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(64) Andrew’s in Afwica!

August 22, 2013

Wednesday 3rd July

Knowing how bad the sand track was up to the road from Kande beach, we got up early and packed. We managed to leave at 7 and with the sun up it wouldn’t be long until the temperature would rise. We pushed our bikes out of the gate straight into the deep sand. It was of-course made worse by the weight we were carrying. It took us 45 minutes to push the 2km up to the road and with the sun up we were soaked in sweat by the time we reached it. We picked up bread and biscuits in the village and rode a mile out of town to have breakfast. A huge butterfly landed next to us and was one we hadn’t seen before but it managed to fly away before Tim could take a picture. We boiled our eggs and made toast and enjoyed a cupper before re-joining the road.

The landscape didn’t change much but with mountains on one side and the lake the other it was still beautiful. It was around 12pm that we passed a great spot where we could get to the beach. Deciding to stop early and make the most of the spot we pulled our bikes close to the bank and walked down the few metres to a good sandy spot. Sharon went in for a swim while Tim put the kettle on.

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A good place to stop

 When Sharon eventually got out Tim went in with his shirt on to cool him down. While he was getting changed a truck pulled up and 3 guys walked down with sacks and started filling them with sand. They told us they used the sand to cook peanut and toffee bars and showed us one – we couldn’t resist buying a couple for the journey ahead. Once they had finished filling their bags, they stripped off to their pink and red pants and jumped in the sea! It was really quite funny especially when they took photos of each other with their phones. They said goodbye and we packed up and joined the road feeling cool and refreshed.

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Scenic riding

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One of many crashed lorries we saw along the stretch of road

The road stayed flat with only the odd rise and we stopped a couple times for a drink. We arrived in Dwangwe where spotting ice-cream for sale we naturally stopped for a sample and picked up supplies. We rode on out of the town to find a good camp spot but with all the sugar cane plantations it was proving a challenge. We spotted a church and with a service going on we waited a short while until the church Clerk arrived. We asked if there was somewhere we could put our tent and after a chat to Mr Better the Clerk, he kindly opened up the store where we were allowed to stay. We had a great evening chatting with everyone and while we prepared our dinner they watched to see how we cooked.

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Our friendly hosts

By now it was now totally dark so after clearing up we had a shower from our bag in the small low rooms that had just been built by the church and hit the sack ready for another day.   

Thursday 4th July

We managed to kill all the mozzies in our tent but with so many in the room and not having the fly sheet on the tent, they buzzed within inches of our ears making us think they were in with us. After a few false alarms we both managed to sleep well.

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Our tent in the store room

 We were woken by Mr Better and his son sweeping outside the room, well before sun rise and although we had had around 9 hours sleep Tim felt shattered. We got up as the sun rose above the horizon and packed our things, taking the stove out onto the concrete veranda which over looked the yard and the church. We were soon joined by Mr Better and we shared our toast and jam with him and his son, making them tea just as another lady arrived. We sat chatting for about an hour before we said our goodbyes and hit the road.

The going was fairly flat but with a slight breeze and being tired we were finding the going a bit tough. We lost sight of the lake along with the scenery, leaving only scrubland and sugar plantations.  We continued to have many waves and ‘bye byes’ but also requests for money. We didn’t like that bit but ignored it and just waved.

We were riding along a bit of featureless road when Tim said ‘I wonder where Philip the French cyclist is now’ thinking he was about 2 days in front. Just at that moment, we spotted a couple on a tandem coming the other way. We stopped to say hello and found they were a lovely couple from Belgium call Tom and Martia and had started their trip 2 years ago in Canada. We got off our bikes and put the kettle on for a cup of tea.  It was not only great to swap info on the road ahead but to find a couple still smiling and normal after 2 years on the road. There was hope for us yet. The only shame was that they were going the other way; it would have been great to spend more time with them. It was interesting listening to the problems they had had with their Rohloff hubs cracking and rims splitting and that they had a Hilleberg tent which was fine apart from a broken zip. We took some great advice and grinned at finding out there were amazing shops ahead that sold more than just flip flops, washing soap and soft biscuits. We wished them luck and hoped to meet again somewhere in the world.

