Posted by: Caroline | February 25, 2010

Most Stressful Day of Relaxation Ever

Although the Ilha has some nice beaches, we read in our guidebook that the place to go for the quintessential Mozambican beach experience was across the Mossuril Bay. It detailed two transport options: charter a boat for $20 or take the public dhow for 20 cents. Tough call, right?

We spent much of the afternoon searching for this 20 cent dhow or anyone who would tell us its departure point or time. I forgot to mention in my last post that the only word we might have heard more than caneta is “boat.” Everyone either knows someone who has a boat or owns a boat himself, so clearly no one was going to be honest with us about the dhow when they had a potential profit standing in front of them.

So we caved to the 20 dollar sailboat ride with Raymundo–although, due to the weather, this transformed into a rowboat ride. Even paying an exorbitant rate didn’t excuse Alex from having to row some himself.

We thought the hour-long ride across the Mossuril Bay was the bulk of our journey to the beachside Carrusca. How wrong we were…

Raymundo hopped off the boat and led us through this tiny village, which seemed to have as many goats as it did people.

The pictures are all of Alex because I think he was too miserable to take any photos himself.

We estimate we did at least three miles of trudging through mud and marsh to get to Carrusca, which is doubly difficult with all your belongings on your back (I cheated; Raymundo carried most of my stuff while I carried the day packs). We began to seriously reconsider if all of this effort was worth it.

But once we arrived, we thought it was.

Carrusca is made up of seven bungalows just meters from the beach.

By the way, I’d like to personally thank President Obama for our stay here. A faulty ATM on the Ilha meant we basically only had US dollars to spend, and the staff was reluctant to accept them until one of the Mozambican visitors pointed out that we were from the country where Obama was president.

Even though our all-morning journey sapped our energy, we were excited to relax by the Indian Ocean–until we heard that the Carrusca restaurant would be closed the next day. Our only option was to try to stock up on essentials in the neighboring village of Chocas.

“Neighboring” is a stretch. Although we could see the village from Carrusca, it was an arduous hour-long hike across the beach and through the community to its market.

One of the typical houses in the community:

When we arrived in the market, we didn’t see the baskets of tropical fruit I expected. The major product seemed to be clothes, and food was mainly limited to staples we couldn’t make use of without a stove. We settled for a bag of cookies, some rolls, and some juice mix packets. Thankfully we had enough Mozambican currency to get a little food from the restaurant to save in the fridge for the next day, too.

Did we walk twenty miles today? I felt like it.

One thing that lifted my spirits on our return journey: goats on the beach! (This if for you, Mom.)

Now, we could finally enjoy the ocean. And that’s all we did the next day– no more hiking.


  1. YES, thanks for the “goats on the beach” picture. It did make me smile!!!!

  2. […] So, remember those tap-taps I told you about? This is our view from one–packed in with 15 other people, a spare tire, two huge bags of individual water packets, a cooler, luggage, and my fear that all of us would tumble down the side of the mountain as we bumped along a treacherous, cliff-hugging road. My hope for Plage Labadie (Labadie Beach), a reputed gem of Haiti’s North, is what kept me going as my spine was crunched between pieces of metal and my legs wedged between a person, the cooler, and my backpack. (Not the most comfortable way to travel after a day riding horses up a mountain.) And yet, after extensive discussion, Alex and I concluded that this is NOT the hardest we have ever worked for a beach. That honor still securely belongs to Carrusca, Mozambique. […]

  3. […] hike from town. That’s a lot of effort for a beach, perhaps, but nothing compared to what we had to go through to go to the beach in […]

  4. […] reais ($125) a night, and it didn’t seem very friendly or convenient. This was starting to rival the time we had to trudge through miles of tidal flats, beaches, and even ford a river to reach our beach […]

  5. […] .. and I’ll never turn down a good goat photo opportunity. […]

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