|Taxi guy picked us up at * and we waited til 8:30 for is small station wagon to fill - 3 in front, 4 in back, 2 in cargo/luggage area. Crossing the border out of Zim went easily but in Moz side it took an hour to get our $25 US visa & we paid an additional $2(actually 20 rand) for an arrival tax! We met an older wht couple while we waited who had been living in Zim since 1969, raised their family working in agriculture (not farmers). They said they were finally giving up and moving to the UK - there is no longer any business in Zim. When asked what they thought would happen they said they honestly couldn't say, but felt that Mugabe's terror tactics which he has used always in the past w/ success may be backfiring on him this time. People no longer believe him that things will improve.
Across the border in minivan taxi - the loudest music we've ever encountered in a transport vehicle - a whole body experience! Our earplugs barely made a difference.
In Moz countryside same, low mtnous trees/bushes but greener & more vegitation & subsistance agric. Huts same as Zim but perhaps a bit more rustic. Drove past huge acreage of eucalyptus(tree farm) & pine & large tract of newly planted pine. It seems there are more people out & about in Moz travelling(vehicles all packed) & same donkey carts but hauling goods not used as taxis as I saw in Zim.
Seeing bundles of wood and bags of charcoal again made me realize I didn't see any in Zim alongside the road for sale?!
Close to Chimoio I saw off in the distance what appeared to be a large acreage expanse of white roof - shade houses? Also, a lumber mill and semitractor trailer hauling piggy back load of 4-6" dia poles - lots of lumber business here - the land approaching Chimoio is entirely clear cut, not a tree standing! The Moz economy seems to be picking up as much as Zims is slowing down - both countries are much more characteristic of W. Africa than what we've seen in most of E. Africa. In Moz there are cell phones again in great number, very few we saw in Zim. Now in Portuguese country...communication becomes a factor in our travels again but we hear that they are no longer teaching Portuguese in school and more Moz are learning English due to the tourism coming in.
We check into the only backpacker place in Chimoio, Pink Papaya, recently(3 mo ago) taken over by a German couple looking for a change in life - Annya & Vito both retired nurses. Nice folks nice place very central and homey.
Annya & Vito gave us a ride to the distant Shoprite which is the only place to get a good amt of food...also, very busy with Zim folks as well!!! We were able to buy provisions for a great vegie dinner using the kitchen facilities in the hostel...stew of potatoes,tomatoes,beans, carrots, onions, garlic green pepper..yum!
Got tickets for the bus to Maputo(actually to Maxixe and ferry over to Inhambane), at first we were only going to Inhassoro but when we found out we'd paid full price for the trip all the way to Maputo we figured it wasn't worth the short stop in Inhassoro. The driver said to be there at 3:30 am!! Yikes! We are the only ones here tonite in dorm whereas last nite there were 7 of us - 2 overlanders(Austria-Christina & S. Afr-Pierre) & 3 French NGOs working in Zim on AIDs(they came over to get resupplied as well) I don't know how long the sit can go on like it is in Zim!