allowed to move from there. We got send to the police HQ and were to stay there till the owner would come to solve the problem.
The driver calls the owner and i patiently wait to see the result. I look at the driver and ask him : So … how is it ? The driver looks at me and says : Ya … maybe he comes tomorrow.
In that moment all the tiredness, stress, lack of water, food, frustration with car, heat, dehydration focused in one thought : I will kill him ! I called the owner, which was a Portuguese living in Chimoio as well and asked him when is he coming. Very calmly he answers : Not my problem. You got stopped, you solve it.
And than the hurricane exploded. By that time I was not very fluent in Portuguese, but for 2-3 minutes I became the most fluent, if you allow me to say so, in the language of Camões ! For those minutes I did not shut up, breath or have any other thought but to make him come over. Even if he would come over to kick my ass ! So I finished my 3 minutes sentence with : If you are not here today I don’t pay. I get my car down from your platform and you can go and f…..yourself ! ”
Result : the driver received a phone call in 15 min : the Portuguese was on his way. Hahah ! Succes !
Meanwhile, in front of the police I got the dog out, gave her some more water and food, send the apprentice to get some food for himself and I started estimating. 4 hours for the truck to get there … we drove 1h and 30 min … still 2 h and 30 till he gets to us… maybe 2 hours if he has a better car. So about 12 …01 maybe he is there. Around 4 we might reach Chimoio. And than ? What do I do there ? Felt a bit of panic coming over so I calmed down and focused on getting to Chimoio. How can you eat an elephant ? Cut it in small pieces. That is what I have done. First … let him come … than … Chimoio … than … we will figure out something.
By that time I could not remember when was the time I had a decent dinner. Lucky me I had enough water so I was fine. Tried to get some rest and went up in the car with the dog. She was already feeling better with me and we cuddled on the driver’s seat somehow.
The Portuguese arrived around midnight. Meanwhile I have saw a session of justice administered with a big stick ! One of the people that were imprisoned there tried to make a go for it ! And they caught him. And they beat the shit out of him so bad that I thought he is dead. He was not.
As I said, the Portuguese came and payed the fine. Checked the truck, did not look at me at any moment, did not say anything towards me and we went. Around 3:30 we arrived in Chimoio. I asked him to put me and the car in a hotel. He said he can stay with the car, as he has a mechanical workshop and he will take a look in the morning. Arrived to the hotel, I met the Romanian and got to talk with him a bit. He was waiting for, curious to see me, but also to let me know that he is going for a week out and gave me his drivers number in case I needed some help. Went to the hotel, the Mozambican kid said he goes back to Maputo. I gave him money and he went.
Went to my room, with the dog, and when i opened the door I thought I will faint. As I turned on the light I noticed some hundreds mosquitoes ! I said to myself : If now you don´t get malaria, you will never get it ! Went back to the reception, got a mosquito spray, killed some. Lighted some special charcoal that I had with me, to keep mosquitos away, and set the A/C at minimum so they will not be so active. Just as a fact : next day when I woke up I checked the dogs water bowl and noticed that I have mosquitos larvas in the water. Disgusting !
I slept from 4 A.M. till 7. I was so tired, but I was more anxious to fix the car ! Which will see how it works in the fifth part !