Remember those cheap holidays in Beira, wow they were wonderful. Staying at
the Estoril, playing on those huge inner tubes from tractors, and floating
out to sea on them. Your mom standing at the waters edge going hysterical.
Anyone out there go to Paradise Island and Bazaruto before Frelimo took
over. And the troopies shows in Mt Darwin, I was a kid then, but they were
_Re Beira: My father had a Bell & Howell cine camera which he used to take to Beira on family holidays. We recently dug out the old tapes and had them put onto video. There is hours of footage of the beach/wreck etc. but in addition there is footage of one of the bull fights mentioned in a previous entry on the BT. Initially it shows the Portuguese bull fighting and then suddenly a group of very drunk Rhodesians "invade the pitch", most of them still holding demijohns. The funniest part is one of the chaps has a full leg cast and ends up being tossed in the air by the bull, moments later he is back on his feet staggering around apparently none the worse for the incident. The Portuguese do not seem happy with the Rhodesians and try and unsuccessfully get them back into the stands. Even though there is no sound it is extremely entertaining footage. The film would have been from around late 50's to early 60's.
O yes, those fights between the Rhodies and "Porras". As girls, we used to spend our time running away from horny Portuguese soldiers!
Remember the fat lady who ran the zoo? I was bitten by a monkey when I took a short-cut through their pen!! Even more frightening then that was the hospital I was taken to. My parents were not allowed into the theatre. A Portuguese doctor and a black male nurse holding me down screaming BABOON? (The only English word they knew between them) Really, please don't try and tell a 6 year old they have been bitten by a baboon when they know quite well it was a monkey!!!
OK OK I confess! No doubt full of dutch courage (read free beer) I was one of the fools who stepped into the bullring. Well the mombes looked small and their horns didn't look that sharp. It was too late when I realised my ability to run was seriously impaired by the aformentioned beer. Ouch! bloody great gash across my chest and a blow to my manly pride. Still it was good for a few free drinks back at the Estoril!!
..the milk in those brown milk bottles seemed so much more creamy than normal and those square ice cream cones with a serviette? around them were 'out of this world'. How about the "boy" jumping on to the car's bonnet to show you your chalet? The chalets always seemed to be full of sand and so were the beds. I was only a 'lightie ' in those times but still have vivid memories of the communial toilets, mosquitoes and going with my Dad to a bar to have the snacks while he enjoyed his beer...what about the chaps selling kites on the beachfront?
Beira memories.....havana cigarilloes, demi-johns of wine....catching prawns with a towel off Beira...firewater!!!! ]The Leo D'Ora hotel (with a leopard in the back courtyard), learning how to use chopsticks from a Chinese man in one of the city's shops.........sigh!
Talking about Beira,I remember as a kid picking up bucketfulls of Pansy shells of all sizes.Who remembers those beaut prawn puff cakes they used to sell on the beach in front of the Oceana Hotel and what about the Beira zoo? Aaaah those were the days.
Beira.... there is no place like Beira. Does anyone have pictures of the beach or the Wreck you could "donate" to this site? I even have a few pieces of the Wreck. Took small pieces each time we went down there and my dad thought I had plans to put it all back together in the back garden. one day! What super memories!
Ahaaaa,Beira! Only in Mocambique would they set up a stand at the border post to introduce a new beer,complete with as many free samples as you wanted!Barely remember that last 180 miles,tho somehow made it. Chalets at the Estoril,George the ever vigilant policeman with a biiig stick on duty at the restaurant thingy ( where they had all the dances) cheap wine,prawns in garlic butter,little bits of savoury meat, etc etc with every drink. I could go on but I'm tearing up heheheh.
Going over the border to buy wine in the big demijohns and
the having one hell of a hangover the next day.
Nobody has mentioned the trips across the border for petrol during the rationed years, when we would take the opportunity to have a feast of prawns at Machipanda. A vivid mamory of the huge basin and towel they brought after the messy meal - so much more practical than a fingerbowl! And the big notice by the road Obrigado Mozambique.
Remember those trips across the border for petrol well. My memory is weak and faded, but recall the panic when either
(a) petrol rationing was going to be introduced
(b) these little trips across the border were to be disallowed/discontinued at midnight?.
