Thursday 28 August 2008

24th August 08

Date: 24th August 08
Location: Chimoio, Mozambique
Weather: Misty and grey to start, burnt off by 10am and then blue skies and hot, 32°c
Status: Sad to have to leave Bre, but happy to be moving a good distance again.

Up at 6am and scoffed down some breakfast, packed up the tent and hit the road to the town to fuel up, clean the windscreen and prepare for the drive north up the Tete corridor. A road which was famous for its banditry in the days after the war but has now, luckily, just got a reputation for being ‘unfinished’!

The first 150kms were good with unbroken tarmac and long straight stretches but as we got further along it the odd pothole appeared, then the edges of the road broke away until it was a swerve and dodge drive around the holes in the road! This continued for the next 200kms, with the odd section of roadwork’s, to make it look like they’re actually repairing the road.

After the cock-up of last night and the full accommodation we decided to call ahead to the Ugezi Tiger Lodge, our chosen site for the night, to confirm that they could have us camp there. Unfortunately the same story as before, no camping as the government have changed the licensing for campsites and no-one seems to be re-applying! So instead the owner offered us the chance to have one of their lakeside self catering chalets for the same price….nice one!

The road from the main EN1 to Songa is particularly good as it leads to all the way to the Cahora Bassa Dam, the fifth largest dam in the world and one which supplies hydro-electric power to Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia….its enormous!! So the road which runs to it is really good tarmac and the 130kms involved no other traffic and a perfect surface.

We dropped down the zigzag road on our arrival in Songa to the dam and were met by a magnificent site, a huge green lake and one of the most impressive engineering projects I’ve ever seen, all tucked away in the steep valley. We walked down to the lake’s edge took some photos and the drove around the water to our camp for the next couple of days, Uqezi Tiger Lodge, named after the scary looking toothed Tiger Fish which lives here!!

It’s a beautiful site resting on the banks of the lake, with little chalets all surrounded by huge Baobab trees and stunning views of the hills and valleys around. We cooked a late lunch and retired overlooking the lake reading our books. Awesome.

End of day location: Cahora Bassa Dam, Mozambique
Distance covered: 520kms

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