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Part I of John’s epic 6-part wrapup of our Mozambique trip. To be continued tomorrow!

Wow, what a trip. This could be the best holiday we’ve ever had.  8 days, 25 + hours of beautiful driving, 3 countries, and a place and cast that all adds up to one epic trip.

The cast of characters:

Gael “Foxy” Campbell: visiting us from Scotland for a couple of weeks and was able to plan her trip so it coincided with this one. She is an amazing traveler, a totally chill and laid-back gal, and a great friend. You will remember her from her last trip to visit us in CT the same time as Devin and Mandy, and just after Tyler. She is our first repeat visitor and one of only a handful to come to Durban. In short, Foxy rocks.

Steph and Terry: our good friends from Durban, who (in addition to a sweet cottage in the Drakensberg) happen to have a cashew farm just outside the village of Inharrime in southern Mozambique, about 15 kilometres from the coast on a beautiful river. Terry started the farm about 10 years ago – and though they live full-time in Durban, they make a point to get up to the farm a few times a year. California girl Steph worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Inharrime for 3 years and is still close with many of the kids in town, as she taught them English among other things.

Jess: Steph’s childhood friend from California, wrapping up a 3-month (!!!) visit with the Moz trip

Chris: Steph’s brainy and hilarious cousin, a student at Columbia University

Tash: The quintessential Durban girl! Also, fun fact, the ‘other’ model for Melika bags.

The farm is about a 12 hour drive from Durban, through 4 border posts (SA out, Swaziland in, Swaziland out, Mozambique in), and about a thousand speed traps. We left Durbs on Friday at around 5am, headed North through Swaziland, and into Mozambique to our Day 1 destination of Maputo – the capital city, where we stayed in the beautiful Hotel Cordosa on a hill overlooking downtown.

Maputo is an amazing city – super old, beautiful Portuguese architecture with tree-lined streets, lots of markets, art, amazing restaurants, and just a few VW sized potholes. We settled into rock shandy cocktails by the pool, had Thai food for dinner, lots of 2M beer (pronounced “dosh-em”), hit the breakfast buffet in the morning, then the Saturday morning market, and then the road to the farm.

Johhny G basks in the glory of Maputo

The peeps: Lizzy, Chris, John, Gael, Jess, Gildu, Terry, Steph, Busha, Wilson

…and the rest of the pics. Make sure you have a comfy chair and a fresh beverage, because there are (gulp) more than 600 of them. They’re pretty amazing – check them out if you have time!

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