Xai-Xai and our 1st glimpse of the Mozambiquian Coast (Dec 21st - 23rd)We headed out of the camp going along the same dirt road we came in on before continuing on more of the same until we reached Massinga, where we cross over the Dam wall and started out on a good tarred road. As we were leaving the park and showing our park permit to the "guard", he said that he needed some Rand's and we realised that he wanted to help us change some money into Meticais (Mtn), luckily we knew roughly what the rate should be and we exchanged 1,000 Rand for 3,500 Mtn. The driving on the tar road was surprisingly good, we would eventually hit the EN1, which is the main highway running north/south that we would see a lot of.The night before we had discussed whether we would notice much difference between South Africa and Mozambique and whether the 2 countries would be fairly similar. It didn't take us long to come to the conclusion that the 2 countries were very different. Most of the people we saw as we started the drive lived in mud houses with grass/reed roofs. The local kids would hear us coming and run towards to the road, while many just waved and shouted at us, some also asked for money or something to eat. The road was in very good condition, with the odd pothole, and there was very little traffic. As we turned on the EN1, the amount of traffic increased and it was very hectic, with buses packed full of people and luggage, with more luggage on the roof, we even saw a goat tied on the roof of a bus just standing there. The road was still in good condition, and we reached Xai-Xai in the late afternoon. We headed toward the beach which was about 10km from the town and headed for a place called Pirates/Montego, the guy we met the night before had said was a bit nicer than the other camp area, he also said that the security was better and facilities much nicer. The local kids wanted to help us find the place and eventually we had one sitting on the bull bar directing us. We also noticed people selling prawns, fruit and veggies along the road so we stopped briefly to pick some up. The kid got us to the place so we gave him a tip, as a young women approached to help us out. The place looked very busy and not very big, there were a lot of low trees everywhere. The women, a South African, asked what we were after and we said just a couple of nights camping, with a tent and roof tent, she went off with another bloke, maybe her husband to see what they could find for us. They moved some tents out of the way and found us a nice spot under a tree, it looked like Kal could fit in there and maybe the tent but when we got the car under the tree, there would be no room for the roof tent. The owners were adamant that they would just cut a couple of branches down so it would fit, but before they could hack away at the trees, we decided to just set-up the second ground tent. There were local workers to help us unpack, set-up camp if we wanted, but we just asked where we could make a braai and before we knew it the guys were bringing down bricks to setup a fire area in the sand. One of the guys, Sergio, offered to look after our camp, do the washing each day and anything else we wanted while we stayed there for a small fee. The camp was mostly fully of South Africans on holidays with quad bikes everywhere.We were told to be careful if we drove down the beach to go for a swim as if we left the car it would most likely be broken into. They did say that if we wanted to we could take one of the workers to keep guard. However, they did say the camp site would be safe. They said the best swimming was about 1km down the beach so we decided to walk down there instead, with Sergio watching over our camp. It was a nice walk along the beach and our first ocean swim of the trip was refreshing. There was a reef which created a nice lagoon for the swim. The water was a lot warmer than that in Cape Town, although there was quite a current moving along the beach. We headed back to camp and cooked up the prawns we had bought, fried in 2 lots, one with chilli, garlic and oil, and the other with just garlic and oil. Skewered and cooked over the coals, it was a yummy start to our first of many prawn meals!The next day we awoke to overcast skies but thought we would head down to the beach for a walk. When we got onto the beach there were a lot of people crowded around looking out to sea and it looked like something was happening. As it turned out a guy had fallen out of a boat, luckily he had a life jacket on and was just bobbing out in the ocean past the reef. There didn't seem to be much of an effort to rescue him but eventually some people came down with a long rope, by that time he had drifted close to the reef, which was exposed because of the tide and close to where people were standing, He eventually made it onto the reef and then back to the beach. It seemed like a lot more commotion than it was worth until we saw the guy out of the water, he was rather large and obviously not very fit. He had scratches and bruises all over his legs from the reef. It also made us realise that we should try our best to not get into trouble because the "rescue effort" was very poor.After that excitement he headed for a walk, we had noticed and read about some abandoned hotels and could see one down the beach, so headed that way. We reached the hotel and could see that at some point in time it would have been very impressive, with a large pool, decking and lots of rooms, but now it was just a ruin and had obviously just been left for some time. It started to rain more so we headed back to camp and then drove into Xai-Xai. There's not a lot to the town itself, we found a place with internet, but was very slow so didn't spend much time there, the message at the top of the screen saying that the pc was being hacked didn't inspire much enthusiasm either! We also checked out the market before heading back to the beach. The weather had cleared so time for another swim.After getting back from town we were sitting relaxing under our shady tree when a local lady approached with a HUGE basin filled with fruit on her head and a bag full of passion fruit and coconuts. Paul had to help the lady take the basket off of her head and couldn't believe how heavy it was, the fruit looked amazing and we bought lots!Fresh coconuts, mangos, passion fruit and bananas all delicious.Paul and I hadn't really delved into the fresh coconut world before. Dave expertly cracked and drained one.The fruit was obviously quite mature as it had very think coconut flesh round the shell which we slowly chipped away at and enjoyed.The 'milk', in this case more of a clear liquid wasn't too great, might have been better chilled with ice and rum, maybe next time!Having all of this lovely fruit brought to us was heaven!The bar to the camping ground was nicely set up high with a good view of the beach, so we had a couple of drinks admiring the view. Again for dinner we had prawns, fried with soya and sweet chilli sauce, a fish, and some cockles. We were starting to really enjoy being on the beach with fresh seafood. This was our last night here and the next day we would head further north to Tofo, meeting up with Dan and Alex, who we knew from our State Street days in Cape Town.