Archive for the ‘Mat – Food’ Category

Leaving Scorpio Villas

On May 23rd, I left Scorpio villas by car heading for the airport of Mombasa. The trip took more or less three hours and during these boring hours I was thinking of all nice people I had met at Scorpio, the wonderful couple who own the place – Sara and Simone Mancini, their lovely children – Lorenzo, Luca and little Chiara, Anderson who was responsible for my bungalow, the man who looked after the pool and Andy the barman. Patrick Kalume from Aberdeen and Marian and Frank Swift from London. I will miss all of them.



Flying back to Europe

From Mombasa to Nairobi it took one hour to fly and then I had to sit at the airport in Nairobi for many hours to wait for the flight to Zurich, which took seven hours. Early in the morning on the 24th, I arrived in Switzerland and it was easy to find the terminal where I had to wait for the connection to Prague. That flight took one hour and at 9.30 I was in Prague.

It was in Prague we had started our voyage in December 2010 and it was in Prague that we finished the first five months of 2011.


Early morning, the 24th of May

We had booked a room in a hotel with the name Kampa, which is located in Kampa Park in the heart of Prague. I was very tired when I arrived and was therefore grateful when I was offered a room almost immediately so I could sleep because I had not slept at all during the flight, which took place during the night.


Kampa hotel has a lovely location in Kampa Park

When I woke up late in the afternoon Anders had arrived and he was sitting outside in the garden waiting for me to wake up and we had a couple of beers and discussed what to do during the week we were going to spend in Prague. The location of hotel Kampa is excellent, namely in Kampa park and the weather was lovely, warm and sunny and all flowers and trees were blossoming and the beer was as good as it always is in Prague. What more could we wish? Kampa Park enclosed here.





Holesovice market

Seven days pass quickly. We went to the market in Holesovice by tram because we had to buy a new luggage. After a lot of travelling two luggages had been completely worn out. We had a nice meal in an Asian restaurant at the market and we stayed there for a couple of hours. We also found a luggage that we both liked and at the airport on our way home we left the old luggage empty to somebody who wants it.


The pub “U Cerneho Vola”

A visit to the pub U Cerneho Vola is a must when in Prague so we took tram number 22 to get there. The pub is situated close to the Prague castle and to the Swedish Embassy. You can see a photo of us when we were sitting at the pub. I have written about this pub earlier in my blog.



Meeting a good friend

We also met our good friend Anna Cerna in Prague and we went with her to have lunch in a very nice restaurant in Kampa Park by the name of Nostitz and the food was really nice there. We had asparagus with hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon and thereafter we ordered hot raspberries with ice cream and we had a nice Czech wine with this lovely food and it was really fine to meet Anna again and to listen to what she had been doing during the last year and to hear about her four grandchildren – two boys and two girls – and her two daughters.


“Kachna” – duck and Apfelstrudel for lunch

Every day we went to different places like another pub by the name “U Pinkasu” at the Jungmannova square and we went to have lunch in a small restaurant close to Vaclavske Namesti. The restaurant has the same name as the street where it is located – “Provacnicka” and it is in the proper centre of Prague. They have lovely food there and we had “kachna” which is duck in Czech. It is served with red or white cabbage and most people have it with dumplings but we prefer potatoes. We had “Apfelstrudel” and coffee with cherry wine after the main dish and could hardly move from the table when we had finished our meal. The portions are very big and generous.


Malteske namesti is a beautiful square in Mala Strana

One day we went for a walk in Mala Strana around Malteske Namesti, which is a beautiful square with many small restaurants and cafés and another day we want to Namesti Republiky, and then we walked back to our hotel, which took us forty minutes or more. At the old town square it was hardly possible to walk because there were big groups of tourists who had come to Prague for sightseeing and all of them visit the same places so sometimes it is very crowded in the centre of the town and most of the time I try to avoid these herds of people because I have already visited the places they are visiting and I would never join a big group like that led by a guide anyhow. I would feel like a sheep led by a shepherd.


Back home the 30th of May

Time passes quickly when you are having a good time and soon it was Monday and time for us to go back home and in the evening of May 30th we landed at the airport of Copenhagen and then we took a train to Lund and came home at around seven. We were met by our grandchild Philippa who helped us to carry our luggage and for the first time in five months I slept in my own bed and enjoyed it. Our bed is big, cosy and comfortable.


The market place in Lund

The next morning I took out my bike and cycled to the market where I bought asparagus and strawberries and baby potatoes and then I cycled back home and cooked a lovely meal. I also bought heering, something we always miss when we are somewhere else. The heering we eat with raw onions and it is delicious, especially if it is served with sour creme. Now it is very nice weather here, warm and sunny and people are outside most of the time and enjoy the company of friends and relatives. It is nice to be able to cycle around in a green town with many parks and a nice market place where we can buy all the vegetables and fruits of the season.


