Where Do We Go From Here?
3/10/05. Karonga, Malawi.
I meet another overland truck at the last petrol stop in Tanzania. Expectations go guts-up - they're enthusiastic and friendly! Wow!
Kuche Kuche, at 3.7% ABV, is an all-day-long beer along the lines of Senegal's Gazelle, and similarly priced at 30p for half a litre. Slurp. Someone in Zanzibar told me that a packet of fags in the UK is now over 5 quid. Jayzuz.
The beach at Karonga ain't all that. The naked Malawian women bathing in the lake are upwards of 25 stone (each), so the next morning I push on for Chitimba.
4/10/05. Chitimba Beach, Malawi.
Me & Roy. Drunk.
The beach campsite is run by Roy, a lunatic and splendid chap from SA, and the lovely Adila from England. There are exactly two things to do here;
1. Swim in the lake.
2. Drink beer.
So I stay for 6 days. The moto gets a mini-service, and I get to read a book* by Maureen Lipman, which has me grinding my teeth and muttering swearwords by page 5. One night some fat boys arrive and dress up as ladies. You know - for fun.
Oh come on - it's just a bit of fun!
It's the kind of place you could accidentally spend a month, but there's a lot to see in Malawi so eventually I head off for the internet cafes and ATMs of Mzuzu.
*You Can Read Me Like A Book. Geddit? It's a book! D'you see?
9/10/05. Mzuzu, Malawi.
No beach here, but there is a place called Mzoozoozoo where you can stay in a 1970's beige caravan. It's very Terry & June/Carry On Camping except that there's no rain or mud.
Plenty of amusing people pass through as one night becomes three. The owners, Gerrard (Swiss) and Jennifer (American), are as keen on drinksh as I am, and nights in the bar are lively experiments in how many times we can listen to Exile On Main Street in a row, and how often Gerrard will let me and Jennifer listen to Neil Young without assaulting us.
12/10/05. Nkhata Bay, Malawi.
The bar at Mayoka Village, a campsite/hotel built into a cliff on the lake, has got to make it into the Top 5 Bars In Africa list. Great food, a good mix of tourists and locals (usually shouting chummy abuse at eachother over the pool table), and Lake Malawi where one might normally expect a wall. Seven more nights slip by.
19/10/05. Selima, Malawi.
I stop in Nkhotakota at 2pm thinking I might have a night here in the cheapish-looking motel on the main street, and discover they're charging $20 US for a room. So I order some slightly bloody chicken and slightly underdone chips and scoot for Selima, in easy reach of Lilongwe, where I find an equally cheap looking place for $4.
Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at October 25, 2005 02:32 PM GMT