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Today was spent rather restfully. Walking at least two circuits of town and being back at the backpackers by 12 really highlights the (non) size of the place. The Bazaruto islands sitting just off the shore have been teasing me since I arrived, so I have made a tentative arrangement to do an overnight dhow safari to see the islands, with camping and seafood dinners included. Given that everything here is a seafood dinner, that is not as pretentious as it sounds, but I am nevertheless excited at the prospect. This may also mean that updates will disappear, along with me, for a few days.

When I say tentative, that is because much of anything arranged here is like that. When they talk about african time, this is what they mean. You ask a guy if the tour can be done. if enough other ppl ask him too, and if the weather is good and the supplies arive on time etc, etc, then it happens. Otherwise it happens later. That is just how the world here works.

Other developments since yesterday include the firm decision that I prefer 2M to Laurentina (the local beers), though neither will ever hold a candle to Beer Lao, my one true mistress. I have worked out how to ask ‘how much is X’ and understand the response without looking like I am mentally deficient, and am on near first-name terms with a number of craft and batik salesmen on the road from the backpackers to town.

The backpackers, in case I have not mentioned this before, is called Zombie Cucumber, and I would highly recommend it to anyone coming to this specific part of the world. It is run by a French woman, her partner and two cheerful Mozambican assistants and it has been a pleasure to chill here while exploring. Travelers themselves, the couple settled in Mozambique to run this place and escape (presumably?) the harassment of first world living. Difficulties in getting luxury goods and electronics inside the country aside, I really think they have hit on something here. For all the heat and underdevelopment, it really is a little piece of paradise – somewhere the rest of the world has not yet found.