Future travel – going to Berlin to meet a friend

We have found all our things and unpacked everything and are slowly adapting to this kind of life, but soon I shall be leaving for Berlin, where I am going to visit my friend Mechthild Flohr who lives in Potsdam and I am very much looking forward to meet her and will stay with her for a week. The distance from here to Berlin is only 300 kilometres so it takes less than an hour to arrive there by flight. In Potsdam I will visit a famous castle by the name of “Sans souci”, in German “Ohne Sorgen” and it was built by Federic II of Prussia in the 18th century during the period which is called “The enlightment”. Voltaire used to spend a lot of time at the court of Federic II and is supposed to have said that German is a language for soldiers and horses. However, I do not agree.



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The food in Scorpio Villas is mainly Italian except the breakfast


Do not come here if you want to loose weight…

Three meals are served here every day – breakfast from 8.00-10.30, lunch from 13.00-15.30 and dinner from 20.00-21.30. In the afternoon the guests can have free tea or coffee and cakes in a special place where they can sit comfortably and before dinner free wine and snacks are served and the guests can sit in very comfortable chairs next to the restaurant, and listen to music because an orchestra plays here every evening.


Mr. Simone Mancini is a brilliant chef

I have never eaten such good food as here outside the borders of Italy. Mr. Simone Mancini and his wife Sara are the owners of the place and Mr. Mancini seems to take great interest in the cooking and he is probably a brilliant chef, and he teaches the staff how to cook excellent Italian food and I do not think that any of the chefs here ever has been to Italy so therefore it is quite amazing to come to a restaurant in Kenya and eat such delicious Italian food.



The breakfast is abundant with everything you can wish, toasted bread, different kinds of Italian cheese, many kinds of jam, cakes, yoghurt, cereals with milk, porridge, bacon, baked beans and eggs according to your taste, boiled or fried or scrambled. Even pancakes are served and many kinds of fruit and juice. The coffee grows here and is therefore fresh and good.


Two buffets daily – pranzo e cena

Lunch and dinner are served as buffets but before you choose from the buffet you are served a starter – “antipasto” – in Italian – and the first plate – “primo piatto” in Italian. “Il primo piatto” is always pasta. There is a choice between two different kinds of pasta. The pasta could be different but it is always made in the kitchen here by some of the chefs, responsible for pasta. Sometimes it is gnocchi made of potatoes and sometimes it is tagliatelle, penne or some other type of pasta, but it is always delicious and fresh and the most important thing cooked “al dente” and the sauces served with the pasta are just fantastic.


The menu changes every day

The same dishes are never on the table for both lunch and dinner. The menu is changed every day even now when it is low season here and few guests because of the rains. It is raining every night and sometimes even in daytime.


Decent prices for wine

The menu is written in English and Italian and wine is served with the food and the wines are from different countries. I usually have wines from South Africa and it is not even expensive. White wine is always chilled and served by a special waiter who knows about wines. I usually have a wine by the name of Versus from South Africa and a bottle costs about 10 euro or 9 pounds or less than 100 Swedish crowns, about 75 and it is sufficient for two meals and is kept for you by the bar with the number of the bungalow written on the bottle.


Main courses – learn some Italian…

Here you can read about the main courses we can choose between in this paradise.

I am using a dinner menu, but the dishes change from day to day so this is just one example which shows what was served one special day of this month of May 2011.


Main courses

Piatti di carne – Meat
Arrosto di maiale
Scaloppina al limone
Coscio di agnello al forno
Sminuzzati di vitello al rosmarino
Pollo alla creola
Involtini primavera
Vitello tonnato

Piatti di pesce – Fish

Spiedini di pesce alla griglia
Filetto di white snap gratinato
Frittura di calamari


How much can you eat?

All these dishes are waiting for you at a big table and at another table you will find different kinds of salads with many different dressings, olives, olive oil and balsamico, fresh bread is also at the table as well as potatoes, rice and different kinds of vegetables. The starter will probably be a few small dishes like “Uovo al occhio di bue con asparagi”, “involtini de melanzane con prosciutto e patate”, “involtini di pollo” and “insalata creola”. After the antipasto – starter – you have had il primo piatto, which was the pasta and then finally you can ran to the buffet table to check if there is something you like there. It is not easy to choose I can assure you. You have seen what there can be above.


Desserts and prices

And finally you have a lot of cakes and tartes at one side of the table and other kinds of desserts which you can eat if you have any space left in your stomach and do not forget the different Italian cheeses and all the tropical fruits and the cup of coffee and the ice cream which is included in this dinner or lunch.

