WTF Friday – Which Way Africa Style (Part Five)


Once a week Cee from Cee’s Photography Blog runs a Which Way Photo Challenge – everyone is welcome to take part.

You can read the rules for the challenge here.


Coconut Bay - near Inhambane in Mocambique

Coconut Bay – near Inhambane in Mocambique

This man looks very happy with life – despite (or perhaps because of) the wet weather.

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WTF Friday – Which Way Africa Style (Part Four)


Once a week Cee from Cee’s Photography Blog runs a Which Way Photo Challenge – everyone is welcome to take part.

You can read the rules for the challenge here.


We came upon this bridge while travelling in Mocambique some years ago. It didn’t even look safe enough to walk across but we had to get to the other side …

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On my last trip to Zimbabwe I happened across this accident. It was late afternoon and I didn’t want to be on the road after dark, so after an hour of sitting around waiting while nothing happened I decided to ‘bundu bash’ through the bush to get around the truck and continue my journey. Thankfully no one was injured.

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One of my neighbours hung this hopeful sign on her vegetable garden fence.  I wonder if the hippos take any notice?

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To see last week’s wonderful Which Way entries click on the thumbnail below.

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Which Way Africa Style (Part Two)


I took this photo many years ago somewhere in Botswana. It was a very hot day and I wasn’t sure how the shimmering heat would turn out in the picture. This was in the days before digital cameras so had to wait a while for the pictures to be developed  – I was quite pleased with the result.

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We followed behind this bus for some time while travelling in Mocambique. I felt very sorry for those goats!

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I still can’t make sense of this sign, seen in Botswana. I wonder if anyone else can work out what it means?

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Oh How I Love to Be By the Seaside


Rio Savanne was a favourite holiday place for us to visit when my children were small.

Situated just north of Beira in Mocambique it was far away enough from civilization for us to completely unwind and relax and getting there was relatively simple and quick.

I say ‘relatively’ quick but it was still close to a twelve hour drive from our home. However, compare that to the 18 to 20 hours it took to drive to Coconut Bay – our other favourite destination – and you will get my point.

Then, there was the ‘relatively’ not so simple issue of the Fronteira, or border crossing.  The first time we crossed over, just after the civil war in Mocambique had ended, I think we were the first customers they had had for many years – no-one really seemed to know what to do with us (although in subsequent years that air of puzzlement and feeling of ‘organised chaos’ didn’t change, so perhaps that is just the way it is done).

We had managed to squirrel away a few US Dollars for the trip and our first hurdle occurred when we tried to use that to pay for our visa.

Não! Não! Metacais!” the clearly frustrated Immigration official told us.

Ok, so where can we exchange Dollars for Mocambican Metacais?

Banco! Banco!” The bank, we assumed (correctly).

He gesticulated wildly towards a scruffy building adjacent to the equally scruffy one we were in and we started walking off in that direction.

Espera!“, Wait! He was becoming more and more flustered. So we waited while he took his pen (the only item that had been sitting on the counter) and locked it away in a room at the back.

He returned with an enormous bunch of keys and together we all traipsed across to the Banco. We had to wait while he muttered under his breath, rummaging through all those keys and trying them one by one in the door lock (there were only two buildings at the Fronteira, what all the other keys were for was anybody’s guess) until he finally exclaimed “esta aqui” and scurried inside.

He now obviously had his Banker Hat on. He went behind the counter and once there he put out his hand for the $100 bill, took it over to a till, opened it and rummaged around for a bit, all the time mumbling something to himself.

Then he shrugged, turned to face us and with a triumphant “non” he held both palms upwards, that universal gesture which means “there’s nothing”.

Now what? We can’t pay in US Dollars and the bank has no Metacais! Our holiday is doomed to never start! My children’s father started to become hot under the collar (and it was hot – we were all sweating) and one of the boys started to cry.

Another “espera!“.

Our immigration official-come-banker crossed back to the other side of the bank counter, removed that metaphorical bankers hat and put on his Money Tout Hat. He dug his hand deep into his pocket, removed a whole fistfull of notes and we entered into an illegal currency exchange right there*. In the bank. With the immigration official.

Looking at the current Rio Savanne web site it seems things have changed a lot since those early days, when we used to park our vehicle on the other side of the river and have all our camping gear ferried across in a small wooden boat.

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Here you can see the village on the other side of the river where our vehicles were parked

1-boat 16 1-boat 14 1-boat 17 It always impressed me how effortless it seemed for these men to move all that stuff! 1-boat 13 In those days the only accommodation was the tents you took with you and the only food you ate was what you cooked for yourself on a wood fire. 1-sunset rio savanne 2 When the tide was low we could walk for what seemed like miles along to the mouth of the Rio Savanne, the boys always taking along their fishing rods and me my camera. 1-rio savanne 1 I love the patterns the retreating water makes in the sand. This was the days before digital photography, so I had to take pictures sparingly. But I was quite pleased with some of the results and thought these next few pictures will fit in very nicely with this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme, Abstract Photography. Pop over to have a look – there are some wonderful entries this week. 1-abstract 5 1-abstract 4 1-abstract 1 1-abstract 2 * In case you’re interested, a hundred US Dollars got us approximately twenty three million Metacais.

Conversations With Dad


The Name’s the Thing

The Daily Post – Daily Prompt

“Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.”

My children’s father is an engineer. He is also a dreamer, often disappearing into his own thoughts for hours, switching off from the real World while he designs rotary engines, or the perfect irrigation pump, or imagines himself in arguments with a client over unpaid bills. I would chat away to him, often about inanities – the characters in a book I was reading, the dream I had last night – but sometimes about important stuff like school fees and where we were going for our next holiday. After a while I would notice I was getting no response, not even an occasional grunt. I would look over at him, notice the glazed look in his eyes and realise I had been talking to myself. Again. He does this all the time, to everyone, so I shouldn’t have taken it personally – but I often did.

A few years ago when my youngest son was about 10 years old he and his Dad went on a road trip through Mocambique. It was a very long journey and after about the fifth hour of one-sided conversation Last Born came up with an ingenious plan. He dug around in the suitcases and found a pair of socks. He named the socks ‘Dad’, propped them up on the dashboard and continued talking, happy he now had someone’s undivided attention.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?