Malawi Part 1

Malawi is the end of the road for Lee, Avril and Duncan after three weeks with me on my Africa tour, but it is delightful, more authentic than the tourist orientation of the big natural parks of Botswana, we share the road mostly with people walking and on bicycles with the occasional herd of cattle thrown in. This makes things tricky when a truck comes the other way as there is not really enough room for us, the truck, the people and the bicycles all on one bit of road, so we make cautious progress. We make our way to lake Malawi which is very nice, lovely campsites on the shore (a few mozzies spoil the perfection) and Lee tells us of nasty diseases in the water that put us off taking a dip.
The weather has cooled as we moved across to Malawi, which is welcome and we even had a few drops of rain. Just to the south of Lake Malawi we go for a river safari in Lilwonde National park and stay at the nice campsite there, up close with elephants and hippos for the last time for my companions.
Lee and I say goodbye to Avril and Duncan and head south to Blantyre named after the home town of David Livingston, a proper jumping off point for Lee as she is finishing her companion book on the life of David Livingston. As she enjoys the luxury of the final nights hotel I take Nelson for some TLC at the local expert garage, small adjustments to steering box and wheel bearings are done to eliminate the small “looseness” I have detected and all the lubrication is done ready for the run to Kenya
Tomorrow Poppy joins me and Lee flys home, Malawi part 2 beckons…….
In Malawi the villages are busy, we slow to a crawl and have to stop for busy markets
The roads are lined on both sides with people walking and cycling with various improbable loads sticking out at odd angles, however the mood is cheerful and we like the vibe of Malawi
On the second day we reach the lake, we nearly get stuck in some narrow streets in a village but make our way to Norman Carrs cottage on the lake for a nice sunset
The next day we go for a river Safari on the flooded Shire river, it would normally be about 500m wide today it is closer to 1.5km, but we still see some good game
This guy was nearly blocking our way back to the launch point of the boat, we edged round him a bit nervously
The birds were doing well in the flooded conditions dropping down from the dead tree to pick up plentiful fish from the river

We share the road with herds of cattle on occasion, gentle nudging needed to get by occasionally
As we head south the terrain becomes more mountainous and cooler, which we like, one can see why the missionaries settled here, although as most of the population appears to me Muslim they were not totally succesful
More peaks in the distance as we have the first small shower of the holiday
Bye bye to Avril and Duncan and the Landcruiser, a good set up for this climate and the holiday
In Blantyre Nelson gets some good TLC to prepare for the last push to Kenya with Poppy, the garage is nothing to look at but the guys know their stuff and service most of the trucks of the land rover club of Malawi, I am impressed and happy to pay the reasonable charge to get a second opinion and have the steering wobble tightend up
A different type of bed for us tonight after three weeks of our little truck is seems odd to leave Nelson in the secure carpark and move to a proper hotel room

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