April 04, 2007 GMT

Karong is by the Malawi Lake and this is where i was camped, very close to the waters edge. Unfortunatelly the locals running the camp/lodge had no idea about rest at nite. On the second nite there i was that upset at their noise - voices and music at 2 in the morning i got up and said my peace, and thats what i got. In Karong i did find an internet cafe. Cafe in the Africa ive seen has nothing to do with coffee and cake. One lonely computer in a vacant room is the norm.

Next down the road was Muzuzu, a very buisy, bussling town. I didnt feel that good about the place so a look in the Lonley Planet guide lead me to a great camp at Chinteche about 80klm further south but at the waters edge again. The ride there was just great, winding road, water views, hills and valleys. It was that good/fun that i went back to Muzuzu for shopping the next day.

At the camp at Chinteche i learnt that the local fishermen go out very early in the morning to do there fishing/netting etc. Laying guite peacefull in my tent, all i could here was their voices, paddles touching the water and the general sound of workers at their work. Nice to see the goings on.

From Chinteche i kept next to the Lake to reach Senga Bay. First i stopped in at a very upmarket pub/hotel/camp area. I watched T.V and sunk a few beers. The mk1,000 that they wanted for me to pitch my tent was not all that bad considering that u could use the pool and bar. But my tightness made me move on to another place id read about mk400 for me and tent, much cheaper. The camp was great but only had room for me for one nite. That was fine so i settled in to chat with others and sink a few more Browns (local beer brand).

The next day saw me in Lilongwe where i meet 2 aust. cyclists that id chatted to a few days before on the ride from Muzuzu. They asked for directions to the same camp that i was staying at, rather nice camping with some great aussies.

Lilongwe is the capitol of Malawi and has the congestion of traffic to prove it. Nice enough place but rather buisy. I stayed a day longer than expected as the rain found me again, this time in the mornings. The town had a nice second hand book store where i found myself stocking up on reading material.

Leaving Lilongwe i was to meet 2 guys on a mt. range towards Monkey Bay, we had all pulled over to take photos at the same time and spot. We chatted and i said i was going to Monkey Bay, one of them actually worked in the area, and said dont bother with Monkey Bay, go direct to Cape Maclear. Funny how things happen, all that day as i stopped to check my map people came up to tell me to go to 'The Fat Monkey' at Cape Maclear.

At The Fat Monkey i was delighted to find a great sandy beach, a bar, food, shade and all the things that make u feel that u are not in Africa. But seriously, it was and is a great place to unwind. I spent 2 relaxing days either at the waters edge taking in the views, reading at the waters edge or at the bar drinking. Learnt to play the local African Board game, forgot its name though.

Posted by Brian Bayley at April 04, 2007 01:40 PM GMT

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