Dusty Streets Of Punta Do Ouro/Mozambique

The heat struck me when i arrived at that small villlage at the beach. After a few rainy and chilly days I was looking for it, but didn’t expected that big change just a few hours after border crossing to Mozambique. 

First thing; to get on the street and get some local currency and buy some water, And a local SIM card. Along the street are colorful fabrics, towels and clothes displayed. Local dealer show their handicrafts, carved wooden figures and small funny cars made of wood. 

Young guys passing me with their roaring quads, raising lots of dust and certainly having fun. For little money, they rent out their vehicles on tourists. But it’s not allowed anymore to drive them on the beach, they warn me. I didn’t suppose to rent anyway, although it comes handy to go for and back with those conveniently. Many tourists from South Africa, just bring their own quad or strand buggy, going for shopping with, or to a near beaches outside town,

In front of the ATM is a queue, waiting patiently to get cashed out their money. Not fancy to wait in the heat, I asked the street seller for changing some cash US Dollars in Meticai, the local currency. Really old fashion, I know, but indeed I found somebody who was happy to get dollars in cash.

Now I was able to buy myself a nice coffee. No better place for that than the ‚Love Café‘ at the end of the street. Friendly staff, strong coffee and street view to entertain myself. As I noticed on the street already, the people are open and friendly, and not too shy to get photographed. In the opposite, some staff from the café was asking me to take pictures of them. 

Back on my camp, next to the beach, I was leaning back with a cold local beer, overlooking the beautiful bay of Punta Do Ouro and feeling I’m arrived here.

Loyangalani am Turkanasee

Heiss, trocken und staubig, das ist Loyangalani am Turkanasee. Ein Bad im See spendet zwar etwas Erfrischung, doch das Wüstenklima erfasst einem wieder sobald man am Ufer steht. Immerhin gibt es Quellen, in deren Nähe der Ort gegründet wurde. Auch unser Camp liegt an einer dieser kleinen Quellen. Das Wasser reicht aus um einige Schatten spendende Palmen hervorzubringen. Es lockt aber auch immer mehr Leute heran, die der kargen Landschaft nichts mehr abtrotzen können und in unsäglicher Armut leben. So wächst Loyangalani und droht die wenigen Ressourcen mit zu vielen Menschen teilen zu müssen.

Trotz Mittagshitze schlendern Michael und ich durch die staubigen Strassen. Hie und da kommen wir in ein Gespräch, machen Fotos und versuchen mehr über das Leben hier zu erfahren. Eine italienische Nonne erzählt uns über das ärmliche Leben hier, über die vielen Kinder, die trotz örtlicher Schule kaum Zukunftsperspektiven haben. So vertrauen sie alle, dass eine göttliche Fügung die ersehnte Wendung in diese Wüstengegend bringt. Bis diese aber kommt sinnieren Michael und ich über die sinnvolle Nutzung der Quellen. Unsere europäische Denkweise stört sich an Verschwendung des Wassers, das oft ineffizient genutzt wird und irgendwo über die Strasse läuft, um dort im sandigen Graben zu versickern.

Touristen gibt es in dieser abgelegenen Region weniger. Einige verirren sich trotzdem dahin. Nicht zuletzt wegen Wolfgang, der hier vor etwa 40 Jahren als erster ein Resort aufgebaut hat. Aus dem Geschäft hat er sich zurückgezogen, hiess es. Eine Legende ist er geblieben. Michael, mein Reisebegleiter, und ich fanden Wolfgang bei einem Bier in einer Bar. Mit einer Kippe in der Hand starrt er in den Fernseher über der Bar. Das Fussballspiel interessiert ihn offensichtlich mehr als wir Neuankömmlinge. Mein redseliger Reisegefährte löchert ihn mit Fragen und erzählt ihm von seinem Leben und Plänen als Missionar in Kenia. Wolfgang zeichnet ein müdes Lächeln auf sein eingefallenes, tief gefurchtes Gesicht. Ihn interessiert es nicht, denke ich für mich. Er sieht aus wie ein Mensch der mit dem Leben abgeschlossen hat. Die Geschichten anderer berühren ihn nicht mehr, und die eigene Geschichte ist abgelebt. Sein hagerer Körper fragt nur noch nach etwas Maisbrei mit Fleischstückchen, einem Bier und Zigaretten. Der müde Geist gibt sich mit dem Fernsehprogramm in der Bar zufrieden, und vielleicht flackern einige erinnerungswürdige Momente vor seinem inneren Auge auf.

OST-EUROPA-MOTORRADTOUR #34: Letzter Spaziergang durch Odessa

Ohne festes Ziel. Zum Hafen, wo die ganzen Kreuzfahrtschiffe einlaufen und von wo sich Touristengruppen in der Stadt verteilen. Der Strassen entlang, wo sich Halbstarke mit ihren Motorräder wichtig machen. Zu einem der Parks, wo sich Schachspieler duellieren und sich einer als Meister entpuppt. Durch Kaufhäuser, die nicht durch ihr Warenangebot beeindrucken, sondern durch ihre Architektur. An interessanten Statuen und schönen Frauen vorbei, die Geschichten aus der Vergangenheit und der Gegenwart erzählen. Ich kann nicht etwas heraus picken, was Odessa besonders macht. Aber wenn es was ist, dann ist es das Flair, das am Schwarzen Meer einzigartig ist.