The price is 1200 Ks per person which is more or less 11 euro or 100 Swedish crowns or around 10 pounds. But if you live here during this rainy season and pay for a room and full board the price will be 4000 per day for one person and for half board it is 3500 for one. If you double the prices you will have the price for two of you. And 4000 KS is about 300 Swedish crowns, 32 euro or 30 pounds, but you can check the value of the shilling at the Internet to be sure.


Do you feel hungry after having read this text about the food from the region of Marche in Italy? 
Have a look at the web site www.scorpio-villas.com


Later on when I am back in reality photos to this article will be added.


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Today we have really enjoyed and used our spacious apartment and arranged a dinner party for some of our new friends, whom we have met here at Lamu Island.  It is not so easy to know what to cook for a number of people as it has to do with what is available in our three small grocery shops here in the village of Shella. Sometimes we also take a boat trip to Lamu town to visit another grocery shop.

If one of the fishermen here has caught a lobster or a crab or a tuna fish of suitable size that could also be an option. There are also two kinds of snappers and another fish called kingfish. We have phone numbers to different fishermen from whom we can buy fresh fish. And also oysters sometimes.


During the week we have been looking for vegetables to use for a buffet and we have found big ripe avocados, iceberg salad, tomatoes, leek, potatoes, apples, cucumber, onions, garlic, capers, gherkins and of course ripe big mangos for 1.50 Swedish crowns each. Two avocados – very big – cost 4 Swedish crowns. They are very different from the ones I sometimes buy at the market place in Lund, much more juicy and the taste is also different since they grow here at the island at a shamba (Swahili for farm).


In Lamu town we usually go to a grocery shop owned by an Indian man and he has all kinds of things which we find interesting. Last week we visited this shop twice. We have bought yoghurt, black olives, saffron, vanilla, butter, cheese and many other things there.

At our local grocery shop we find Italian pasta of different kinds, avorio rice from Italy and balsamico vinegar as well as British mustard. Today Anders also found sardines in that shop. I also had a frozen lobster from last week in the freezer and our local grocery shop also sells eggs of high quality from the village. Our apartment is very well equipped with a good fridge and a freezer which is quite big and a gas stove.


We invited our friend Michael and his wife Grace and their children Elisabeth, Stephen and Philip. The other sister, Alice, was working so she could not come and the eldest sister, Tina, lives in Nairobi.  Another guest, Julius, whom we also invited, works with Michael but he has no family so he came by himself a little earlier than the others.

You can see photos of Grace and Elisabeth as well as Alice in this blog. There is also a photo of Michael and another one of Julius enclosed.


Michael, Stephen’s Father


Grace and Elisabeth - Mother and daughter


Alice who was not present at the dinner party


Julius, a guest at the dinner party


We are very lucky because in our rent there is household assistance included, which means that at nine o’clock in the morning six days per week, a young man called Arnold, opens the door with a key and goes straight to the kitchen to wash the dishes. Then he continues his work and cleans the whole place, bedrooms, bathrooms and the room at the roof top which is a living room with a view over the village and a glimpse of the Indian Ocean.

When we need something from Lamu town, like alcohol for example, Arnold also goes there by boat to buy what we ask for and need. Arnold can do anything which is needed in a normal household and he is also a very nice person, easy going.

When we told him that we were having guests he offered to work even if Sunday is his day off. We said of course that we did not want him to work on his free day but he insisted so we decided to pay him extra for his work and he came already at ten o’clock and helped us with the planning of the dinner party for eight persons.

He provided us with plates, glasses and cutlery from a hotel and went to buy soft drinks and lots of water and he laid the table upstairs and even picked beautiful flowers to put on two tables, both in the dining room and in the living room.  You can see the table in the dining room on one of the photos which I enclose.


Arnold, the boss of our household


The table in the dining room


I prepared several different kinds of salads, like for example one Caesar salad, one potato salad, one avocado salad with slices of lobster, tsatsiki, cooked green beans in tomato sauce and one egg salad with sardines. I had also bought ten mangos and they were ripe and juicy.

The guests ate with very good appetite and when almost all the salads were finished I asked if somebody wanted pasta since I had prepared a classic Italian tomato sauce for pasta. Many wanted pasta even if they already had eaten quite much. We also had some nice bread which we had ordered at Peponi’s where they sell bread, the same kind as they use in the restaurant. We bought baguettes and our guests ate all of them. They were really delicious.

After the meal – in which Arnold of course also participated – we sent the boys and their sister to buy some ice cream nearby and they were very pleased and ate a big box of ice cream in a greenish poisonous looking colour. The adults had coffee and some chocolate and not until it was getting dark in the evening the guests left but before that we looked at photos at our lap top, something that everybody likes to do. Cameras are expensive to buy and many families cannot afford to buy one. That is why they like others to take photos of them.


We decided together with the parents that the boys, Stephen and Philip 15 and 13, would come and visit us soon by themselves and that we would take them to a nice big swimming pool where they can train swimming. They are training crawl this season they say. We dare not take them to the beach because of the strong currents. Accidents have occurred here every year. There are no guards at the beach either.


