Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Mozambique Diaries Part 3: Baia dos Cocos – The Coconut Bay by Debasish B.

Guest Post by Dr. Debasish Bhattacharya.

During my field trip a weekend came as an unexpected boon. Some community consultations were planned during the weekend but due to local festival villagers requested us to postpone those during the coming week. However, I had carried out a few consultations already to capture people’s views on the road infrastructure development.

Consultations with village communities sharing project information
One of our local friends in Inhambane informed us that there was a tourist resort about 50 kilometres away from the town. I did not wait for any further excuse and checked out of my hotel and started getting ready for the weekend trip to the resort.

By that time Ismail, my driver collected required information to reach the place, tariff and other things. We left Inhambane and took the East Coast road. Glimpses of the sea and the township occasionally caught our sight and were increasing the tempo of a relaxed weekend ahead.

Inhambane Town is waking up on a lazy weekend morning
A relaxed backwater surrounded by small hillocks on the way
The scenery started changing while we were moving away from the town we left. While passing by rural areas a huge Bawab tree came to my notice. A typical round thatched hut also was also captured in my camera.

Bawab tree

A village hut seen from the road
Driving at a speed of 50 km per hour we reached a T-junction on the national highway by an hour from where we took left to a village road and reached our destination passing through dense coconut groves and old sand dunes. Gradually I could see bright blue water of Indian Ocean and yellow sandy beach through the coconut trees. Our car turned right and stopped in front of the resort gate……Baia dos Cocos (The Coconut Bay). The wide open front and the raised platform for drinks could be seen from a distance.

At the entry of Baia dos Cocos
I checked into my room. From appearance it was a round hut in the traditional architectural format but inside it had good all facilities – a double bedroom, a children’s room with a bunk bed, attached toilets, dining space and lobby, small but all accommodated nicely and aesthetically apt to the surroundings.

My round hut
All around the resort there were sand dunes landscaped with patches of greenery soothing one’s sight. The surrounding was laced with tall coconut trees. The morning breeze from the sea was playing with the leaves generating a beautiful sound adding a musical touch to the ambience. From my lobby I enjoyed watching the path to the sea on a cup of black Africafe.   

Sea view from my lobby
I did not waste much time in the room and thought of having a sea bath in the cool morning waters. The sight of the waves thrashing on the yellow sandy beach was so irresistible that I immediately got my swimming trunk on and went to the shore.

 Roaring waves thrashing on the shore
I spent almost two hours on the shore, playing with the waves enjoying a perfect weekend holiday. Meanwhile, I was served with coconut water and diced fresh fruits on the shore.

During my stay for a couple of days I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance of Baia dos cocos. The hospitality required a mention as I was always attended with so much of care and comfort. And food…….there was a score of items prepared from fresh catches from the sea ranging from prawns, lobsters, crabs, red stone fish, sardine, clamps and squids. I loved the way the staff asked me at every order I placed about the choice of fish and associated dishes. Tender coconut kernel was used in many items which I liked very much.

The weekend seemed to come to an end fast and I thought I could have spent some more time there for fun….but as we all know….good times are always short-lived. Perhaps this bit of expectation of a little more makes thing memorable and long cherished in our mind. I shall never forget the good time I spent at Baia dos Cocos with all its serene ambiance  hospitality and good food. Bye Baia……

Early morning on Monday I left Baia dos Cocos and went back to Imhambane for my unfinished works. After a week-long hectic work schedule I started coming back to Maputo. I reached the city when it was dark…..extremely tired for such a long road drive. 

Maputo, late in the evening
On a sunny Sunday morning my Mozambican colleagues Esperancia and Eulalia planned for treating me on lunch before I left. 

Leisurely Sunday Maputo life
We went out to the furthest corner of Maputo and spent some good time over the lunch at Sea View Restaurant. The food was excellent….an assorted dish of seafood served with French fries was the main course. It was preceded by a clam soup and chicken starters.

At lunch with friends
My Mozambique trip was memorable for many reasons, but the cherry on the cake happened to be a calm weekend spent in the BAIA DOS COCOS. 

Also read other posts from Mozambique Diaries: