Tag Archives: Mozambique

Heading West and By the Numbers

A four hour train ride took us from Pamplona to Madrid.  We got lost in the mesmerizing landscape grinning every time a small village with white stone buildings entered the scene.  Lush were the hillsides and fields of agriculture.

We walked by the Atocha Station a couple of times while in Madrid but discovered a lush garden inside after departing the train.It was an easy listless day – train and then a taxi to the hotel near the airport for our flight back to the USA the following morning.

It was an eight and a half hour flight to Newark where we were to have a quick layover and be one our way to Charlotte.  Upon landing lightening crashed in around us and the plane stood still on the tarmac as the airport closed.  An omen.  A half hour later the plane was cleared to head to the gate.

Unbeknownst to us the airline industry and particularly United was in melt down mode.  It was utter chaos. Cancelled flights and stranded people.  Our connecting flight to Charlotte a victim.

It was 5:00 pm.  A United agent told us it would be days before any  seats would be available. “Check online.” The internet confirmed the worst.

We had places to be!  The following day was our grandson’s first birthday and our son had taken time off of work – we didn’t have days…. who has days???

Quick change of plans – we rented a car and headed to Charlotte driving until dark.  It was 1:30 am Madrid time by the time we stopped for the night somewhere in Maryland.

We arrived at our destination 21 hours late but in time to celebrate.

We visited family, broke bread, raced cars and played with our grand babies. 

United continued its melt down and we feared we’d not make it home to Nevada as scheduled.  It all worked out – both flights harmoniously were delayed and we made it home.Now we shift through months of mail, dust off the house and get ready for summer.  We head out again in 8 days.

Our trip by the numbers:

13 flights, 1 cruise ship, a few boat rides, multiple trains, lots of car rides,  one tram – 34 beds and 18 Countries: South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, French Comoros, Seychelles, Omán, EAU, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Spain.

I wore everything that I packed, left one shirt (on purpose) and threw out 2 that I ruined.  I way overpacked even though we just had carry on.  Another lesson learned (again).  Way less is even more!

Thanks for following along!


Maputo, Mozambique

Maputo (sounds like Ma-pu-tu) is the bustling capital city. Previously named Lourenço Marques after a navigator who explored the area in 1544. Upon independence as a Portuguese colony in 1975 it was renamed Maputo. It borders Eswatini and South Africa.

The architecture is a combination of old uninteresting concrete buildings with occasional unique and charming Mediterranean buildings in between – like the creamy middle of an Oreo cookie.

*click to enlarge photos

The city is right next to the port and easy to get to by foot. The streets are lined with jacaranda and flame trees (our favorite from Baja – árbol de fuego).

Armed police were scattered about and security guards stood in doorways which I took as a warning to keep my camera hidden.

The Maputo Central Train station was quiet with only a couple people wandering around. Two passengers napped on a bench engulfed in their luggage. It’s named one of the top 10 most beautiful train stations in the world by Time Magazine and Newsweek.

Outside of the main city center it became lush and hilly. We only took a short ride but it offered a yin to the city center’s yang.