Sister Therese

A friend wrote me a message, telling me about a German lady, who lives in Africa since decades as a nun and founded several dispensaries. If i’m passing by that area i should visit her, he suggested. And indeed, it seemed i’m pretty close there anyway.

On my way i got stopped by the traffic police. Once more. While the officer check my papers he wanted to know where i’m heading to. I told him the story of the old lady, doing so many good things for local people. I admire to meet her and maybe making some photos of the place she founded, i explained. As the officer has seen my camera he wanted me to do a portrait shot of himself. I did. With a smile on both of us he let me go.

Just ask for ‚Sister Therese‘ when you reach the town, my friend advised me. And indeed, even the people on the street didn’t recognized the name of the dispensary, they reacted promptly on the name of the nun. But Sister Therese doesn’t live here anymore. The new chairman of the small hospital organized a nice chap who’s guiding me to the new founded dispensary of Sister Therese. It was about an hour drive or so. Maurice asked me to stop in a village to introduce me with the chief, who owns a shop. It’s all interesting and so much to learn about, but also time consuming. Finally we reached the dispensary and i met Sister Therese in person. After a brief tour trough the building and nearby garden, she told me her story by a soup and tea. Since she was a young girl she wanted go somewhere far. As a young nun she went to Southern Africa, studied to become a nurse and stayed many years in Zimbabwe. Many stories about trouble and terrible times, in Southern and later in Eastern Africa, but also about never ending hope and times of happiness. Her eyes are always smiling even when she’s telling dark stories. A truly strong woman, which i’d like to spend more time with, but it got late and time to leave for me. Despite the short time with her, it let a deep impression on my way out of the bush.

Rough Road To Kenya

I could take the nice tarred road out of Uganda, but the scenery on the northern slope of Mount Elgon was to tempting. The road became more bumpy and dusty with every mile, but bigger also the people smile. From time to time i had to stop for a photo, or just for the stunning view, or simply to give way to a big truck on narrow roads. Time schedule got lost. Instead of a few hours drive i needed all day to reach the Kenyan border post. The last village before frontier i found a fuel station where the diesel pump worked by hand. Can’t remember when i had such a laughter with tank guys filling up my diesel tank.

Murchison Safari Camp

Crossing the Victoria Nile over a bridge with the view of Karuma Falls, i got to the north of Uganda now. I noticed a Camp, just at the northern gate of Murchison Falls Nationalpark, where wildlife seems to cross. At that remote and quite camp is a waterhole. The manager, a young, smart lady, confirmed sometimes elephants, giraffes and more wildlife are to observe here. Despite my patience to watch out for them, the recently rain didn’t gave them the urge to come to the waterhole. Instead big animals i found big spiders, cats, chicken …and then yes, some antelopes came shyly closer. However, some relaxed days in peaceful nature.

Lynda At The Beach

Lynda was traveling Tanzania, as she heard about my lifestyle. To my surprise she changed her travel plans, checked out of her five-star-hotel and pitched her tiny tent next to my Land Rover which was south of Daressalam that time. She wanted know more about how i live and travel. However, i brought her to my „hideaway beach“, where we started spontaneously a photo shooting. Not having my full equipment with me, i tried to give my best, as Lynda did too. And she did well, didn’t she? 😀

Hike Trough Border Villages

Early morning a young guy approached me. He offered tours. Despite my plans to travel further, i got convinced to spend a day longer in this area. Julius, the young tour guide, promised me, not only to guide me for an hike along the Congo border, but also showing me authentic village life, where he’s born. I didn’t regret my decision. Trough villages and over farmland, he brought me to a cave, climbed up an hill with craters, where every inch is used as agriculture land, introduced me with school and showed me the spring, where village people get their drinking water. On this hike, i got the whole lot impression of country life in Uganda.

Bagamoyo – Fishermen At Beach

It was quite late when i arrived my camp in Bagamoyo. I grabbed my Nikon and went to nearby beach. To my surprise it was pretty busy there. Teenager played football or jumped in acrobatic style in the sand, bicycles and tricycles went around, a young, blonde teenager climbed a palm tree and collected coconuts. The main activities were the returning fishermen, who sold their catch right at the beach. Surrounded by a crowd, the men sold the catch of the day in bundles to the best offer. Right at the beach, the fishes were cleaned and carried home for fresh dinner.

Beach Photo Shooting

It was on my camp at Mikadi Beach when i met those two young women. Talking about the beaches around here, i mentioned a lonely beach with crystal clear water where i was for a photo shooting before. The two friends wanted a photo shooting too. I’m delighted to bring them there and having a day out with lots of fun.