Monday, May 6, 2013

And then I uploaded.

 Finally, I did it! Estoril beach.
Well, I do think that 4 weeks to upload and post a sketch is not that bad after all. I have to recognize the efficiency of the network in Maputo, where I am now, and accept that networks here somehow treat the internet fairy better than in Beira or Harare.
So as posted before, this is the view from Estoril beach, in a bar/chicken restaurant next to the lighthouse. This spot was quite a touristic place before the independence and the war that came after. My parents in law actually came camping here on their honey moon, and i've met some white-haired who, a tear in their eyes, remembering some beach adventures of their youth, are asking how is the hotel don Carlos, Hotel Estoril, their beach bar, camping ground and bandas.
So I tell them that the hotel is full of permanent resident and the beach get busy on the WE. I do fail to mention the BigBoy song contests, and the absence of anything else than the concrete skeletons of their past paradise. It might get back to become a groovy spot one day. All depends of one's understanding of the groove.
It is still a nice place to passear, to have chicken and a beer on a lazy sunday afternoon, watching the commotion of people passing by.

A glimpse of the 929 bar, waiting for a burger of some sort. That bar was amongst the few ones that was screening the world cup outside a couple of years ago. The day Ghana lost and got send out was to be remembered, the atmosphere was electric, beer pouring, and every soul in the place left with a deep sense of frustration. I don't even know if anyone bother to pay their bill on the way out. hmm. 
Now, the screen is showing the latest Micasa or Beyonce video, some game of football and the bar has since been painted, renovated and if it is not a posh place, it is definitively not the derelict sand pit it use to be.

Triathlete are tough.
Mozambican style triathletes are beasts.
the cycling part with 100kg attached on a chinese made bike, for 40 km on soft sand roads is just to select the truly motivated guys. Never seen a women competing, probably because the are busy plowing the land, feeding the family, fixing the house and getting cash for school fees. hm. So the cycling is not for chicks.
Then there is the dugout challenge. Days on the ocean, in a flat- bottomed canoe, with a paddle. Sounds easy. The canoe is damn heavy, the paddle is tied up with an electric cable and the water is pouring inside by the holes. And you are supposed to fish. haha. Those fishermen are mega beasts. they are standing in the boat, facing the waves, and speeding up in the direction of the ocean. I tried something similar, sitting down in my super light sea kayak, with profiled paddles, and could not catch up with them. It was actually quite a challenge just to stay in the kayak.
Then again I am neither a sportsman nor a boat freak and my handicap should not serve as a comparison.
Then, third and worst of all, is the 20 meters ATM challenge, the only one really open to women. It can take a day. Queue jumping is hazardous. Some of the ATM competition prove very popular, the best one is held the week before Christmas, and minor ones at the end of each months. Cities will come to a standstill, businesses are made in the lines, people are socializing, and the reward is sometime worth it, if the machine does not run dry, if there is cash on the account and if your card dos not get eaten because you failed to remember the code, or decipher properly the code your brother wrote down     
The winner is Zed, a 25 mtn (0,7usd) headache muti, made and bottled by an ethanol plant that went in partnership with a factory that makes artificial gin and pineapple flavour. If you happen not to enjoy fake pineapple flavour, they also have a great choice of coloured spirits, with obscure reference to whiskys, gins, rhums and vodka, and absolutely amazing names such as Tentaçao, Choice, tipo tinto, Knock Out, El Salvador etc. They are so good that a friend, Spike, keeps on asking for me to bring him samples and refills. Although there is definitively a market for plastic booze in zim, I am not to sure i want to start to bring these as a business, the promotion, tasting and socializing after a bottle might just be too much for me. I'll leave it to Spike and will make sure I never ring him before 4 pm.

 On my way to Harare, 2 hours from Beira is Inchope, with kids selling coke and cashew nuts.  Half invading the car. Good thing is that the nuts are really good and the coke is really cold, which is a must for the rest of the trip. Coming from Beira it is the reward for being alive and having done the worst of the journey. Getting there it feels like our last meal before 160km of potholes, rocks, gazillion of trucks and greatly qualified drivers.
Some say the Top Gear crew came to see if they could make a show and challenge on that road and decided it was just too difficult so left.
Other say the US army has a secret program there, testing the strength of all their newest all-terrain vehicles, including the Moon Walker and Mars Rider. But people are also talking a lot of shit nowadays. The one true thing is that whether you crossed or have crossed the beira-inchope strip, a coke and nuts are a must.

Baby Elena,
she was 4 month when i did the sketch of her on the bed, now she is 5 and just had her first tooth. She is so chilled and sweet. Love her so much.

these are not dragons, nor okapis, nor rhinos. these are not endangered species, but these are really cool and should deserve a Love the Lizard campaign. They have bright electric blue tails, not like their cousins in west africa, bragging with their red and yellow tails. 
These lizards are flash. 
Birds and predators must think that eating one of them should be like swallowing a wiggly neon light on speed. Not something you are looking for, even if you're a reptile-eating bird. 
My kids have done an interesting experience with the lizards. they scientifically tested and came to the conclusion that these reptiles love fanta-grape better than a cola, and show interesting levels of running around and energy after having had a sip of the beverage. Males will defend fiercely their source of the fizzy drink, even accepting loosing their females who will be promptly victims of abrupt courtship from outsiders. Ethology from the perspective of a 6 years old is gripping and super interesting. 

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