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Enjoying chatting about life on the road

Waving goodbye we rode on and stopped in the next town for lunch but we had quite a bit of attention from locals who had been enjoying the local beer too much. We made a swift exit to the next village and stopped to cook an omelette with chips and tomato topped with the last of our HP sauce. We gave the bottle of HP to a small kid who ran around to all his mates letting them try the remains of it.  This could have 2 effects; 1 – the increase in the sale of HP sauce or 2 make them ask muzungos “give me my HP sauce”.

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Kids playing with homemade cars that are made out of scrap wire

Still having a while to ride before we stopped, we continued on with the road rising and falling more and more. We passed a small lake on our right that drained in to the main lake. It was nice especially as the sun was going down casting amazing reflections off it. We stopped for a few supplies in the next town and looked for a good place to camp.  With people everywhere we spotted a track off to our right away from the road and turned off looking like we knew where we were going. We continued for about half a mile past a few tiny villages and ended up stopping at one of them to ask if we could camp. We were pointed to a guy who was the headman of the village who pointed to a place behind a mud hut. We said thanks and hoped we were far enough away from the last town not to cause us any problems. With the tent up and the stars out and hungry mossies whizzing around our ears and ankles we covered up to cook and ate whilst listening to the distorted musical beats from the town, happy we had found another good camp spot.

Friday 5th July

Tim woke from a deep sleep with a man saying hello. The sun hadn’t risen yet but already the tiny village sounded busy with people moving around and lots of sweeping. We were always amazed at how clean the villages were with only mud floors.

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Our tent in the village

We packed up, loaded the bikes and were ready to leave within 30 minutes. We met the local policeman who lived in the next village and explained what we were doing. We said our thanks and made our way down the tiny track back to the road to ride for an hour before breakfast. We had about 60 miles to cover so wanted to get as many done as early as possible.

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Getting some miles in before breakfast

As we rode down the road Tim’s eyes watered from tiredness and we both could have pulled over and slept on the side of the road. Both of our legs felt heavy and being out of sight of the lake the views became less interesting. We were asked for money many times but just waved and said hello – that was when we could build up enough energy to lift our hand off the bars. Tim would sometimes slump over the bars leaving his hands free to wave at the person that just wanted to say hello or bye bye – which was about every 30 metres. You would think that we’re complaining – it is so nice to be waved at but when we were so tired it was hard work and it made us sympathise with the Queen.

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Doing the ‘royal wave’ to passers-by

We stopped after an hour to make toast. It was nice to stop and recharge but we were soon back at the bars pushing away another 10 miles. We hated pushing on but we were heading for a nice place to stay and there was uninteresting scenery on this section. We stopped a couple times for a cold drink and once for tea where we played with bottle tops with a group of small kids. We noticed a couple of shy ones go off and find their own bottle tops to bring to the game so we made sure we included them too.

We soon reached the junction where it was left to the coast and right to Lilongwe. We stopped for goat kebab and chips which was very tasty then headed left towards the lake ready for a day off. We had heard of a great place to stay by the lake where we would head with Andrew when he arrived in a few days time. We needed to get money out so we tried several banks in the town of Salima but none would take our card. Plan B was to change some US dollars. We managed to get enough money to get us to Lilongwe and brought supplies to make our stay at the lake cheaper as food tended to be more expensive in the tourist areas. We rode on out of town and spotted a local bar. We decided to have a couple of beers (and spend the money we had saved!) The local beer is called Chibuku and is served in something that can only be described as a milk carton. It’s brewed from fermented maize and is a bit like drinking lumpy alcoholic porridge. It is the ‘done thing’ to leave it in the sun to increase the alcohol level – which we are sure adds to the bizarre flavour!

