Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crazy travel day.

March 12 and 13th

Had to go to the Kigali Airport at 10 pm for my next day flight at 6 am to avoid the $20 taxi fee. Spent the night in the cafe until able to check in at 4 am. Departed at 6 am and arrived in Johannesburg at 11 am after a brief stopover in Burundi. Caught the Gautrain (airport train to city) to Park Station where I was to connect with a 6 pm train to Mozambique border. Had 5 hrs to kill before boarding the train at 5 pm and luckily found a KFC where I could eat and play computer games. At 4:45 pm I purchased KFC for the train ride which would last 12 hours. Hopefully will get sleep on the train. I arrived as told at 5 pm at the terminal gate. There were already about 100  people in line with HUGE bags. They obviously had come here to do their shopping for a month or so. Seat are no reserved so grab the first seat you can. I was lucky to find a window seat and had no one seating next to me for half of the ride to the border. But not able to sleep and was miserable for the entire time.Arrived at 7 am and took a minibus to the Mozambique border and was shocked to found out the Visa fee was $82. Lonely Planet mentioned visa fees of $25-$70 but that all border visas were $25. Not true so it seems as he pointed out the fee when I mentioned that. But then I noticed if you pay it in Meticals (currency in Mozambique) that the currency conversion amount to $70 US. So I went to ATM and got local currency which I was going to do anyway and saved $12 in the process. Small victory. Then a 2 hour minibus ride to Maputo (1 million population). I was supposed to call the Fatima Backpackers to have them pick me up at the end of the minibus ride. Unfortunately I was not aware that Mozambique's official language is PORTUGUESE, my nemesis in Brazil. Finally an English speaking taxi driver said he would take me there for $12. Tired after not sleeping for 72 hrs and in not a very nice part of town, I reluctantly agreed. Nice hostel.

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