Where the Malawi are we?!

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of Malawi  ,
Saturday, May 15, 2010

Greetings from yet another internet cafe!

Another belated blog entry as we try to catch up on all our news from the last few weeks. I'll follow on from Mark's previous entry about Zanzibar with our travels out of Tanzania and on to Malawi!

It took a couple of long drive days to cross the border and reach our destination on the banks of lake Malawi however the drive was amazing as we watched what has probably been the biggest change of landscape/social environment we've experienced so far. After our time in Zanzibar we had almost forgotten that we were even in Africa, having been surrounded by Mosques, burkas and an abundance of sea food everywhere we went. As we drove out of Dar to the sound of morning prayers over a loud speaker, the scenery outside once again became more "out of Africa". We passed green rolling hills, followed by a more arid rocky landscape scattered with round thatched homes. Women sitting next to fires and men tending herds in these rural places would often stand up and wave as our giant yellow truck rumbled past with 19 faces waving enthusiastically back at them. If there were any children outside they would scream and run and jump to get our attention as we zoomed past.

These two drive days were a surreal experience, sitting in a (reasonably) comfortable truck, listening to music with an ever-changing backdrop rolling by. Each time we stopped for a break our new surroundings were stark contrasts to the last.

After a fair drive into Malawi we stopped in a town called Mzuzu were our tour leader had a surprise for us..

We were at a giant clothes market where i can only imagine all clothes go to die. We then had to draw names from a hat and anonymously purchase an outfit for our randomly selected victim. The "theme" was bad taste, basically we had to make the person look as stupid as possible. We all set to the task with gusto, this was made easier by the fact that some of the clothes sellers had cottoned on to this tradition amongst overland trucks, and were waiting with their most horrendous synthetic specimens as we disembarked. The budget was the equivalent of about $3 which was more than enough and soon the truck was loaded with luminous/ lacy/ animal printed synthetic delights and we were on our way to kande beach!

Our first night at Kande beach was amazingly chilled out, a few beers and relaxing in hammocks on the beach were the order of the evening. Lake Malawi was absolutely incredible, if you didn't know, you would swear you were by the sea. There were large waves and nothing but water up to the horizon.

Our second day was not so chilled out. In the afternoon we had Truck Olympics! We were randomly assigned into teams and competed in various events such as tug of war, wheel barrow and egg and spoon races. The final event was an epic obstacle course which involved running over chairs, through the waves, spinning around stools and culminating in a shot of Zappa at the other end. There was a lot of cheating involving teams chairs being moved, shots being removed and a few eggs smashed over heads/ into swim shorts but it was all good fun- a great afternoon. (Mark would like me to add that his team won despite being last the entire afternoon.)

That evening we had a fantastic party involving a pig on a spit and an eski full of a very potent punch! Our clothing purchases were exchanged and we all strutted around as best we could in the monstrosities. I'll let the photos do the talking about this section as I'm not sure words can quite describe it!

Aaaa I'm going to have to leave this post here as the internet cafe is closing now.. and I'm getting kicked out. I'll try and come back on another day and update about our last few nights in Malawi involving a dinner in the local village and some AWESOME dancing!  x
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