In the blog we have written about Stephen before. He is the boy whose school fees we pay. We also pay for his school uniform, books and we give him his pocket money. He needs money so he can go to the Internet café to read and write mails and he also needs the Internet as a source of information for his school work.

Schools in Kenya are free for the first eight years, but when the pupils start to go to secondary school there are fees to pay. Also for the university the students pay something like 45-50000 KS per year (around 4000 Swedish crowns) which means paying for two semesters. For many young people in this country it is impossible to study because of the high costs.

Stephen’s sister Elisabeth still goes to the secondary school and has two years left there. The parents pay the fees for her but it is a heavy economic burden for them especially now, because Alice who is two years older than Elisabeth, has been admitted to the faculty of economics at the university of Mombasa.  Philip is only 13 so he has two years left until he will go to the secondary school. There are no school fees to be paid for him so far.


When the guests had left to take the boat back to Lamu the sink in the kitchen was full of plates, glasses and cutlery but that is another story. We were very pleased with the day which we had spent in nice company.


View from our roof terrace


Yellow flower on a big tree


Yellow flowers at the same tree


Flowers hanging down to give shadow over the restaurant





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Lamu town centre – inhabitants and donkeys

The town of donkeys

A proverb says:”A man without a donkey is a donkey.” And that is true in Lamu town. Many people are completely depending on the donkeys for work and they transport everything from building material to whole families on the animals.      

In Lamu town live around fifteen thousand people and more than seven thousand donkeys and all of them have an owner, even if many of them walk on their own in the small narrow alleys of the town. If you feel like being the owner of a donkey you will have to pay around 160 euro. Compare that price to what a horse costs in Europe!

There is a hospital for donkeys and there is also a place at Waterfront where the tourists move around, where the donkeys can have a rest and drink water during the hot hours in the middle of the day from twelve o’clock and onwards. The donkeys are very obedient animals and they move exactly as the owner wants them to. He talks to them with special whistling sounds. Many owners beat them if they do not obey.

Here you can see a photo of two donkeys, which walk close to the market place.



The street net and the restaurants

Along the sea there is a long street called Waterfront where many of the restaurants are situated. Most of them are Swahili restaurants with no permit to sell alcohol. However, you can get alcohol if the waiter wants to go to another restaurant to fetch a couple of beers for you, but of course he expects you to tip him then, something we can understand. Only a few places have a permit to serve alcohol and all of them seem to have European owners.

Only two of these places are possible to visit. In one of them beggars and drug addicts ask you to give them either money or medicine of different kinds. Furthermore, that place is very dirty so it is not nice to sit there.

The most elegant place in town is called “Lamu house” and they have a pool, not very big, and you can have a room there for around two hundred euro per night. They also serve international food. Some of the dishes are good like vongole served like in Italy. 

And according to our taste, the Swahili food is not always good so the option is to cook your own food according to your personal taste, which we do most of the time. We buy crabs and lobsters alive and cook them in seawater. The price is more or less seven euro per kilo. Oysters are also sold in the streets.


The Maasais

In the streets are many maasais selling leather products with small pearls in bright colours. They are dressed in special colours like red and purple and they have a stick in their hand and lots of necklaces and bracelets all over the body. Here you can see a photo of our favourite Maasai. No maasai women are visible because they are the ones who produce the products and they work from their homes.


 Our favourite Maasai.


The tailors 

In the narrow alleys there are small dark shops and workshops on both sides of the streets. Many tailors have a small shop where you can have garments made. The sewing machines are manual, not electric as in Europe. A shirt for a man costs around 3.50 euro or sometimes more to have sewed according to your measures. A dress costs 7.50 euro and a pair of shorts costs the half amount.  Anders has had two shirts made of which one is not yet ready since the tailor has been to Mombasa for at least a week and nobody knows when he is going to be back. If ever!

Yesterday – Friday the 11th of February the shirt was finally ready and it was very nice and fitted Anders well. Although the tailor had chosen quite big brown wooden buttons so we will go there again and ask him to change them to white buttons.


Shops and workshops

There are bookshops, hardware shops, shops for different ready-made cloths, both for men and women and some shops have only Muslim cloths like long shirts for men and special small hats. There are also galleries with handicraft, barbers and hairdressers, woodcarvers and workshops where local furniture in dark wood is produced. There are no supermarkets here, no malls and the grocery shop is of the same kind as it was in our childhood. They sell everything in there except alcohol, which only can be bought in special shops very far away.

In the streets it is very crowded. Many people walk there and the donkeys demand a lot of space and they can sometimes be loaded with lots of goods like building material for example. When a donkey or a caravan of donkeys are passing, people have to let them pass. All over the street there is dung from the donkeys so when you go into a house you must take off your sandals because they are probably quite dirty.

