Barefoot Camp

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines

Flag of Malawi  ,
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Lilongwe and Barefoot Camp

We had been holding our breath for Lilongwe as it is one of the biggest towns in Malawi and we would surely get supplies there.

The expats we met at Chintcheche Inn all reside in Lilongwe. They work either at private schools or for a consulate.  Strange how one can form a picture in your head before actually seeing a place.  It is not even a conscious decision, it sort of just happens and most of the time it is nothing like you imagined.  In this case, this was the case.  Sometimes one has to listen to what people don't say, rather than what they do say. Good enough for us to do a shop, if nothing else.

Malawi is super expensive but one can get quality products and even familiar products here. With that taken care of we drove out of town to the only campsite in the area, Barefoot.  The infrastructure at Barefoot is there but management is lacking and it felt like being in a village rather than in a camp area.

All the children in the "village" passed by our stand a number of times (10 +) going to and throw from collecting wood. This ritual is not a quiet one as they giggle and laugh and stare and point.  On the other side (about 3 meter away) a your woman was either on the cell taking to someone in Greenland,  as she had to use maximum volume for them to hear her or having a full on conversation with the gardener that was about 300 meters away. If that was not enough she would break into song in between.  I eventually switched on my computer and played some music of my own just to make a point.

Fortunately it was only a stopover and early the next morning we could pack up and be out of there.

The road to Blantyre is interesting with lots to see.  Kopjies (hills) finally start appearing and the fields are being prepared in anticipation of rain.  The road continues along the high ground with splendid views of the valleys below.  The Mozambique border runs alongside this road too. There is no real indication of where Malawi stops and Moz begins. Some villages fall in both countries. 

Manual stone crusher’s stalls are a common sight.  The stone in these parts are varied with different colours and some even with a sparkle.  The Afrikaans phrase “ons gaan klippe kap” gets a very real meaning here.  You see them sit on or next to a pile of stone with a hammer in hand happily crushing away. What blows the mind is that they don’t even look for a shady spot to sit under.

Open air butcheries display their product which leaves us utterly grateful that we were able to shop in Lilongwe. Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other fresh produce also take up big areas next to the busy roadway.  Besides the normal baskets and rugs, they also sell live birds in small cages and live chickens are held up to entice a sale. Real fresh! Real free-range chickens! You don’t even need a fridge, as long as it runs around – it stays fresh. LOL

Going up a steep long hill we came across what looked like the “groot trek”.  A string of donkey cars were making their way up the hill. Some with product, some with people or whatever needed to get to the top of the mountain.

*Something I forgot to mention is the way the guys pack their bicycles with wood in Lilongwe.  It is a very efficient system that allows them to carry maximum amounts of wood per trip. Have a look at the photos…….it even forms a little roof over their heads.

Some big dark clouds in the sky driving toward Blantyre.  Please let it rain.           
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: