Pomene and the road to hell

Chris Rea sang about it, so maybe he too went to  Pomene! Following John Pfaff’s advice NOT to miss Pomene, we left Inhambane  and drove back to the main road.  About an hour later a small sign pointing off  to a sandy road said “Pomene” , so Stanruza once more was put through his paces .

 58km said the sign,  as the “road” wound its way  through forest, small villages and subsistence farms, and then into virgin bush and grassland, seemingly untouched by humanity. The sandy track  slowed travel to a snail’s pace at times,  with welcome “Pomene Lodge” signs every 10 km  the only  break in the seemingly never ending  trail.

 The road to Pomene, or is it Vietnam?Mongrove swamps......Petro, dink net aan al die goggas!!!!! Doom help nie

As we neared the coast, the track hugged the edge of a mangrove swamp, with the mud of the swamp only a meter or so next to us as we  drove on. A few huts and signs of civilization reminded us of  aVietnam” feeling – really  weird!

As we broke out of the swamps, we drove at times on the beach, along  a long stretch of flat sandy wasteland, the track eventually ending at Pomene Lodge.  The main reception area, bar and restaurant is truly stupendous (John, the trip was worth it, you are forgiven), with a huge swimming pool lined with palm trees taking centre stage.

                  Filter coffee in the wild!

The lodge has a series of  self catering lodges, chalets and campsites, but was largely uninhabited when we arrived. Faced with the hell drive back on the same road (despite what the maps books say, there is no other “road’  out of Pomene), we decided to camp a night, and found a campsite with our prerequisites – sea view and the sound of the waves breaking only  20 meters away.  Annaliese   proceeded to rustle up some gourmet filter coffee – the Carol Boyes sugar spoon really makes a difference (Anna Maria, for some unknown reason the spoon was not packed, but is now our constant companion..a little bit of class amongst broken nails, sand everywhere, flea and insects bites all over my body!!)-  and   a first-class braai  ended off the night.

 

Despite heavy rain that night, our rooftop tent came out tops, and the next morning we packed up, and drove out  on the RTH back to the main road, and headed back north towards Vilanculos. The next 50 km of road consisted of Mozambique’s version of  the surface of the moon, with more potholes than road at times. Driving next to the road when possible was preferable, but Stan held together  well and somehow we made it to the other side.