We think that this island is interesting because here the industrial revolution has never occurred so the production is still like it was in Europe long before the 19th century, based on the work of family units. Maybe that is the reason why this island has been nominated a Unesco heritage.


 One of the small alleys


Alley in Lamu town


The women

Several times I have asked different women if I may have a photo of them and so far I have not succeeded. Therefore, I have only photos, which I have taken when the women are walking along the streets.

The fashion here is interesting as many women are covered in black from head to feet while others show their faces and there are also some women who have a long black dress and then they have wrapped a piece of cloth in bright colours around their heads and finally tied some black “curtain” over the bright cloth. It looks quite strange for European people I must admit, but as far as I have understood, there are many kinds of fashion. At  home women can of course be dressed as they like as long as they are not meeting foreign men.

Most people in this island are Muslims but there are also some Christian inhabitants here who have moved from the mainland to the island and they are dressed like people in other places in the world. To show respect for Muslim customs tourists are advised to cover themselves but nobody really cares except very few.

The mzungo (white man in Swahili, plural wazungo) does not fit in whatever he/she is wearing. So why care?


The mosques and the religion

In our guidebook we have read that there are more than twenty mosques in this small town and I am sure it is true. The imams are very busy here especially on Fridays. Sometimes we are woken in the morning at five because of the loud announcement from the mosque urging people to pray. Then it continues through the day until it is time to go to bed. I have never liked it and in some countries it is worse than here.

On Fridays they show religious programs at the market place on a big screen and prophets of different kinds are preaching in a demagogic way. The program is announced through loud speakers so that people know when the events will take place. Many Muslim children have to wake up at five in the morning to pray before they go to school.


Almond square

A few footsteps from Subira house where we live is the market place. In the middle of the square are two enormous almond trees giving the impression of being very old. They are very beautiful and you can see them on this picture below.



Donkey at the square


Around the trees there are benches where people are having a rest or just enjoying each other’s company. The benches are always full of people, mostly men, which you can imagine since we are in a Muslim society.

Behind the trees is the house of culture in the old fort, built in the 18th century to avoid enemies to invade the island. In this building there is also a public library where you have to pay a small amount of money to get books. It is not expensive so everybody can afford to go there.

On the other side of the square you find a covered building where vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are sold. If you want to become a vegetarian, I would advise you to visit the meat market. I have never seen so many flies in a place at the same time before and after my first and only visit to that market I have not touched meat. We only eat fish, seafood and vegetables and fruit nowadays.

Some people also sell their products outside at the square. They are keeping poultry in small cages and if you feel like eating a chicken you have to have it killed at the very spot where you buy it. I am not sure I would like to have one, but unfortunately that would be the only option you have.


Friday the 11th of February

However, today we have been to” Lamu House” and there we had lunch and it was lovely food. I had Italian “vongole” and Anders had “Tikka masala chicken” and we also had some wine and when we came home somebody had bought two lobsters for us from a fisherman and I cooked them in seawater and tomorrow we are going to have them for lunch.

Altogether I paid more or less one hundred Swedish crowns for the lobsters and that is considered very expensive here, but I found it quite reasonable because we sometimes have lobster also in Sweden for example at New Years Eve and the ones we buy are from the US and they are much more expensive than these which we can buy here.

Now when it is the 12th of February we will stay where we are for another week but after that we are going to Shela, which is the beach. When we are there, we will also be going to the island of Manda which is opposite Shela but that will be another story.

And this is all we can tell you about Lamu town and Lamu Island and the events that take place here in the month of February 2011.


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After an eight hours bus ride we came finally to East London and were surprised to see how big the city is. It has got one million inhabitants. From here it takes 17 hours to reach Cape Town.

We are staying in hotel Osner where Peter, our friend, booked for us. The hotel has a beautiful view over the bay, but the rooms have no balconies, which we find strange.

We had a lovely meal in the evening in the hotel, a big buffet with many different dishes, even sea food, which we appreciated. The cakes and fruit salads were impressing and abundant. We couldn’t even taste all the different kinds. After the meal we went straight to bed and slept until seven in the morning.


Before falling asleep I was thinking of our friends, Vivienne and Peter, Sharon and Brian and how nice they have been to let us stay with them for two weeks, first in Hillcrest where we stayed in Viv’s and Peter’s beautiful home and then in Shepstone in the ”cottage” belonging to Sharon, Brian and Robin.

We liked both places very much and we had a lovely time. During such a long journey that we are doing it is really nice to be able to spend some time in a home, not only in lodges and hotels.

Above all it has been so nice to meet such kind, interesting, caring and lovely people as these two couples. They have really been generous and hospitable and we sincerely hope that they will come and visit us as well.