It was nice to relax but we were soon joined by a tour guide/ hotel regulator who asked us what we thought of Malawi. We said we enjoyed the country but that it was a shame about people asking for money all the time. He said he was sorry about that then asked if we could buy him a beer!!  

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Shaz leaving the bar

We left the bar and continued east towards the lake and with a couple of beers inside us and slightly wobbly legs, Africa felt a lot more fun. We were suddenly happy to wave at anyone and everyone. To be honest they probably thought we were mad. We spotted eggs which we hadn’t got yet, so after picking up a dozen in 2 little bags we rode on fourteen miles trying not to break them.

We decided instead of arriving at the lake late and cooking in the dark we would camp in the bush to save a few pounds and cook in the light. At first with the amount of people on the road it looked impossible but after passing some sort of factory we spotted a track that lead off into the bush. We had been seen by a few people but we rode with confidence hoping they would think we were meeting someone. Not really knowing whether it had worked we kept riding past an amazing baobab tree and with the shouts of mozungo behind us we continued to the next one in the distance. The voices didn’t follow and we were soon pitched up behind the huge tree cooking sausage and mash for the first time since we didn’t know when. And how good they were with a bit of Heinz ketchup and fried onions – it was bliss and we were both ready for a good night’s sleep.

Saturday 6th July

We both slept well in our great camp spot. Not needing to get up early with only about 6 miles to cover until the lake, we sat enjoying breakfast and made our way out to the road.

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A great place to camp

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A visitor to our spot – actually we were visitors to his spot!

It didn’t take long to reach the beach and we were soon camped up in a lovely green lawn camp site right next to the water. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, sorting things out to send home with Andrew and fixing the worn spoke nipple that had worn out on Tim’s bike (no jokes please…) It was such a nice place we decided to stay the next day and leave for Lilongwe on the Monday morning, the day of Andrew’s flight. We were going to leave the bikes there and fetch Andrew using public transport. We got chatting to a nice South African family that just happened to be going that way on Monday and said they would drop us off at the airport. This meant that we didn’t need to rush and could relax without needing to find a bus to the city – result!

Sunday 7th July

Although we had a few jobs to do and some washing, we enjoyed our day swimming and packing what we didn’t need. We found out that there was a school group arriving at the campsite the following day so we couldn’t stay when we returned with Andrew but they would store our things. We managed to get the bikes locked away and enjoyed the rest of the day to cook, relax and meet some fellow Brits. They had driven down from the North Cape in Norway (in an awesomely kitted out vehicle) and travelled down the west of Africa and up the east coast to Malawi.  They were then travelling back to Cape Town to send their truck back. It was so nice to spend some time out and also get to watch the British beat Australia in the rugby, hear that Chris Froome was in the lead of the Tour de France and then watch Andy Murray win Wimbledon – a truly great year for British sport. We just needed Andrew Bowyer to ride with us in Malawi and that would top it all. We headed to bed early ready to drive into Lilongwe in the morning.

Monday 8th July

It didn’t take us long to pack and we were soon eating toast and jam. We had a lovely drive to Lilongwe with Peter, Chrisna and their daughter Chris-Mari stopping along the way at a small market for them to buy material to take back to South Africa. They had agreed to drop us at the junction for the airport but as we arrived they took us all the way to the entrance. It was so kind of them and as we left they said we were more than welcome to stay with them in Cape Town. We waved goodbye and went in to wait for Andrew’s plane. We were so excited. We were also both hungry so we had a snack in the cafe. It wasn’t long before a Kenyan plane flew in. Cowburt was sat on the railings waiting and as the passengers got off there was only a couple that looked anything like Andrew. We went down stairs waiting for the next hour as the passengers trickled through but no sign of him. We passed the time panicking about money and the fact that none of the ATM’s worked with our card. We finally managed to get money out with a travel card we had but only after searching for our PIN number in all of the different secret codes we had devised – we think any good code breaker would have struggled. After an hour of so we asked at the Kenyan airline desk. We were told that Andrew hadn’t left England yet as his flight wasn’t due to arrive till the following day…

