Malawi
April 30, 2008 GMT
Lounging by the Lake

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Grant Plays in the Sand near Cool Runnings

How do you pee on the side of the road in the most densely populated country in Africa?? Rather quickly actually, welcome to Malawi.

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Not a Car Crash, Not Football Hooligans but Market Day, Malawi Style

Cool Runnings is a small guest house on the banks of Lake Malawi at Senga Bay.

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Fishing Village at Senga Bay

We see the many signs (big yellow smiley faces) and enter the small village past the houses, children shout 'Hello Hello' waving frantically, we dodge chickens, ducks, goats and people which makes the sandy track just so much more interesting.

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Moon Rise on Lake Malawi

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Senga Bay Markets

At the end of the track we confront the closed gate to Cool Runnings. A solid Malawian man opens the gate with a beaming smile and immediately we thought of Louis Armstrong, but no it was Joseph and we are made to feel instantly welcome as he ushers us to meet 'Madam' at the reception.

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Grant, Jules (with new Jacket) and Sam

'Welcome to Cool Runnings' she smiled and here we made a home for 23 days, camping in the shady grassed camp ground.

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'The Bar' - Cool Runnings

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Oh Dear! More fuel problems. Primary fuel pick up screen.
We needed the bar after finding this muck

The well kept gardens, relaxing vibe, excellent food (try the Cool Runnings Kampango!!) and chill bar made for a fantastic stop transiting through Malawi.

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Old Farts Tour
Graham, Carl, Tony, John

Sam has been there for 7 years, where not only does she own and run the guest house and a local bar she co-ordinates 9 community based projects.

What Sam lacks in stature she makes up for in enthusiasm and energy.

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Sam distributing Hospital Gowns to the local Army Hospital

Following is a few of her projects.

Safe Haven House is a community centre where 'Cinderella' children can come for a meal, learn skills, join the story book club, play games etc in a safe environment. (Cinderella children are usually in extended families where the mother has re-married and her children now become second place in the new family home. They are neglected, shunned and often are used as slaves within the household.)

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Senga Bay

Disabled Project provides three wheeled wheel chairs to disabled adults which are powered by hand empowering individuals enabling them to be self reliant, mobile and active members of the community. The project also donates wheelchairs to disabled children so they can attend school. Most of the people who require wheel chairs have been afflicted by either Malaria, Polio and Meningitis.

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Senga Bay

Clinic at the Gate is a first aid clinic held at the gate of Cool Runnings and a mobile clinic for outlying villages that have limited access to Hospitals. Sam attends to people at the gate and should they require hospital treatment she arranges for transportation to a clinic or specialist. This service is free of charge to people in need and is completely funded by guests and clients of Cool Runnings.

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Near Lilongwe, Wish I had my Hang Glider!

Feeding Program provides a hot meal for orphaned children at the Baptist Clinic where the staff can examine the children for malnutrition and well being and correct any needs, such as suitable clothing and medical supplies.

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Getting lost in Malawi

Sam's involvement in the community based projects is at a coordination and supervisory level. All projects must be accountable and sustainable by the people for the people.

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The Road to Blantyre

As the call to prayer ceases, hymns begin at the local Baptist church in the village. We sit at our camp site pondering the harmony of two religious belief systems sharing the same foods and same communities, whilst the sun sets lazily over the hills behind Senga Bay.

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Is the Dancing Queen in?

Our entire African jaunt to date has been over shadowed by the Legend of Charlie and Ewan.

Q: "So were you inspired to do this trip by C & E??"
A: "Um no, we were actually on the road well before their first trip started."

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Good for your Sole

Q: "Do you know E & C?"
A: "Well.. no"

Q: "Are you doing this trip because of watching C & E 's journey?"
A: "NO"

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Do they get their clients from the Hatched Matched and Dispatched

This has been going on for months. Sitting in Cool Runnings office, having a chat with Sam and flicking through the guest book and who should have signed the front page?


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Grant, do we need Plags?

Charlie and Ewan!

Finally a brush with fame! THEY were just a year too early!

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C & E & Enterage

Finally we leave Cool Runnings and the Lovely Sam. She even gave Jules her old motorcycle jacket as a going away present. A much needed and appreciated gift.

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Ray - Adventure Rider

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Jangle Bicycle Taxi - Muzuzu

Meeting yet another interesting and delightful character in Ray. An English ex-pat who has lived in Africa for 25 years. He currently resides in Muzuzu, care taking the hostel Moozoozoozoo for the owner.

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Jules meets the Locals

Ray is a fellow motorcyclist and rides a 30 year old Honda Gold Wing 1100cc and journeys to all parts of southern Africa regularly. A true adventure rider. He amazed us with his stories of sand and mud in northern Mozambique into southern Tanzania. Of man handling the huge machine onto freight dhows for journeys across Lake Malawi and into Tanzania and Mozambique. It was a pleasure to meet him.

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Thongs for Sale or Rent.... Zomba Markets

BORDER CROSSING
Mozambique - Malawi

Leaving Mozambique
* Money changers will hound you. If you do wish to change money with them find out the correct rate before hand and do it in sight of the border guards;
* Have passport tamped out at immigration (no fees);
* Ensure carnet is stamped out (no fees);
* The guards at the gate may wish to see your papers;
* Drive five kilometres to the Malawian border post.

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Keep your speed down in Malawi

Enter Malawi
* You will be mobbed by third party vehicle insurance sellers. This is a legitimate need for all vehicles. You will receive a print out as proof of insurance. Check the price with them as cares are more expensive than bikes. Should be around $US$20.00.
* Register vehicle details at the compound gate;
* Go to the immigration office for 30 day tourist stamp;
* Go to customs for carnet stamp
* Register vehicle details at the customs desk;
* Register vehicle details at the police desk near the compound exit gate
* On your way.

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On the Way to Tanzania

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