Pemba (Jan 7th- 12th by Paul)The drive from Ilha do Mozambique to Pemba took a few hours but the roads were in generally good condition, with the odd pothole. The scenery along the drive was quite spectacular, with large rock formations called Inselbergs (I think). We had planned to stay at "Russell's Place", at Wimbe beach, just outside of Pemba, so we didn't see much of Pemba that day. We arrived late afternoon and found Russell sitting by the bar having a few beers. He was an Aussie, from the Sunshine Coast, and had been in Moz for about 8 years. We found a place to camp under a large tree, set-up camp and then headed to the bar for a couple of drinks. The guide book had mentioned that it could be quite a busy bar. We soon found out that all the expats in the area headed there for drinks. We got chatting to Russell and others about the area and it seemed that everyone had good advice or knew someone who would know about whatever we wanted to know about. We chatted to Bruce who gave us advice on the islands, the beaches that were good, try the Chinese restaurant in town, a bush camping option "you need to talk to Nick about that one and he should be here tomorrow night, he's out of town at the moment." It was a very friendly atmosphere and we felt that we had a lot of things we could do.We did take on the Chinese restaurant that was recommended by Bruce as Dave does love his Chinese. It was very hot in the restaurant, as their fans were not working, and there were a huge number of flies. We noticed that hanging from the ceiling were some clear plastic bags filled with water, someone mentioned that they had read about them and that they were "supposed" to keep the flies away. Apparently the flies see their reflections from these bags and get scared because of the huge reflections they can see. Well it didn't really work that well, there were masses of flies everywhere around the tables but none near the ceiling where the bags were hanging…. The food was ok, typical Chinese food really, although it did make Dave quite sick for the next couple of days.When we had driven into Pemba we had noticed that there were guys selling crabs and prawns by the side of the road. We couldn't find any in town so we headed back out to try and find some. We first of all came across the prawn sellers so pulled up and they all came running over. The had these large round washing tubs full of prawns, and each one had one giant prawn sitting on top. We asked how much, some guys said 300 others 500, we thought this was quite expensive, but then realised that it wasn't per kilo but for the whole lot. We ended up getting a medium size tub for about 300, which were the cheapest prawns we had come across so far, because it was at least 5 kilo's, proper 5 kilo's, not the "5 kilo's" on the African scales in the markets.We then headed further out of town to try and find some crabs, which we did and again they were very cheap, but again some were very small and should really have been thrown back. Back at camp we borrowed a large pot from the kitchen and boiled up the water, the crabs went in first and then the prawns, and there were a lot there. We were all still quite full from the Chinese lunch and didn't know how we were going to get through them; we eventually got through the crabs but had hardly touched the prawns. It was decided that they all had to be peeled and put in the fridge. We sat there for another half hour peeling all these prawns, filled up 2 big containers and stored them safely in the fridge. There was enough for another 3 meals, curry prawns, prawn salad, spaghetti and prawns.The beach right in front of Russell's was ok to swim in at high tide but at low tide it was a long walk to the water and there was quite a reef to cross. We decided to go for a drive around the point to where we had been told there was another nice beach for swimming. Out past the "lighthouse" and around the corner, we followed the sand track along the beach and pulled up for a swim. There was no one else around, a long white sanded beach and the water was clear and warm. Thoroughly enjoyable and it was now our preferred place for an afternoon swim.Russell's Place seemed like it was still being built, or at least being improved. This seemed to be the case in many places we had been so far. He had pointed out the new bar he was building, well actually it was the old bar that he was re-building as most of it was destroyed when one of the cashew tree's it was built under went up in flames. The new bar looked like it would be very impressive when it was finished. The bar that he was currently using used to be a dorm and was quite small, although nicely shaded by a large tree. There was also work going on near to where we camped on some new toilets and showers. The showers had just been completed and we were able to use them. They were slightly different to any other shower we had some across and were our first "bucket" showers of the trip. In the shower there was a large bucket of cold water and one large bucket of hot being kept warn as it sat on some coals. With a tin jug you could mix the water to your liking and just pour it over you. I think we were all surprised at how good they were, even thought they were so basic it still left you feeling clean and refreshed and it was the first hot water we'd felt in a long time!While at Russell's we ran into another couple travelling. We had met them briefly on Ilha do Mozambique and had also seen them previously at Tofo. After speaking to them for awhile we found out they were a South African couple, James and Gen, who had been living/working in London. They had bought a short wheel base Land Cruiser with the intention of driving it from London to Morocco where they would sell the vehicle and fly back to South Africa. When they got to Morocco they just decided to keep going and ended up travelling all the way down the west coast of Africa to South Africa and were now going up the east coast back to London, quite an adventure.As we packed up to leave and chatted to Russell about the road's heading north, we mentioned that we wanted to take the ferry into Tanzania, which he gave us the phone number for. He also said we should speak to his mate Lance that had just flown in from Dar es Salaam as he often took the ferry across. Well we spoke to Lance and he told us that the ferry had broken down a few days ago and wasn't running at the moment. That wasn't great news, although we still had quite a few days left on our visa it would mean heading South and then to Malawi and we had all read up on Tanzania and were quite looking forward to seeing it. We decided that we would still continue north and try to call the ferry to see what was happening. We told James and Gen the news as they were also heading for the ferry.