Distance: 124km (Cumulative: 20 311km)
Moving time: 2:39
Average speed: 47km/h
Road surface: 99% Tar
Cool Runnings - R65 p.p
Nice grass camping area next to lake
We left the backpackers at 09:00 and went straight to the Shoprite mall complex. Around the parking, there are four big food shops: Shoprite, Game, Chipiku and People’s.
We started with Game and bought few snacks and ‘household’ items like sponges. We then went to Chipiku and bought some biltong sticks, chicken, mince, juice and more dry foods and snacks.
We are now fully stocked. We lost the camera’s lens cap somewhere at Chinteche, but the camera shop only had lens caps for smaller lenses. After all the shopping we ordered Peri-Peri chicken at Galito’s and had ice cream for dessert.
While Hugo waited for the food Caro went to the souvenir market close by and bought a wooden Noah’s Ark with little animal figurines that fit inside the Ark. She also bought a large wooden bowl.
We finally left Lilongwe just before 12:00 and set off towards Senga bay. We were stopped by the friendly police a few times who mainly just want to know where you are going. We were however asked to show our insurance (Comesa) twice, something that didn’t happen once in any of the other countries.
In one of the towns, we slowed down for a large crowd and then noticed two vehicles that were in an accident. We stopped as the pickup in front and Cape Town plates. The guys braked for a goat and a minibus then drove into their back. Luckily there were no serious injuries, but their vehicle wouldn’t start and they had to wait for the traffic police. We offered to help, but they sent us on our way.
All along the road, people were selling beautiful woven items like baskets, carpets and even patio sets. One day when we have a house we will come with a big truck to Malawi and buy everything here to furnish the house.
We got to Senga Bay at 13:45 and drove through what felt like the ‘dodgy’ part of town to Cool Runnings. The property is next to the lake and has nice grass lawns. The owner is involved in different community projects and a lot of volunteers stay there as well.
The camping cost $5, which is reasonable, but the showers weren’t that nice and the restaurant is way too expensive. There was also an unpleasant fish smell hanging in the air.
After opening the tent, we wanted to go swimming, but there were hundreds of locals on the beach washing from head to toe, literally cover every inch of their body with soap. We watched the spectacle for few minutes.
We went back to the car and unpacked everything from the front. We haven’t cleaned it in a long time and it was very dusty. We found some lost treasures between the seats and under the carpets. Our nail clipper and shaver from one of our passengers, coins from Switzerland and old popcorn pieces. We also finally washed the tent cover that had a thick layer of dust and dirt from the Western Tanzanian route.
We then went for a quick dip in the lake, but it felt very dirty. Some of the volunteers Kayaked to the nearby island and saw some beautiful fish so we were excited to also kayak to the island tomorrow.
We had mince and pasta for dinner and then worked on the blog. Malawi is covered in Skyband Hotspots and vouchers can be bought at all the participating accommodation and restaurant venues. It is, however, quite expensive. We paid an R100 for 2GB.
Late in the evening, a British couple arrived in a brand new rented Bushlore Land Cruiser.
The next morning we woke up to stormy winds. The mirror like surface of the lake from yesterday was now a stormy sea with waves big enough to surf in.
For breakfast, we opened the box of Ouma Rusks that Hugo brought from Johannesburg. What a treat. Since we couldn’t go snorkeling we went to sit in the TV room to work and blog.
Over lunch, Hugo took a nap while Caro lied in the hammock and planned her dream house and garden, complete with drawings.
When Hugo woke up we had a late lunch. Caro made red kidney bean fritters. Basically one can of beans, one egg, some flour and a mixture of spices. We ate it with a combination of sauces that we have accumulated. Mustard, tomato, and peri-peri sauce and mayonnaise.
We had hoped that the wind would be calm by now, but it was just blowing stronger. We thus went back to working on the super slow internet.
For dinner, Caro made toasted chicken, tomato and cheese sandwiches.
By the time we went to bed the wind was still blowing.