The Road Chose Me – Tofu, Mozambique’s Beach Paradise
Surf’s up, Africa-style
After a straightforward border crossing, I meander north along the coast of Mozambique, thoroughly enjoying the new culture and language. People on the side of the road are delighted when I stop to buy tropical fruits – watermelon, mangoes, avocados, pineapples, and more are abundant and cheap here. Even on the side of the road, it’s possible to buy extremely fresh “Portuguese bread rolls,” and I’m strongly reminded of Angola and West Africa. They are so fresh that they’re still hot. They cost just a few cents each.
In one region I see hundreds of bottles of piri piri sauce for sale – the local hot sauce. The friendly lady explains one is “hot” and the other is “very hot.” I go with “hot,” and that night I get the shock of my life. Even the tiniest drop in an entire stir fry is unbearable. This is far and away the hottest bottle of hot sauce I have ever tasted in my life, and locals heap it on everything. I’m sure the bottle I bought will last me three decades at the rate I can eat it, and after a week of trying my best I give it away to an extremely happy local who smiles knowingly at my failure.
Seriously, the hottest tacos in Mexico have nothing on this stuff.
From the minute I roll into the town of Tofu I know I have found something special. I set up camp just out of town on the hill at Turtle Cove before renting a surfboard so I can surf every possible minute. In town, there is a beginner point break which is a great place to practice and learn before stepping up to the much bigger and more aggressive point/reef break just around the corner in Tofiño, walking distance to my camp. Whenever I’m not surfing, I wander through town and check out the numerous bars and restaurants.
Tofu is now heavily on the backpacker trail and is becoming so popular as a party destination it has been billed as “The next Goa,” and I soon learn why. Every bar or nightclub has it’s own night of the week, with cheap drinks, fancy dress, and blasting beats being the order of the day. (It doesn’t hurt that a few of them have their own pools and swim-up bars.)
Day after day the warm sun shines down, the water is perfectly clear and warm and the sand perfectly white. The beers are huge, cheap, and cold. I surf twice a day at sunrise and sunset, and every day my surfing skills improve, and I get more addicted than ever before.
Tofu is as close to beach paradise as I have found anywhere in the world. I see no reason to leave for a while.
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