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Saturday, March 19, 2016

From: Archipelago Resort Finance  

Dear Jane,

I hope you and Geoff are both well.  Sharne told me that quite a few guests have cancelled because of the political situation here but mainly due to the convoy.

This precautionary convoy has been running with no incidents at all for the past 2 – 3  weeks.  Several Vilanculos residents have used it recently and all have been pleasantly surprised that it is running so smoothly.  I must admit that in 2014 it was a bit of a frightening experience but they seem to be controlling the traffic better and the convoy moves at a decent pace.

I can confirm all of this because I used to take the convoy in 2014 to go to Tete and because on Sunday 6th March I had to take my 11 year old daughter and 2 of her friends back to school in Chimoio.  I left Vilanculos at 5.00 a.m. and although the convoy only departs at 8.30 – 9.00 I thought rather better to have some time to spare in case of a breakdown or puncture. 

We arrived at the Save bridge and having paid our 20.00 meticais crossed the bridge where we joined the queue for the north bound convoy.  The convoy from Muxungwe arrived at about 8.45 and we left at 9.00 a.m.  The trip there was quick and uneventful and we arrived in Muxungwe at 10.45.  There is a slight delay at the “tin bridge” as obviously only 1 vehicle can cross at a time.

On Monday 7 March I arrived, driving on my own, in Muxungwe at 5.30 am and at 6.14 the convoy left.  Again it went smoothly and we arrived at the Save bridge at 8.40 without any problems at all.

I must admit the only problem I had going to Muxungwe was that the Army wanted to sit on the back of my twin cab but I said no as I did not want any weapons near my children.  They understood and left me alone.  On the return trip again I was asked and I said no I did not want any guns near me and after a slight argument they again left me alone .

Quite honestly I think there is more of a problem with the way stories are blown out of all proportion.  Yes there was a bus shot at but that was right up to the north and the bus was known to be carrying armed forces.  There is still doubt as to whether Renamo did actually shoot the bus.  Please also note that this bus was not in a convoy and was travelling on its own.

Then on 8 March another bus, again up in the north, was supposedly shot at by Renamo.  A suspicious journalist did some homework and finally the truth came out.  The bus driver hit a truck that was carrying a load of day old chicks.  That is why the bus was only damaged in the front, no bullet holes anywhere and in the picture you can see a lot of day old chicks running around.  Unfortunately some journalists bend or hide the truth so as to sell the article and have their day of fame. 

All along the road there are small villages with people carrying on their day to day routine. In 2013 all these people moved back into town.  To me that was a good sign and that obviously they would not be there if there were troops fighting and they get caught in the cross fire.

I can assure you that if I did not feel happy or confident about driving in the convoy I would not and I know that my husband would forbid me to do so if he had the slightest hesitation.  People may think we drive in the convoy because we have no other means of getting our daughter to school.  They are wrong as we can fly her to Maputo and then a connecting flight to Chimoio. 

I do hope that guests do not cancel and still come here to enjoy Archipelago and Vilanculos, especially now as the USD rate is so high for them.

Kind regards


Sent from my Vodafone Smart


Sharne O'Donovan

Archipelago Resort l  Vilanculos     

Cell: +258 848151474  l  Land: +258 293 84022

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