It has been interesting to live in a home and see the daily life of a family, and meet their friends and neighbours. We already miss all four of you and hope to see you soon again.


At the bus from Shepstone to East London I continued reading ”Ghost Train to the Eastern Star” by Paul Theroux, who is from the US. His books are about travels. He seems to be a learned scholar. This travel he starts in London by train and now he has gone through Europe and come to Turkey, to Istanbul, where he meets Orhan Pamuk, whose book about Istanbul I appreciated and found interesting.

Pamuk got the Nobel price in 2006 in December and the events of the book which I am reading take place during 2006. I bought this book in the mall in Hillcrest when Vivienne, Anders and I were out shopping.

Here in East London it is warm. The coast is boasting of having 300 days of sunshine yearly and that is why it is called the ”Sunshine coast”. However, tomorrow we will have to continue our trip and we will then go to Port Elisabeth – PE – which is more or less 300 kilometres from here so we are coldly calculating four hours at least in the bus.


Today we had lunch in a wonderful Italian restaurant at the Waterfront, a couple of minutes from our hotel.

We had oysters, large ones, salmon tower with avocado. The salmon came from Cape, not Norway, and it was excellent. Anders had ”vitello con parmeggiano and small potatoes”. We had a lovely wine from the Cape from 2007, a Merlot, red and we had each a dessert. Anders took creme caramel and I had the most delicious thing I never have had – a meringue lemon. The wine was from Durbanville hills by the way.


Now we have finally come home to our hotel and after such a meal we will have a small nap, something which we find necessary. Tomorrow around lunch time we will be going by bus to PE.

Hopefully we shall find an Internet connection there as well, so we can continue to write about the adventures of an old couple in South Africa. So see you soon!


East London
(Virtual Tourist)


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Idag har det varit riktigt helvetiskt hett, uppemot 40 grader om inte mer.

I morse gick vi och satte oss på vårt favoritcafé. Bredvid detta ställe har en indisk skräddare sin verkstad. Han och hans hustru hjälper gamla och handikappade människor genom att dela ut matpaket. Alla sådana initiativ är bra i den här staden. De behövs verkligen, eftersom så många är riktigt fattiga. Många barn är föräldralösa eftersom deras föräldrar dör i aids. Medellivslängden är något över 40 år och gamla människor ser man knappast. De finns men de är få. Vi är riktigt gamla här och folk kallar oss mama och papa, vilket vi inte har något emot. Vi skrattar åt det hela.


Fiskmarknaden vid Costa do Sol

Vid lunchtid promenerade vi till Julius Nyereregatan för att ta en taxi till fiskmarknaden vid Costa do Sol. Promenaden tar bara en kvart men det är jobbigt att gå i hettan trots att vi höll oss på den skuggiga sidan av Eduardo Mondlanegatan, en av de stora avenyerna i Maputo. De flesta gatorna har ideologiska namn som Karl Marxgatan, Ho Chih Mingatan, Vladimir Leningatan, Fredrich Engelsgatan, Olof Palmegatan och så vidare.


Fisk och skaldjur

På marknaden pågick stor kommers. Det fanns massor av olika fisksorter. Havet utanför Maputo är fiskrikt. Baracuda är en stor fisk och sådana fanns det massor av, men det som jag tycker mest om är skaldjur och då fanns det ostron, stora och små krabbor, musslor av diverse slag och hummer.

Det fanns både oktapus och små squids. På svenska finns endast ordet bläckfisk men på andra språk skiljer man på de små ”bläckfiskarna” och på octapus. Men detta är kanske hårklyverier. Jag köpte i alla fall tolv ostron, pinfärska, samt en levande krabba. Anders köpte bläckfisk, både octapus och squids och sedan gick vi till en restaurang och fick vår mat tillagad. Det är enkelt och praktiskt, men det var verkligen hett att sitta på plaststolarna på detta ställe och vi blev otroligt irriterade på försäljare som saluför allt från batik till monstruösa konstverk och sopborstar och träslevar för att inte tala om solglasögon och märkesur såsom Rolex och Omega. Kommersen försiggår även inne på restaurangerna. Att få sitta i fred är inte att hoppas på.


Ihärdiga försäljare

Försäljarna ställer sig vid bordet och demonstrerar sina varor. Numera säger jag på portugisiska att jag inte tycker om varorna de säljer och därför vill jag inte ha något. Det enda jag kräver är att få vara i fred, inget annat. Trots detta får man så gott som aldrig sitta i fred även om restaurangägarna säger till försäljarna att de inte får störa gästerna. Jag förstår inte hur dessa varor kan finna köpare. Om vi skulle köpa dessa ”souvenirer” skulle vi behöva sända hem dem med en container. Utbudet är enormt. Det mesta är hiskeligt. Det värsta är afrikanska masker tycker jag. Symbolen för ”det vilda Afrika”. 

