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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Rejuvenating body and soul in Lake Malawi


First views of Lake Malawi



Villages along the lake.

Our ride took us next into Malawi and to the beautiful shores of Lake Malawi. We crossed the border with relative ease and set off, (in bellowing winds) to explore this little country so famed for their warmth and friendliness! Our first sighting on the lake was amazing… it really does exceed your expectations. This vast expanse of water looks far more like the ocean than a lake with its crashing waves and sandy beach shores. The drive took us meandering up and down hills and along the lake where many Malawians have made their homes along the shore and make their living as fisherman. The smell of these tiny silver fish drying on wooden tables along the beach permeates the air. For some reason they apparently ignore the large fish all together. Another speciality which I found rather “interesting,” was lake flies which are caught in nets and then eaten in biscuits… good source of protein I guess!
Beautiful beach we found at Chitimba along Lake Malawi's shores!

Grazing cows on the beach...

Dad enjoying the magnificent scenery and soothing sound of the waves





At around 2pm our stomachs started growling and so we pulled off the road and followed a sign to a restaurant, which was down a deep sandy beach road… interesting driving! Although we intended on making our way to Nkhata Bay, after pulling into this beautiful spot with an amazing beach… we were sold! We made our way to the beach for our first swim in the lake, which was absolutely wonderful! The lake’s waters just seem to go on forever into the distance. I expected the sand to be muddy like lakes usually are but it was exactly like the sand you find in the ocean…beautiful! Perfect, crashing waves… just like the ocean except better… no salt, so you don’t get that sticky feeling you do from the ocean. The water just feels so clean and pure and the absolute perfect temperature so you come out feeling completely rejuvenated! Chitimba beach is nestled next to the protruding mountain where Livingstone yet another mark at his mountain retreat of Livingstonia… so the setting was really quite spectacular. Mountain and beach… in my books it doesn’t get much better!
Just loving it!!!

The lodge's restaurant...

Sunset over the Lake

Cute little cabins...

We enjoyed a much needed rest day the following day lazing around the beach and knocking back our books. After five days of quite demanding riding my body had packed in a bit and I now look like a chipmunk with massive swollen glands behind my ear and throat… not withstanding my swollen weeping eye which must have got infected from all the dust on the sand road in Tanzania. Not the picture of health but still soldiering on!

We had a wonderful rest and some very interesting encounters with other overlanders including an Australian guy who has been traveling alone on his BMW 1200GS for the last 3 ½ years through South America, Central America, North America, Asia and now all along the West and East coast of Africa… wow! We enjoyed hearing about his amazing stories, interesting, riveting, frightening … some near death but all life changing! Quite remarkable and needless to say he was a very interesting man. It is great to see how so many people are making the choice to get out of their comfort zone and transform their lives into an unforgettable everyday adventure!
Lake flies... want some cookie with your lake fly?



How is that for a load?


We left the wonderful shores of Lake Malawi certain that we will return some day and headed for Lilongwe. It was a beautiful drive that took us winding up and down mountains, through a massive swarm of lake flies which completely plastered our bikes and our bodies, past beautiful massive boulders and through scenic little towns. One thing that really stood out was how people are able to carry the most amazing loads on their bicycles … I was very impressed but also thought it must be quite a hard life carrying these massive loads long distances, up and down these winding hills.
bicycles, bicycles all over the place....




We got to Lilongwe just as the sun was about to set. Despite what I have read about Lilongwe being “not much of a place,” I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has a pleasant and vibrant underbelly. We stayed in a really lovely and lively hostel and went out for a great dinner at a place called “Don Brioni’s Bistro.” We enjoyed a lovely dinner, of course by candlelight since as usual there was no electricity! The place is owned by a very interesting and eccentric English man who spent the night charming us… despite his slight distaste for the ‘left-wingers’ who are produced at London School of Economics… my next destination.  
In Lilongwe at our hostel

First cold Savanna...
     
The next chapter in our adventure led us into Zambia… tales to follow soon.

Our journey is sadly soon coming to a close. I would like to send a huge thanks out to all who have donated to our cause, it is much appreciated and since I have worked with Earthchild Project myself and been witness to the amazing transformations they are evoking in our community, I can confidently say your donations will go to a wonderful cause!

If you have not donated yet, I ask that you please make a small donation to help the Project continue their wonderful and transformative work. You can also help us by forwarding this along to your friends.

Follow Link: 
http://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/riding-cape-to-cairo-for-the-earthchild-project-

Many thanks!

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