Finding Gold In Mozambique

Photo credit: Jennifer Mostert

Whilst you may not find the proverbial pot of gold in Ponto do Ouro, there is no doubt that you will leave this southern-most village of Mozambique, this ‘point of gold’, with a treasure chest of golden memories.

It occurred to us one evening, sipping our last delicious Mozambican beers on the beach as the sun began to set and the full moon rose off the point, that we had been bringing our friends and family to this magical place for over 20 years.

What is it about this charming village that keeps us coming back?

Life is a beach …
We can’t count how many idyllic days we’ve spent lazing on the golden sands soaking up the sun’s rays with good friends and good books. Or how often we’ve walked to the point at low tide, exploring the rock pools, or meandered up the fisherman’s pathway at high tide to sit mesmerised by the waves crashing over the rocks. It just doesn’t get old. Sometimes, we’d just float for hours in the warm gentle waters of low tide, body surf the shore break at high tide, and on other days …

Photo credit: Jennifer Mostert

The urge to submerge …
I get why the urge to suck bubbles beneath the ocean blue is so strong. Especially here. Looking at our logbooks we have each logged almost 200 dives in Ponto do Ouro. The rich diversity of marine life living on rocky ledges and in coral gardens have always entranced us, and I love how some of the resident creatures have begun to feel a bit like old friends, how we have so often spotted migrating humpback whales. We once got to swim with whale sharks on a trip to the dive site and occasionally we have been blessed enough to …

Photo credit: Crave Photography

Swim with wild dolphins …
An encounter with these beautiful and intelligent creatures in their home is an almost spiritual experience that lives with you forever. And it’s something we’ve been able to share with our friends whether they happened to be scuba divers or not – thanks to the daily boat trips to view and (sometimes) swim with the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. Whilst there is never any guarantee that we get to swim with them, it’s always well worth the adventure, and a beautiful way to …

Photo credit: Crave Photography

Work up an appetite …
Not only are there plenty of restaurants open during the day, but there is also Pau! Pau is a Mozambican bread, like a half-sized baguette, slightly wider with a less refined texture … and it’s delicious! The ‘fresh-Pau-Run’ to the market is always fun, often punctuated with a quick stop to shoot the breeze with Pielietjies the cashew man, or to buy fresh prawns from Augustino, or to take on the good-natured teasing of the market ladies while we would debate whether we were feeling brave enough to buy their tasty, home-made, and sometimes very fierce chilli sauce.

Aside from the obvious benefit to our stomachs, our ‘fresh-Pau-runs’ to the market has, over the years, allowed us to see first-hand how tourism has brought some economic prosperity to a few of the people of Ponto do Ouro.

Photo credit: Jennifer Mostert

Oh, and the bars …
The fresh Pau run could never be complete without a ‘quick’ stop at Fernandos on the edge of the market for a classic R&R, Mozambican Tipho Tinto rum and Sparberry (to keep our blood sugar levels up, of course)! Another favourite stop is at the congenial Plankos’ bar opposite the curio market, which has always offered us a convenient window shopping spot while deciding what curios we should take home this time. And whenever we’ve been in a party mood, Ponto’s many bars have always delivered epic evenings … but as they say, what happens in Ponto’s bars stays in Ponto!

Photo credit: Jennifer Mostert

We have created a lifetime of family memories at this heavenly point of gold that is Ponto do Ouro … and we can’t wait to create a lifetime more!

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