Vi satt i alla fall på marknaden och åt vår mat och det smakade gott men hettan var förödande.


Hummern Pedros nesliga hädanfärd

När vi skulle lämna marknaden råkade jag gå förbi ett stånd där de sålde hummer, alltifrån bamsar på flera kilo ner till småhumrar på ett halvt kilo. Dessa underbara skaldjur var svarta med grönskimrande mönster. De var helt underbara att titta på. Mannen i ståndet högg fatt i den största han hade och ville sälja den till mig. Jag skrattade gott och sade att jag ville ha en mindre eftersom det bara är jag som äter hummer i hemmet.

Jag valde en liten på 700 gram för det facila priset 100 svenska kronor per kilo. Jag flämtade av häpnad när jag hörde priset men så är det på vissa ställen i världen, att man kan vräka i sig delikatesser för inga pengar alls. Jag döpte min hummer till Pedro efter en liten kille som hjälpte fiskhandlaren i hans stånd. När jag kom till taxin vägrade chauffören ta in Pedro i bilens baksäte så han fick nöja sig med bagageluckan. 

Så snart vi var hemma tände jag gasen och satte på en kastrull vitt vin som jag lät koka häftigt. Det finns inget bättre än en gasspis när man ska laga mat. Jag hällde ner lite salt och detta blev slutet för vännen Pedro men det gick snabbt och inom några minuter hade han fått samma färg som en mogen tomat. Jag lät honom koka ca tio minuter och sedan ställde jag kastrullen kallt och så åt vi hummern nästa dag med citron och majonnäs. Därtill drack vi en flaska kallt vitt vin från Sydafrika, dock inte ”Fat bastard”, vinet med en flodhäst som logo. 


Heta dagar i Maputo

Som jag redan har skrivit är värmen förödande, helt hemskt hett är det och vi har luftkonditioneringen på både i sovrummet och i vardagsrummet, men i köket finns ingen. I rummet där Niklas sover finns endast en fläkt och badrummet påminner om en bastu i Skandinavien.

Igår blev det plötsligt strömavbrott i hela kvarteret och vi stannade inne en halvtimme. Sedan var vi tvungna att gå till stamfiket där de har mycket bra temperatur inne. Fiket ligger bredvid den indiske skräddarens affär. Han syr just nu tre par shorts till mig och två par byxor i traditionellt tyg härifrån och så syr han åtta blusar. Allt som allt kommer denna excess att kostar mig ca 2500 kronor och då ingår även tygerna och för blusarna går det åt 16 meter och för byxorna tjugo meter. Man måste köpa extra mycket tyg för mönsterpassningens skull. Allt som allt fick jag köpa 36 meter tror jag. 

Nu ska jag till skräddaren och betala så nu slutar jag skriva för denna gång och sedan ska vi handla för det är lördag och i morgon kommer Niklas hem från New York och då blir slut på friden i hans hem.



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The reason why I now switched from Swedish into English is that I would like our English speaking friends to be able to read the blog.

Therefore I must ask these people to be tolerant when it comes to spelling since I do not have a dictionary here to look up the words which I do not know how to spell. I am also too lazy to check the spelling on the Internet. However, do try to continue your reading if you find it worthwhile and now I specially write to Robert, Heike, Mark, Sharon and Brian and to Vivienne and Peter. 


Ponta D´Ouro

We left Maputo the last Tuesday of February together with a friend of our son. His name is Mark and he is the owner of Gamboozini Lodge in Ponta D´Ouro. See link to Mark’s web site.

Where is Ponta?

Ponta is situated 120 kilometres south of Maputo. To get there is not easy since the road is not really a road, no asphalt, like most of the roads in this country, only sand with deep holes so in a normal car it is not possible to travel. You need a 4-wheel kind of jeep, most of them from Japan.

You have to drive through the elephant reserve which is very huge somewhat 60 kilometres or maybe more. All in all it takes around 4 – 5 hours to go there from Maputo. From Ponta it is only a few kilometres to the South African border. That was the reason for us to go there as we have to leave the country once a month to prolong our visa, which we did twice during our trip.


Gamboozini Lodge

We are now back in Maputo after 24 days in Ponta D´Ouro, where we really had a good time thanks to having met so nice people there.

We went from Maputo to Ponta with Mark who has a lodge in Ponta by the name ”Gamboozini Lodge”. See link to Mark!

We stayed 4 nights in Mark’s place and all three of us had a good time. We were the only guests as it was low season. We laughed a lot and cooked together. We cooked two kinds of marmalade jam, one made of mangos and the other of passion fruit.

Mark has a big passion fruit tree in his lovely garden. He also grows basil and other things there and he has got his own water from his private dwell (?) which has water of highest quality. We really like to recommend his place for those of you who have access to a car. You can either live in a cabana (cottage) or bring your own tent. What we also cooked was Gazpacho, a Spanish cold soup and aioli, but as we could not find the blender, we did not succeed to make aioli. 

