Day 9 &10 – Second Day of the Expedition

Woke up at six o clock, reluctant to leave the awesome comfy-ness of the Kosi Bay beds but knowing that we had less than an hour before we would be on the road to Mozambique. We sleep-walked our way through breakfast and all too soon our big bags were on our backs and we were off. It took just under an hour to get to the border, and once we were across, everything changed. It was amazing how different the land looked, and although we were still only a few feet from South Africa, we could tell immediately that we were in a different country!

We started off down the only road out from the border post (much sandier than the roads in South Africa!) and suddenly the sun seemed a lot hotter than before! I am pretty sure that the only reason I made it to lunch time was the fact that Nathan offered round the Rowntrees Randoms every time we stopped! Finally we stopped to eat our sandwiches and had just started to relax when we realized we were sat on a nest of GIANT RED ANTS! But by this point we were so hot and tired that we couldn’t be bothered to move! After another couple of hours walking we finally made it to the Blue Bull Bar where Anton, Tony, Lacey and Charlotte were waiting, looking very un-sweaty compared to us! Once all of the groups had arrived we walked down to the campsite and after a FREEZING COLD shower, collapsed into our tents.

On expedition day two, everyone woke up aching! Today we were going to be living off 10 Rand each, in an attempt to understand how hard life can be for so many people in this part of the world. So we began the day by walking up to the market and buying three loaves of Pao bread per person, this was also our first haggling-experience in Mozambique and we were managed to get the price of our bread down from 2.50 to 2 Rand by combining with one of the other groups and buying 33 loaves of bread all at once! With the basics of our diet for the day sorted we started our walk towards the local primary school, where we would be spending a couple of hours playing with the kids.

Becky and I were quite nervous as we had been asked to plan a few games but had no idea what to expect, we needn’t have worried though – it was amazing! As we arrived and began unloading parachutes and plastic balls from the back of the Land Cruiser, the children came pouring out of the school and swarmed us! We started off playing with a couple of parachutes, bouncing the balls on top and letting the kids run underneath, then after a little while we decided to bring out the footballs, Becky and I went to fetch a couple and as soon as the kids saw them the place descended into CHAOS! Impromptu games of football and catch started up all over the place and we had to think of a quick way to calm things down a bit! It turned out that the answer was… the Hokey-Cokey! We managed to get all of the children into a huge circle and they picked up the actions pretty fast, they especially loved holding hands and running into the centre screaming! By the time we had to leave, an hour and a half later, the children were still full of energy, but we were all shattered! We took a lot of pictures and gave a lot of high-fives and thumbs-ups and then we were on our way to Ponta D’Oura, where we would buy the rest of our food for the day at the market.

I don’t think that what we did for the rest of the way to Ponta D’Oura can be described as walking, it was definitely more like trudging! The sun seemed a lot hotter than the day before and the sand a lot harder to walk on, plus we were tired and stiff and hungry. But we made it eventually and, with some haggling, managed to spend the final 20 Rand our group had left on 5 tomatoes, 7 potatoes, 3 carrots, and onion and a pepper to make a stew with for dinner. The journey back to camp wasn’t nearly as difficult as we just walked along the beach until we saw the bar. Two of the groups decided to team up for dinner as we had a lot of the same ingredients so we shoved them all into a pot of water and hoped for the best! It all worked out brilliantly, despite one moment of panic when Beth thought she had ruined everyone’s food by getting a little too excited with the salt and spices!

Living on only 10 Rand for a day was more difficult than I had expected, but it really opened up my eyes to the hardships that so many people have to face everyday; if it was such a struggle for us to survive 24 hours on 10 Rand, what must it be like for people who have only ever known a life with that little? By the time we went to bed I am pretty sure I was the most tired I have EVER been!

Although it had it’s ups and downs, today was still amazing, and I still agree that since being in Africa, each day seems better than the one before, however knackered you are by the end of it!

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