Lilongwe to Nkhota Bay

Trip Start Jul 29, 2014
1
33
57
Trip End Apr 12, 2015


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Flag of Malawi  ,
Thursday, January 22, 2015

A stack of firewood or hand of bananas is easy but what about balancing a ten gallon tub of water or a bundle of brooms on your head? My favourite balancing act is the guy on the bike with two pairs of rods rising about six feet behind the seat and filled with large chunks of firewood. You have to use your noggin to carry things when the only transportation is feet and bicycles. Malawi, "the poorest country in Africa" has a tough go of it. A life expectancy of 55, only 42 percent finish grade school, just twenty five percent high school. Aids has had a devastating effect. The official number is 12 percent of the population affected. Privately they say it's much higher, so high that it balances the birth rate of nine percent. But on a  more positive note...
This has got to be one of the most beautiful countries in Africa; emerald green mountains, rivers everywhere and Lake Malawi offers stunning sunrises with the hills of Tanzania as a backdrop.
We took a drive up north to Nkhota Bay and saw rubber plantations, unusual rock formations, a guy on a bike with a pig,  a big annoyed pig, busy busy marketplaces, women washing their laundry in the river, hundreds of school children running home for lunch and just as many who obviously don't go to school and  people everywhere. No kidding. There is nowhere you can go to be alone. Even in remote backwoods areas the roads are full of people. No chance of a roadside potty break here unless you want an audience. And there are houses everywhere and every house has a little plot of land. Every inch of this country is farmed, right down into the flooded lowlands right up to the top of very steep hills. Never saw anyone working in the little fields so things must just grow. 
 Spent the night in a bungalow on the beach and woke up to a pink sky at sunrise and pale blue water dotted with tiny fishing boats. This place, on the surface, looks like paradise.
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