Mozambique. The very name conjures up images of exotic cocktails, flaming sunsets over glassy calm seas and diving into waters the colours of your most tranquil mood ever. Airlink flies me to Vilanculos in Mozambique from OR Tambo in Johannesburg on a lazy, late-winter afternoon and I land just after noon in the afternoon.
The flight lasts only 15 minutes and beneath me the sea and coral reefs resemble a surrealist painting of beige, indigo, azure and pastel blues and greens. I am met with huge smiles all around at Bazarruto. Indigo Bay has an unpretentious island feel, but one is immediately aware of 5-star service, facilities and luxury. I’m shown to my room and given the lay of the land. The rooms are gorgeous – very spacious with mini-bar, air conditioning and amazing bath products; indoor and outdoor shower with a sunken bath – and all with a view. Although the resort can accommodate 114 guests, it doesn’t feel like a big resort. Instead of the rooms being on top of each other, they are separate units, spread out and intimate.
I have lunch at Club Naval overlooking the sea with an appropriate creamy Pina Colada accompanied by a palate-pleasing duck and feta salad for starters and mackerel for the main. I spend the rest of the afternoon in a stupor, swaying in my hammock reading, half in and out of sleep, with the softly rolling baby waves two metres from me under the rustle of the palms above me. The sun goes down over the Indian Ocean in a blaze of oranges, followed by reds then pinks and I reluctantly embark on the massive five metre trek to my villa for a steaming, fragrant bath by candlelight, watching the last light fade over the sea from my bath. Dinner comprises of a fish starter – minced mussel and line fish in a herb crust with salad and the main course is pork loin, served on the patio restaurant by candlelight whilst soft jazz plays in background. After my languid meal and excellent house wine (all food, local beer, wine and spirits, as well as certain activities, are included in the price), I saunter back to my villa.
There is no moon so for a while I sit on the beach in reverie; the only sounds are the crickets, soft lapping of the water and my only company is the Milky Way with its gazillion stars in the galaxy. There is not a breath of wind. This visceral feeling is unparalleled. I feel strangely untouched by the world so far, far away and at peace, completely alone under this shiny, big black open sky with all its twinkles. I creep in under my wonderful duvet with the soft waves singing me to sleep. After breakfast the next morning, it’s off to Paradise Island, about a 15-minute boat ride away. The boat anchors close to the island for snorkelling.
The water is like blue, shiny silk and the visibility is all the way down – about six metres, where little blue and yellow fish cavort among jellyfish. A beach barbeque awaits after all this activity. While the other guests frolic in the warm water, a guide takes me to see the ruins of the only hotel on the island. It could accommodate more than 300 people once upon a time and now stands empty and silent – a concrete corpse silently gazing out over the azure water. It is eerie. After a brisk and hot 20 minute walk back, it’s time for a delicious lunch of sosaties, fresh prawns and the best potato salad ever. The conversation is interesting and lively as well. Back on terra firma later that afternoon, it is almost immediately back to messing about in boats again.
We go for a short sundowner cruise on a traditional dhow and much high-jinx ensues, thanks to a hilariously funny couple from Malawi. The sun sinks lazily in a million orange blazes over the calm ocean and all is right with the world. Dinner that evening is served at Club Naval and candles and tiki torches are set up all around the beach at the water’s edge. Happy laughter emanates from every table…. Enter a sumptuous buffet of chicken, fish and oxtail; as well as crayfish pasta as well as carbonara. The night enfolds me like a blanket.The following morning I am treated to heavenly neck, back and shoulder massage by Rizia, the Spa manager.
The Spa is spectacularly located with a breath-taking view.The longer you stay at Indigo Bay, the more you realise that there is – and should – only be joy to be had in this world. I was tense when I got here. You know, the normal run of the mill stress kind of tense. And like a caterpillar transforming, I felt myself releasing; going with the flow, the people, the blue sky, the sea and the laughter. The only thing I didn’t have time to do at Indigo Bay is nothing. And that is why I shall return – to do nothing at all. And I can’t wait.