Mark baked his own bread which was lovely together with the marmalade in the morning. We hope you read our blog Mark. 


Here comes the recipe:

Gazpacho is a cold Spanish Soup suitable to eat as a starter in summer time when it is hot.

You put in ripe tomatoes 4-5, 1 small pepper fruit and 2 cucumbers – take away the seeds – and some garlic, 2 pieces, and half an onion and then you mix the vegetables with a little water in your food processor.

Finally you add some sea salt and put the soup in the fridge and you serve it cold. It is supposed to be quite thick. If you find it too thick at serving you can add some cubes of ice in each plate. Decorate the soup with parsley or basil or even lemon slices.  


Motel do Mar
When Mark left for Maputo to see his girl friend we said good bye to him and went to stay in Motel do Mar.


The environment

This place is situated directly on the beach in Ponta. Over all, there are 68 bungalows consisting of a ”kitchen” which is very poorly equipped, a bedroom and a bathroom. Outside each bungalow there is a space for a table and some chairs and that is all. The sea is close, on a distance of 1 – 2 minutes. So you live on the beach which is quite fantastic. I can recommend the place if you accept a simple life style.


Shops and restaurants in Ponta

In Ponta there are a few shops with ugly things imported from South Africa. All things are very expensive. Under some sheds they sell African souvenirs (made in China probably).

The grocery shop has got almost nothing and the things you find there are highly over priced, no fresh things except bread. Everything is in tins, either imported from South Africa or Portugal. There are two shops selling liquor as well and the things are not cheap. The prices reminded of the prices for foreigners in old Eastern Europe, in countries like ”The German Democratic Republic”. People should be punished as they came from capitalist countries. They were anyhow ”capitalist pigs”.

At the end of the village there is a local market where they sell vegetables and fruits of very low quality. The prices are scaring.

The Ministry of Tourism has really got a very strange policy. They do not want people to buy things and cook by themselves. They want them to go to the local restaurants and consume there.

They want to create new jobs even if the salaries are extremely low. Some people do not earn more than 50 dollars for a full time job. 

There are about ten restaurants in this village. All of them are terrible according to my opinion. No exceptions what so ever. We have never eaten such hopeless food in any place we have been to, except for Ecuador a few years ago.

They can absolutely not cook in this place. Many of the restaurants have South African owners, which make the prices higher but the food is the same. Most of the places have got the same menu. The food comes from Maputo by car or from South Africa. Everything which they serve is frozen.

The big thing is seafood like prawns, clams, mussels, crabs and other things similar, but as it is frozen it is not nice at all. The fish is not good either. We found only two places where we could eat very few dishes so there was absolutely no choice.

The tourists come from South Africa and many of them do not realize that the food is frozen as the village is situated close to the sea, but nobody is fishing there. I wonder why? The tourists from SA bring their own food for the time they stay and the locals go to SA to a supermarket called Spar to buy their food. The restaurants go to Maputo and SA to do their shopping and fill their freezers with the food they buy.


New friends

In Ponta we met Heike. Hello Heike!
She is the manager of Fishmonga, a restaurant owned by a man from South Africa.

Heike is connected to the Internet, one of few people at Ponta who is so lucky. This is probably because of the owner of Fishmonga who likes to be connected. Heike has been very kind to us during our stay as we have had access to her computer which she has brought with her to her work. While waiting to be connected there has been time for us to drink a beer from the draft. Not bad at all. The connection is of course not perfect but it functions which is important. We have been able to read our mails at least but we could not sit there for hours as it is a restaurant and the computer was placed at the bar desk.

Thank you Heike! We hope you enjoy the books we gave you as well as the food from SA.

We also found some other friends from Durban – 2 couples – Sharon and Brian and Vivienne and Peter with whom we got acquainted at the ”children’s beach” – a sheltered bay with no big waves. We really liked your company and we think that we discussed interesting things like conditions in different countries, travels and books and we thank you for your kind invitation to come and visit you in Durban. We will try to sometimes in May if it suits you then.

When we arrived in Cape Town in January we were very lucky to get a room with Robert Stockli.
Hello Robert!

We spent many evenings talking with him and had some good laughs. We will come back and stay with you Robert at the end of our trip and I think we have booked with you from June 1-6. But we will write you a mail to remind you of the booking.

Wherever one goes in the world there are always nice, kind and interesting people to meet so we have been really lucky to get acquainted to all these kind new friends in SA and Mozambique.

Now we are back in Maputo resting after the holiday in the comfortable air conditioned flat of our sons. He will be back from NY next week and then we shall decide where to go next. Please let us know if you would like us to write the blog in English onwards.

Finito for this time!



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