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The plane that Andrew wasn’t on…

We couldn’t believe it but guess it’s better to be a day early than a day late! We made our way out of the airport to find that a taxi back to the city centre was £24. After some asking around, we found we could take a cycle taxi to the trade centre for 60p each and a bus to the centre for £1 each saving about £20. Bicycle taxies are definitely the way to travel! We were soon in the city and found St. Paul’s hostel where we found a clean room for £3 each. We headed into town and went straight to the supermarket. We could have spent a year’s budget but managed to keep focussed. We picked up some nice food and met 2 English guys who joined us for the evening to watch a film. It was a nice evening and good to relax before heading back to the airport to finally meet Andrew!

Tuesday 9th July

The day had arrived! We watched the plane coming in from the viewing platform and eagerly waited for the passengers to disembark. We were so relieved to see his smiling face as he waved up to us. It was so great to see him and within minutes it was like we’d never been apart. We unpacked his bike on some grass outside of the airport terminal and gave him his present – Zoe a blow-up zebra that we’d bought for him when we were in Uganda. Zoe met Snowy Andrew’s bike and they were soon firm friends.

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Andrew was on this one –

it looks tilted on one side with all the chocolate it was bringing for us

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Together again

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Zoe and Snowy

We got on a bike taxi whilst Andrew rode Snowy to the next village where we could get a mini bus back to the city. We couldn’t find one that would take the bike so flagged down a 4×4 and piled in the back. The drivers were tobacco growers and could take us within 15 minutes of the city. We said our goodbyes and soon found a minibus with a roof-rack. With Snowy firmly tied to the top we set off back to the guest house.

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We spent the evening catching up and had chicken and chips in a local restaurant. While we were in town we went to a pharmacy to pick up a few pills. Andrew asked what they were for to which we replied they were for the snails in the lakes that will crawl into any orifice– just to see the disgusted look on his face. They are actually for the prevention of a disease called Bilharzia that is caused by parasitic worms present in the lakes in central Africa. Parasite larvae develop into snails and can live in their host (i.e. a human) where they mature and reproduce. The symptoms are fatigue and passing blood so definitely something to be avoided. It is said that the snails in Lake Malawi are increasing due to the reduction of the fish that eat the parasite. As we had already swam in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi we thought we’d better get some treatment which is recommended even if you don’t have symptoms. Andrew reluctantly bought some pills too which we nick-named ‘snail pills’ so that he could take a dip in the lake. We had to weigh ourselves to know how many pills we needed and to our surprise Tim had lost 10 kg to which he quickly put down to the carrying of all of Sharon’s things. We left the pharmacy with Andrew not really sure if he wanted to swim in the lake and returned to our room ready for the next day.

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Shaz enjoying her goodies

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Shaz on the cycle taxi

Wednesday 10th July

After all having had a good night’s sleep, we sorted out the things we had been sent from home. It was like Christmas/ Easter all over again. There was loads of chocolate, food, cards, clothes and new pants for Shaz plus all the bits we had ordered.  We sorted things into what we could send home, what we could eat and what we could carry. Andrew arrived from his dorm after being disturbed in the night by a late guest arriving, turning the light on, then leaving to eat leaving the light on.

We packed what we could and wondered into town. We picked up a few supplies for the evening as there was limited choice down at the lake and wondered back stopping at a few trinket stalls. All the souvenirs there were amazing and the work involved was incredible which made it hard to haggle. After buying a few things we made our way back to St. Peter’s guest house, packed the last of our things and dropped off the bike box with Matthew who was running the place and left to find a bus to the bus station.  With Sharon knowing the way she headed off on Andrew’s bike and Tim and Andrew caught a small bus to the station. Once packed in tighter then sardines we headed over the river past the markets. We arrived at the bus station with no sign of Sharon. After a phone call using a phone in a wooden hut manned by a guy to take the money, we found Sharon inside the bus station. She and Snowy had nearly been run over by a bus before driving off. Even though there was a policeman there he did nothing apart from apologise for the bad driving.

