Xai Xai

The road from maputo to Xai Xai was a good tarred road, making the trip of 230 km north an easy one. There were several police checks at the villages, but we were waved through each one by smiling friendly officials. John......keeping to the speed limits helps!! We crossed the Xai Xai bridge over the Limpopo in the gathering dusk, and true to form it seems , arrived in the dark. A "GArmin" read and some half-intelligible instructions from a petrol attendant led us off to the beach ("praia") a further 20kms out of town. On our arrival at a circle in the middle of nowhere we were met by Manuel who hitched a lift standing on Stanruza's running board and guided us to Praia de Xai Xai campsite.. It consisted of a rudimentary bar & reataurant , chalets ful of a group of Free Staters. We reanted a "bungalow", had an impromptu dinner of cold meats and bread together with another good bottle of red wine and soon passed out watching "Fiddler on the Roof" on the laptop!!The beach bar

The next morning, Annaliese promtly went straight into a huge branch with Stan, so at this stage we are not sure if the tent is still 100%, but do not have the guts to find out !!! We set out to explore after a cup of cofee at the "bar" and found we believe a place that will no doubt be one of our favourites on this trip!!! Our stunning "house on the hill"

Watch this space for further adventures and disasters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Inet shop closing.Love to all till next timexxxx

To get to the “resort” follow the road N/NE past the main Xai Xai campsite on the beach, past a few groups of houses. It is called Chonguene Beach Resort and belongs to Pieter from Pretoria. Also has a bar and restaurant if you feel like company. Truly to be recommended if you want to find a place to stay in Xai Xai. We loved it here as it is still wild and not overrun by stacks of Gauteng/Free State/ Mapumalanga holiday makers. You have miles and miles of beach all to

yourself.

Our house on the hill, the view and the insideStew buying bread from Richard

The momnent we saw this place, it was as if both of us finally felt the true spirit of Africa ica, the slower pace, the smell and sounds of nature, the clear sky, the sound and constant movement of the waves. We realized how fortunate we are to do this trip . We booked the place for 3 nights and for the first time both of us truly relaxed, chilled enjoyed life and each other.

All was however not just moonshine and roses, as life needs to be lived on both sides!! One thing, there was hardly any reception for the phone and ZACK, you little shit……every time we tried to phone, we had to climb a dune……..so appreciate the 3 messages you got!!! Also no internet connection, so despite all the thousands of rands we spend on “staying connected” we still cannot use the device and will be dependant upon internet cafes. BUT PLEASE keep on mailing as it is the BEST to get news, we will reply as often as we can find an open café!

We also experienced the true tropical climate here, lying on the beach one minute & the nextthenext minute the sea turns grey, the clouds gather and rains pours down in buckets!! So different from our Cape Town drizzles!

The lifestyle here is unbelievable, the locals bring freshly caught crayfish to your doorstep, Richard, the baker appeared at our door early the first morning with freshly baked bread and croissants!! Even more amazing is that he managed to find us the next morning after we moved 4 kms down the road !! I could not believe when I saw him outside as we did not even tell him that we will be in a different place.

We also discovered the most amazing site……..a haunted hotel!!! I promise, Stew did not believe me either, but he had to after what happened there! But first about the hotel, the locals have different stories, but it either belongs to a certain D”Oliveira who also owns the Polana or a cetain Durbanite, not sure. It is completely abandoned due to the war, but not badly vandalized at all. It is HUGE with 110 rooms as well as self catering units (it seems) but a lot of the stuff is still there, like the marble counters, the bar stools at the bar, some of the headboards, you can just see how smart the whole place was, you can hear the music if you listen very carefully, see the people dancing or having cocktails, having drinks on the patio, you can see the cooks preparing the most amazing meals etc!!! The place is a photographers dream and I went mad clicking away. We even found some of the old menus as well as food and drink order slips!! Check the pics………

The seats at the pool

 

This was however not the end of the fun and games here, will continue tom as the bloody place is closing again!

We started feeling a bit weird and left the place in a bit of a hurry, only to discover that Stanruza was stuck!! Really stuck in the sand, see, HAUNTED HOTEL !!! (now Stew had to believe me!) Well the only thing we could do was to be exited to use all the fancy equipment! So out came the sand tracks …….. progress was VERY slow to say the least and I am not much help in the pushing department with my bad back. Luckily within a short while the first local appeared, then the next one and then the next one and then a few etc.., what we did realize with this whole episode was that your fancy equipment is just exactly that, fancy! The help that worked best in the end, was putting a whole lot of bushes (readily available) on the tracks they all helped to push and voila! Off we went with at least 4 hanging on to the car for the rest of the way back to our house !!

Getting the fancy stuff!!The locals know best

We spend our last night at Xai Xai having steak and loving the view and the sound of the waves