There was a huge queue up that hill from the border post back to Umtali. Perhaps this happened when Frelimo were due to take over?? Help me here folks, who else can remember what brought on this sudden panic.
Slowly meandering down the Zambezi, sipping a glass of chilled wine at sundown, watching it in all is glorious colours. The cry of a fish eagle over Kariba, the morning mists at Trout Beck. Where else on this continent can you see all this glory. The Jacarandas in full bloom, those masses of purple. Or a Flame Lily. The falls in full, thundering down, the fine spray of mist. Mmmmm those are what makes life so worthwhile.
Who remembers going to Mermaids on Sunday to listen to the Bats etc playing, getting drunk as a skunk and doing stupid things on the rock slide to impress the chicks. Then onto Le Coq Dor to listen to Omega Ltd playing. The best part was when Louis the lead guitarist use to play the guitar with his teeth. Or to Bretts to hear the Holy Black playing.
Yes I remember mermaids. I went a few times. Always got pickled, always had lots of fun but for me I ALWAYS seemed to come away with a very smarting backside. There seemed to be a magnet on my rearend always seeking that, I think it was called Humphreys Hump or something. A horrid little crack near the bottom on the left handside with its far side higher than the near. I remember it smilling at you as you skidded down at a great rate of knotts normally with an extreme desperate look on your face. Hmmmm I always got out the water with a sheepish grin on my face and 1 or 2 tears in the eye. What else could you do in such pain and everyone laughing at you. But after a few beers I went back for more???????
Phew those trips on the Express Motorways. They were an absolute experience. I still get nervous getting to border posts which is obviously a hang-over from those trips. Some of those soldiers made our life hell, getting great delight in taking our things out of suitcases piece by piece - often using their bayonet to flip our clothes out of the suitcase. I remember once, when we all had to have cholera jabs, seeing a vial of the serum with an insect inside, waiting for the next unfortunate person who hadn't had the jab before getting to the border post. The highlight of those trips was when we found that we were to travel in convoy with one of the boys' schools, like Falcon or Saints. (I was at school in Bully). Made the trip more bearable!
Anyone listened to the "hu-hu-hu" of hippos as they scratched themselves on chain link security fencing on the banks of the Sabe [Save] on the way to feed in the middle of the night?
Comforting sound, once one got used to it.
-I think about the peaceful ride on the ferry across the Lake Kariba with its
magnificent sunsets & seeing a fish eagle perched on the top of a dead,
partially submerged tree. I think of sitting under thatched roof reading a
Getaway magazine whilst the thunder roars, the lightening strikes & the sky
releases its heavy load. I think of the hippos frolicking in the lake as the
sun rises. The deafening sound of chiccada (sp) beetles. The breathtaking
sight from the old rhino tracking station in the Matopos, or from Worlds
View. I think of watching the fishing boats on Lake Kariba - from the Cutty
Sark Hotel. Stopping in Chinoyi, at the butcher, to buy the biggest bag of
I remember during the Rhodesian war when sanctions were put on Rhodesia & Beira became too risky, going to South Africa for a holiday was the treat of the century. Our parents with kids en tow, would always hit GAME - the signas far as I can remember,was a bright pink & black smiley face. While in GAME, one was lost in another world. Toys, toys & MORE toys - more than we as kids had ever seen. Every family that ever went to South Africa on holiday took along a number of shopping lists for friends & family back home. Olives, Rowntree fruit gums, WRANGLER jeans - oh yes, everybody had to have at least one pair of Wrangler jeans in their wardrobe & Cadbury chocolate! Benson & Hedges or Peter Styversant, besides the Wranglers, were the biggest give-away that you had been to South Africa. Those packs of smokes stuck out like a sore thumb next to Madison, Barklays & Kings.... cannot for the life of me remember the name of them! If you were in SA too long, you would come back with the real SA drawl. Of course,the guys were sporting new fellies. Mooshy was the best way to explain exactly how that holiday was.
Beira of course holds some very special memories for all of us. Living in Umtali meant every school holiday, that's where everybody went.. I remember the ice-cream and the chalets - sand was forever being dusted out of the beds. The shipwreck,those horny porra men, the community showers & the zoo are all part of those memories. One year we went to Villencoulas (sp) & LM. I wonder what it is like there now.