We spent six days at the Small World Backpackers in Harare and we were glad to finally leave the partiers and disgustingly dirty kitchen behind with our Ethiopian AND Egyptian visas stamped safely in our passports. We made a “run for the border” and crossed from Zimbabwe into Mozambique for the night. Even though we were told that we did not need a carnet for Mozambique the border guards filled it out anyway and we and the bikes made it safely into our new country.
Although we only stayed in Mozambique for about 24 hours, the people seemed very friendly and everyone, old and young waved at us as we rode through their villages. There were many beautiful boabab trees and the little grass huts seemed like a little romantic enchanted forest, although I’m sure reality for these very poor but happy people was very different. We camped in a secure campground along the banks of the Zambezi River (a river that Travel Canada warned was flooding it banks and to proceed there with extreme caution) and had hot showers where the water had been heated by a wood fire. The smell of campfire was lovely.
The next day we crossed another border into the tiny country of Malawi and made our way to Blantryre, the second largest city in Malawi. A few days earlier, a politician had been killed in a road accident and hence the police where out in full force with road blocks every so often and some with radar. As we passed through smaller villages on the way to Blantyre, the speed limit dropped to 50km/hr and with just under 40,000km on the road, it was about to happen – as I (Daryll) came around a corner, I noticed the neon green vests of the police officers a head off me and braked really hard. I thought I got the better off the radar gun and as I approached the officer in the middle of the road, he waved me to pull over and waved Angela and Dom who where behind me on their way. Shit! He took took his time to walk over to where I was and asked for my drivers license and not saying anything else. I switched the bike off and walked over to the police vehicle where another officer sat. The officer in the vehicle said that I was speeding and the radar had got me at 57km/hr in a 50 zone. I knew I braked hard, but wasn’t certain what I was doing so questioned the fact that I was speeding and asked to see the video which they had rigged to the radar gun. In the mean time, Tom who had already been pulled over had paid his fine and a few more drivers where lining up next to the police car waiting to pay their fine. Guess I wasn’t the only one and those officers had hit the jackpot for the day with the number of drivers they had pulled over. The on the spot fine was 5,000 Quecha (US$30). and a lot more than I wanted to pay. I begged and pleaded making up excuses that I didn’t have that much money on me, but they weren’t having anything of it. After a few minutes, I relented and coughed up the fine, still mad as well. Once back on the bikes, I took up the rear position and slowed down to 40km/hr in to 50 zones to make sure I was slow as I didn’t want another ticket that day.
|Trying to talk my way out of a ticket.|
Our direction in Malawi was to ride north up Lake Malawi, the third largest freshwater lake in Africa after Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganika. At one stop, Pat decided to stop in a village and as usual, the entire village where around our bikes. At first it is a bit nerve wrecking as you are concerned that someone is going to pich something of the bike as the children point and touch things on the bike. I really wanted to get something to eat, but just didn't feel right about taking some cookies out and eating it in front of all these children, so I just waited for the others to be ready to move on again.
|Angela surrounded at a rest stop|
We had 18km of some steep gravel and washboard to get to Fat Monkeys so it was slow going. About 7km before the campsite, we came to a junction and weren’t sure which way to go. The sign posting wasn’t very clear, so took what we thought was the right way and ended up having to ride through a little village to get to the campsite. There were little huts on either side of the gravel bumpy road as we rode along with kids running out and waving at us. We were going really slow not to hit the children or the chickens running around and greeted and waved back to the people that thought we were just mental riding through their narrow streets. The campsite was worth the ride and after the 45min of washboard in getting there, decided to spend 2 nights. Dom decided against catching the ferry and decided to continue riding north with us. Our decision not to take the ferry was mainly due to us missing all of Malawi by spending 3 days on a ferry, sleeping on an open deck and having a crane lift our bike up and strapped to an open deck and was proving to be a good decision after seeing to what we had arrived to. Monkey Bay was situated on an inlet and would be the only spot where we could watch the sun set over the lake. Nothing can prepare you for an African Sunset and every one is different and magnificent in it’s own way.
|Sunset over Lake Malawi|
|Camping at the Pottery Lodge|
|Emily with the cookie still in her hand|
|Sunrise at Nkhata Bay|
|Sunrise at Nkhata Bay|
New photos added to the Malawi photo album.