A trip to Pomene in Mozambique (Part 1)

After reading fishing freaks trip to Mozambique it brought back memories of a trip I did with a few mates.

We had a mate’s dad that was busy building a place in Pomene in Mozambique. This was long before the days of fishingskis. I had a Landy bakkie and my parents ski boat. So we huddled together and 4 of us decided to make the trip. Patrick, Craig, Neil (my cousin) and myself where in. A few days before the trip my fan belt broke, not thinking too much of it I took my Landy to the local mechanic in Mtunzini. They fixed it, and all was good. Well at least we thought that.  The day arrived. We were all packed up and ski boat was hitched. The mission was to camp so we had loaded the boat with tents and supplies. A few spare wheels for the trailer just in case. So 2 people in the front and 2 people in the open back. The first leg of the trip was to meet the people at Hotel Halie in Xai Xai. Well it was the normal warding off people trying to change money to get through the border post.  We took turns getting our passports stamped so that we could guard the stuff on the boat.

We managed to get to Hotel Halie on time and meet the other people there. It was early to bed that night as it was going to be a very early start. Lucky we could park in the back of the hotel under lock and key. The next morning we were up early but when I tried to start the Landy it was just a click. We were not sure what was going on. All the lights on the dash came on bright so it seemed to not be a flat battery.  It was decided to pull start the Landy. That is when water started pissing out the head gasket and there was a bad knocking sound coming from the engine. It was then that we discovered what had happened. During the night as the engine cooled and water was pulled into the piston chamber. The water stopped the engine from turning that is why the click when I turned the key, with us pull starting it the water had no other place to go so it broke out the gasket. Later we discovered that pull starting the Landy had also bent the piston rod.

The others left as there was nothing they could do. Lucky for us Patrick brought his tools and he was experienced in fixing engines, well very big ones. He was a marine engineer. So to work we got, we setup some temp shade as there was none, it was hot and we has some rain. Patrick managed to get the gasket out, he also managed to get the bent piston rod out with much filing of the chamber, I remember it feeling like a very a long day. With the broken stuff we headed into town to find some spares. It was a challenge as most of the places we went to did not have what we were looking for. But it seemed that the bush telegraph got news of what we were looking for and soon somebody found us with the correct parts. So back to the Landy to fit the parts. It was well into the night when we managed to get finished. We managed to con our way into booking a room for 2 and then all 4 of us using the room. The budget was tight and we had blown a lot of it on getting the car fixed. I remember Patrick being covered in oil from head to toe.

The next day back on the road. The going was slow as we did not want to blow anything. I remember the sand road taking forever and that constant worry that we might be on the wrong road. It was dark when we found the camping spot in Pomene, and we did not even have a GPS. The other people where in bed so it was welcome and they went back to bed. I don’t remember if we setup tent or just slept on the floor that night. Then there was a massive bang. Everybody woke up again wondering what the hell that noise was. After much looking around we found that the tire on the boat trailer had burst. It had done so well but then just gave up.

I will have part 2 of the trip soon. I also want to go and see if I can find some pictures. This was the days before digital cameras. How life has changed.

Part 2 here

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