Lilli’s Quarry to east Machaila to West of Mabote to Inhassoro

The transit of the N222 is over. 380km of ‘road’, mostly at 30kph. Some of it only single lane sand track. It took 3 days from Mapai to Inhassoro.

From Lilli’s Quarry Slow to get moving this morning. I wanted to repack and check things from the chaos of tyre fixing yesterday. I also managed to get the new tyre set on the rim properly. Although it was cool at 6:30am it soon warmed up. I got going at 10:30am and plodded along the N222, at between 25kph and 40kph. I passed several Charcoal trucks going towards Mapai. Lots of Charcoal stacked by the side of the road. It looks like Charcoal burning must be big in this area. It reminds me of Angola where there was also lots of charcoal burning. The scrub either supports Cattle, or Charcoal burning. I passed a few schools, but lots of young kids (who should be at school) herding cattle.

One of the many slow moving Charcoal trucks

Eventually after lunch I got internet again at Machaila. I stopped and went through the pain of applying for my Malawi e-visa, which I will find out in a few days if I am successful. The hardest part is paying. Every payment requires and SMS from my Australian bank, and sometimes they take many, many minutes to arrive.

I got going after doing my e-visa, and headed though Machaila. It was larger, but not as large as Mapai. However I saw a woman carrying here baby, but clutched in her hand, was a smart phone. The internet reaches even here.

Collapsed bridge on the N222. And no there was not a replacement bridge.

The N222 got dramatically narrower. It became only single lane. My GPS wanted me to go down an even smaller road, but I thought I would stick to the N222. About 25km out of Machaila, I found a spot by the side of the road at 5pm and stopped for the day. The campers temperature inside was 29C.

Roadside camp east Machaila, its was 29C at dusk
the sandy section of the N222

Next morning I got going before 8am. The sandy single lane N222 continued. About an hour in a little car was coming the other way. I stopped to let them pass, but they got out and chatted. One was a South African who was trying to teach agricultural techniques to Mozambique, the other was his Mozambique assistant. We spent a long time talking about the problems in Mozambique, and how you couldn’t develop a project unless you had extra money to bribe the government officials with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my chat stop, its was onwards, with eventually the N222 getting better as I closer to Mabote. There was internet in Mabote, but it was Vodacom, and I had a Movitel sim. Onwards through town and about 40km out I stopped to pump some water into the hot water container on the roof, so I could have my first shower in 3 days. 50 minutes later it was about get get dark fast, and I am desperately looking for a campsite. The scrub was too thick, and at the last minute I found an overgrown track into the scrub. I squezzed down it, and I has pretty hard to see from the road.

Camped on an overgrown track West of Mabote

The morning was pretty damp, lots of condensation. I am closer to the coast so maybe the nights are colder. I was only 50km from the N1.  I got to the N1 at Mapinhane. I then started looking for a seller to sell me a Vodacom sim. Lots of stuffing around, but an hour later I had a working Vodacom sim and some internet. I headed up the road aiming to get to a campsite about 82km away at Inhassoro.

Driving on the N1 north
A police stop on the N1, but they didn’t stop me

About 4pm I arrived at the campsite “Star of Mozambique”. Looks nice so far. I am going to stay for at least 3 nights. Weather is great Max 27C Min 13C.

Camped at Star of Mozambique

 

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