With the only bus to Silima already gone and no room in the small mini bus to take Andrew’s bike, we grabbed a car taxi towards the airport where we could get off at the junction to Silima. Once at the junction we were accosted by minibus drivers looking for business. All our bags, Andrew’s bike and panniers were making their way swiftly down the road in the hands of the locals towards one of the minibuses making it hard to keep track of where everything was. Andrew had a brief panic as he hadn’t seen his panniers since being removed from the taxi – we found them loaded into the mini bus and felt we could finally relax. We managed to stop them ramming his bike in the slim luggage space and breaking anything off. Then we squeezed in and we were finally off.

As we rode the 40 miles east at mac 10 we enjoyed chatting whilst cornering on 2 wheels. We stopped on occasion to pick up and drop off passengers.  On one stop the fare collector brought 2 sticks that were holding a line of something. As he returned to the van it turned out it was a row of cooked mice. He promptly took one off and put the rack above the driver. He then broke the mouse in half eating the top half then the bottom and threw the tail out the window. It was so funny and horrible at the same time.

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The mice – but Shaz wasn’t brave enough to try one!

We reached Silima and soon found a pickup to take us out to the lake. With the bike strapped above the driver and 17 people sat and stood in the back of the small vehicle, we set off to Sena. It had more passengers than the mini bus with 2 in the front plus the driver.

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On the back of the truck with Snowy perched on the front

We hopped off safely at the end and walked the 400 metres through the village to the camp spot with kids pushing Andrew’s bike.

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Children helping Andrew through the sand!

He was loving it and it was great to have someone else seeing what we see every day. It had become so normal for us it was nice to see someone else enjoying it. We stopped for a couple of beers and headed to the campground to pick up our bikes and kit. As there were loads of school children on a trip from the UK staying there we had to move to a different site. We loaded Dolly and Daisy and it was the first time Andy had seen her since sending her out to Khartoum for us when Tim’s first bike Winston was stolen. We made our way to the next campsite where we pitched our tents and cooked tea. We had noticed Andrew’s new tent was bright red which would be a challenge to try and hide it in the bush and his thermarest (air mattress) sounded like he was lying on a crisp packet which rustled every time he moved. We laughed saying at least it would be a distraction for the lions and to take his mind off the snails 🙂  It was so nice to relax with a couple more beers and chat about home and what was ahead on our time together.

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Our campsite at Sena bay

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Sena bay – Lake Malawi

Thursday 11th July

We decided to have this day as a rest day to introduce Andrew to life on the road gradually! He soon appeared from his red tent holding a bottle of wee looking proud to be on an expedition and headed off to the shower block. We sat enjoying eating chocolate and Tim enjoyed his first bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes in a long time! Tim managed to take his front wheel apart and build in the new dynamo hub to make life on the road a little easier. The boys went in for a swim with Tim telling Andrew all the sparkly bits in the water were tiny snails coming to get him. They got out and helped the fishermen pull their heavy fishing boats from the water which they would have to do every day. We treated ourselves to fish and chips at the bar washed down with a few beers before getting an early night ready for our first day on the road all together.

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The boys cooling down in Lake Malawi and looking out for snails!

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Helping push the fishing boats out

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Thank goodness we ordered a new pair!

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Tim the brillaint team mechanic

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Tim losing his ‘Tom Hanks in Castaway’ look

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Tim thoroughly enjoying a bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes

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Sunset over the beach

Friday 12th July

After a leisurely breakfast and trying to fit all our things in their respective bags we headed over to pay our bill. The wind was still blowing hard but was starting to drop. We pushed our bikes through the deep sand back to the road.

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The new team

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Pushing through the sand

It was great to be back in the saddle with Andrew, Cowburt and Minime – not forgetting Zoe the blow up zebra that was wedged to the back of Andrew’s bike. After 45 minutes we reached the town of Silima and picked up supplies in the supermarket including tasty sausages which we had discovered on our last visit there. We picked up bread from the bakery and fuel for the stove. We were soon ready, heading on to the junction where we brought hot chips and goat kebabs a few days before.

