(Day 10) Chipata to Senga Bay – 9 April 2011
Distance for the day – 274 km Odometer – 4 803 km
Hours on the Bike – 04:16
Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00
Last night there was no Internet Coverage at Mamma Rula, where we stayed, so Rufus decided to get an earlier start to see if he could post at Chipata.
We then all met at the local SPAR for a nice Cappuccino before we set off to the Border Post into Malawi. Things went smoothly and our Comesa insurances were accepted, unlike what we were made to believe by the one Policeman in Zambia. We drove to Lilongwe to get a new simcard, and then Rufus realized his Camelbak was gone, probably left back in Zambia.
It was clear from when we crossed the border that there was more congestion on the roads. There were even more bicycles than before and the villages seem to be closer to each other than in Zambia.
We went through one Police Roadblock after the other and most of them just waved us through. We were warned before that they are strict on speed limits. On open roads the speed limit is 80km/h and through Villages 50 km/h. It does, however give you a better opportunity to view the country. Driving through the Villages is an amazing experience. The little shops all along the main road have all got something to sell and the state of most of the buildings is in disrepair. The names of some of the shops are quite something, like Coffin Shop, which we at first thought were Coffee Shop, Lakeside Shoprite and Comfortable Coffins.
The drive was very scenic with a lot more hills than before. The trees also changed and we saw lots of Baobab trees. Richard had a hair-raising experience when; while passing a truck; its load came off and had he to do some nifty ducking and diving with bottles and reed mats flying everywhere. Soon after this we pulled over to take a photo and then Norman took off and when we looked back he was down. The rule was that if this happens you are not alowwed to pick up the bike before a photo is taken. Unfortunately the camera was too slow. We all had a big laugh and Norman explained that his back wheel hit a big rock that made the bike slide and he was down before he new it – no injuries. We forgave him, after all he is a Grandfather. (Eat your heart out Oom Jan)
We reached Senga Bay mid-afternoon and were low on fuel and got the disappointing news that there was no fuel. This apparently is a general problem in Malawi, currently and the Black Market came to the rescue once again. It unfortunately also comes with a price and we ended paying R20/L.
Tonight we booked in to Wamwai Beach Lodge and had a few Colsberg Beers under a tree looking over the Lake Malawi. The wind was blowing onshore and it sounds like being at the sea with the waves hitting the shoreline. There are a number of different lodges and camping sites along the beach. The general feeling is very relaxed and laid back. Most of the people living here, who came from SA decided to make a change in their busy, materialistic lives and settle for the true meaning of “what more do we need” kind of lifestyle. The locals have accepted these foreigners and see them as an asset to their own livelihood rather than intruders. We have not made up our minds if we are going to take tomorrow off, or maybe move on – “Colsberg might help in that decision”