Late in the afternoon, just for a second or two, I nodded off at the wheel, a very scary situation to be in. Both of us have had very little sleep recently. It all started a week ago when a blind passenger hopped on board. We've named him Ralph.
The Indian Ocean at Cabo da Cabaceira was the most easterly point of our trans Africa journey. Our next goal is the Atlantic. But first things first. We drive back through Nampula Province and southwest into the Province of Zambezia, where we'll spend our last days at the ocean near Quelimane.
The Padre's back yard had enabled us to enjoy a few days on Mozambique Island without having to drive back and forth over the bridge. There is a campsite and backpackers in the village but not having to commute was a huge advantage. We now needed fresh water and a shower and so drove north along the coast in search of a campsite preferably with access to the beach and landed in Nacala.
Ilha is a small island about 3 kilometers long and 500 meters at its widest. Vasco da Gama reached it in 1498 en route to India. According to tradition he asked after its name and the locals replied Ali Musa Mbiki, after the local Sultan Mussa Bin Bique. The portuguese named it Ilha de Moçambique and later Mozambique was named after it. The locals just say Ilha.
At the Revenue Office in Mangochi they had told us that that in Chiponde there was a customs and excise office where all the border formalities could be done and that on the other side we could get visas. That meant that we wouldn't have to go to the embassy in Blantyre and so after visiting the quaint little Malawi Lake Museum we set off for the border.