Our ‘Point of Gold’ Scrapbook


It’s not surprising South Africans flock to Ponta do Oura in hordes over weekends and holidays.  It may officially be Mozambique, but as it’s only 15km from the border, South Africans tend to treat this seaside gem as an extension of KwaZulu Natal or Mpumalanga.

In Ponta life is simple and laid back – basic in fact.  The ocean is warm, the marine life abundant.  You’ll find basic infrastructure and beach resorts without the frills.  It’s diving and snorkelling central, the fishing is good and of course it’s tops for swimming with pods of wild dolphins.

Sadly it can also be Party Central and noisy in peak holidays though, as hordes of visitors (mainly from a little due south) arrive with 4 x 4’s, quadbikes, jetskis, hectic sound systems, tons of meat to braai and disposable income in Rands and turn this tranquil haven upside down.

IMG_5123

Luckily we visited at a quieter time of year when I could lap up the beauty and windswept beaches and contemplate the simple pleasures and unhurried pace of life.

IMG_5166

IMG_5189

Although most of the locals speak at least some English, the Portuguese influence is apparent in some of the architecture, particularly this quaint “Church of Our Lady of Fatima”.  Someone has absently planted a zigzag handful of maize plants in the sandy grounds.

IMG_5048

On our first day the power was down throughout the village and it was raining on and off.  We set out in search of a cup of coffee to warm up and stopped at an empty stall to adjust our backpacks when a shy face appeared from behind a screen.  Bashfully she told me her name is Isa (short for Isobel).

IMG_5052

The drizzle, although not ideal, made the sand easier to walk on as we made our way to the local market – a cluster of stalls selling anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to slip slops made in China.

IMG_5062  IMG_5069 IMG_5080

Reminders of Mozambique’s history are never far away.

IMG_5064

Welcome to Fernando’s Bar, home of famous R&R – a drink made from local cheap Tipo Tinto Rum and fizzy raspberry coldrink.  Don’t have too many – anything after two kicks like a cantankerous mule!

IMG_5084

I’m told there’s very little crime in Ponta, but we did come across one nimble thief outside our chalet who stole part of our breakfast while while we weren’t looking. His fur was still wet from the downpours.

IMG_5088

Without electricity we had to make do with a compromise breakfast from the market stalls – fresh pão, coconut, tomatoes and potato chips.  We saved the R & R ingredients for much later 🙂

IMG_5094

I expected to see a lot more wildlife, but we did at least see loads of black-eyed bulbuls and a gorgeous butterfly endemic to the coastal forests in this part of southern Mozambique.

IMG_5115

IMG_5256

Getting stuck in the sand is common.

IMG_5226

Eateries abound and this Portuguese chicken bought at a newish restaurant (I forget the name) was well worth the 30 minute wait.  We devoured every morsel it was that good.

IMG_5234 IMG_5254

Put Ponta do Ouro and everything the village offers right up there on your Bucket List!

IMG_5141

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Our ‘Point of Gold’ Scrapbook

  1. LOVE the photo of the bicycle on the beach – that deserves to be framed and on your wall!
    Simba chips brings back memories and I loved peri peri chicken in Mozambique and they used to serve peri peri kidneys in the bars so you’d drink more beer – it worked too!

    Like

    • Aww thanks Jude. My girlfriends have been telling me to frame it, put it on canvas even. When I spotted that scene it was one of those magical moments when your heart beats faster and you know you have a special moment in time to capture something unique that hundreds of people aren’t clamouring to snap. I knew right then that it was going to be one of the best photos of my trip. I had prawns in beer in Tofo (post to follow) and even drank a beer.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s