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The chip sellers

 The road began to climb steadily with the odd downhill to break up the climbs. We were asked many times for money but it wasn’t too bad.

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Shaz and Andy on the road

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Andrew crossing a railway line

 After an hour or so we spotted a large baobab tree to sit under for lunch of beef soup. It was great to sit and chat – it felt quite surreal having Andrew with us.

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Enjoying lunch before the crowd arrived

 After getting quite a crowd of young inquisitive children, we washed up and continued to climb. We looked for a coke stop later in the afternoon and found one next to a police checkpoint. As we were leaving we spotted 2 South African cycle tourists in the back of a truck on their way to the lake. It was nice to chat but with the light fading we started a short decent before the next long climb. We spotted a large stall of tomato sellers so picked up a few tomatoes while Andrew ate peanuts to get his energy back.

We stopped further on for water at a well and again were surrounded by kids. One of us would fill the water bottles whilst the other 2 fended the kids off.

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Getting water

 It was almost dark and after trying to stay in a church with no luck we rode on trying out a couple of spots until we found one. It wasn’t perfect but would have a good view in the morning and we hoped it was far enough away from the road not to get any attention. With sausages and rice for tea we enjoyed a good feed and headed to bed trying to stay quiet with the only sound being Andrew turning over on his crisp packet which kept making us jump.

Saturday 13th July

As the temperature dropped and we wrapped ourselves up in our sleeping bags, we were woken by singing coming up the road. It was really funny listening to them running up the road chanting, then before long a group of women came singing up the road, whooping at the tops of their voices. We figured it was a wedding celebration as it was 4am in the morning. We remained unseen and as the sun came up Tim got up and put the bags outside the tent. The scenery around us was stunning and as we were at the top of a long hill we had a great view down to the valley with the mist slowly lifting.

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What a camp spot!

Over toast and marmalade washed down with a couple of cups of tea, Andrew commented that he thought the party goers were cannibals heading our way! The tents were wet so it was good to have the time to let them dry. We made our way out onto the road and started a descent.

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Tim and Andrew at the top of the descent

It was great fun whizzing down the few miles until the next climb. After a few more hills we reached the junction where it was left for Lilongwe and right to the airport. It would soon be new territory. We continued on past the outskirts of Lilongwe up to a roundabout where we spotted a large mall with a super market. We picked up the things we needed and went over to a shaded canopy to cook where people were washing cars. We made an omelette and after a cupper and a good break we headed out and joined the road west towards the Zambia border. The scenery changed with less climbing, flatter roads and less hassle from the people on the side of the road.

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Shaz and Andy on the flatter roads

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Overtaking men with wide loads

Although it looked fairly flat we continued to steadily climb until Tim discovered he had a puncture. We pulled over and with Sharon feeling shattered she fell asleep while Tim and Andrew fixed it.

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A tired Shaz – possibly the result of eating too much chocolate…

We were soon on the road again and with the sun starting to set we looked for a water pump and after 20 minutes we spotted one and pulled over to fill our bags. We rode a short distance for a cold drink then started to look for a good place to camp.

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Enjoying a cold drink with a group of kids

We saw a car turn down a side road so we followed it for a few hundred metres and headed into the bush spotting a half burnt field with a few workers in it.  We asked if we could camp and soon had the tent up as the sun changed the colour of the sky to a bright orange. We cooked Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner (we were showing off as Andrew was with us) had a wash and headed to bed.

Sunday 14th July

After a good night’s sleep we woke in the field with the sun lighting up the tents. We got up and put the kettle on. Tim made the toast and it was Andrew’s turn to butter it. After a while Tim started to time Andrew’s piece to be the tiny end bit to see if he noticed. He did 🙂 It was fun having a laugh and enjoying good old British banter.

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Morning camp

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Shaz and Tim at their finest first thing in the morning

 We packed the rest if our things and made our way out to the road along a narrow foot-worn path.

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Pushing out of the scrub

It was around 55 miles to the Zambian border and with the roads so good and flat we got our heads down. The scenery was nice but didn’t change much and we stopped for a coke in a small village then not long after stopped again in a tea shack. We had covered 35 miles and it was 11am – definitely time for a cuppa. We all sat in the tiny wicker shed sipping tea and enjoying the break.

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Ye olde tea shoppe

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The English boys drinking tea

 We soon got going however as it was a Sunday and we were unsure if the border would close early.

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Pushing on to the border

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Tomatoes anyone?

We stopped at the town of Tin Mchingi to pick up a few snacks missing out lunch and rode on. The road started to climb and Sharon started to struggle. She hadn’t been feeling well and not having any lunch didn’t help. After another hour with the scenery improving we finally reached the border. We were soon stamped out of Malawi and making our way to the Zambian immigration building. We tried to change the Malawi money we had which was around 14 Zambian Kwacha for 1 Malawian Kwacha then were told the notes had changed removing 3 zeros from the end. This was very confusing and we were unsure whether we were being conned. After some time checking out the new notes we exchanged still not really knowing what 1 kwacha was worth and headed off into the Zambia countryside – country number 20!

The roads remained good and with a few long and gently descending hills we whizzed along. We past a large well-dressed group singing away in a small village and concluded it was a wedding. We stopped 100 metres up the road from the celebrations and cooked up some soup whilst listening to their singing. It was good to eat and relax now we were safely across the border. We enjoyed the singing as we ate, but with the sun setting and 12 miles to cover we rode on into a red and orange sunset. It was stunning.

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Riding into the sunset

We arrived in the town of Chipata in the dark looking for somewhere to stay. Tim looked on the GPS and started following directions to a campsite. We spotted a large Spar and Sharon and Andrew went in only to return saying the yogurts were 5 Kwacha. Thinking that was £10 we realised we had our sums slightly wrong. Spotting a pizza place next door we cut our losses and went in. It looked expensive but it would give us a chance to suss out the money. It ended up being around 8 to a GBP and we were soon enjoying a UK priced pizza. With 1.3 miles to the campsite we rode on down the hill and turned off up a very bad dirt track. If it wasn’t for the GPS we would never have even tried it. After a few hundred metres we finally arrived at some steel gates and entered a stunning, well-kept place. It was clean tidy and had a nice safe feel.  We pitched the tent, had a shower and joined 2 Finnish guys for a couple of beers. We were excited as we were heading off to South Luangwe National park to go on safari the following day : )

Stats for Malawi –

Number of days in country: 19 days

Total distance cycled: 566 miles / 911 km – running total: 12,444 / 20,022 km

Total altitude gain: 5153 metres – running total: 142,318 metres

Altitude gain per mile: 9.104 metres

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Thanks for reading!

 


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rose permalink
    August 22, 2013 11:19 am

    Another great instalment and great to hear you’re still enjoying it all! My best mate over here in Perth is from Zambia and one of her friends is from Malawi so I’ll have to regale them with your adventures! 🙂 Xx

  2. sara permalink
    August 22, 2013 12:54 pm

    Great talking to you earlier. Love the sign above a sleeping Shaz. Hope Andy kept the wild animals away for you unless they came for Zoe!!
    Love Sara xx

  3. Mum and Dad Pitts permalink
    August 22, 2013 2:46 pm

    Thanks for another great read. Super pictures and wonderful scenery. even the three cycle tourists looked good !!! love from mum and dad XXXX

  4. Mary permalink
    August 23, 2013 4:12 am

    Fantastic descriptions – I feel as if I am there with you!

  5. Kathy permalink
    August 24, 2013 8:24 am

    I went to that national park too! Many many years ago… Nearly got run over by a hippo! Loving your blog! Can’t wait for next instalment!

  6. Andrew permalink
    August 26, 2013 8:41 pm

    Wish i was still there with you!! reminds me must take my snail pills!!!

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