Saturday, August 22, 2009

15th August - Malawi - Bricks and Babies

Coming into Malawi we were amazed to see so many bricks being baked. It seems that there is a rush for everyone to own and build their own brick house. They are streets ahead of us in building a house for each family. The main advantage that they have is there endless resources of clay. Each family it seems has clay either delivered to their plot or they just dig it out of the ground, then proceed to form the clay into bricks and pile them up and fire them – bake them.
The second thing is that every women walking along the road (and there are thousands of them busy walking – I don’t know where to and I don’t think they know either) has a baby on their back. They have a huge population explosion problem on there hands.
A terrible bumpy sandy village back road led us to a place - Nkhotakota called Sani camp. We thought we had the wrong address but when we arrived we were delighted to this – slightly run down – but beautiful place on the water “Lake Malawi” We had supper there with 3 young English guys taking a “Gap Year” by going around to the community schools and teaching the kids. That night we were nearly blown away by a gale force wind. About 1 o’clock in the morning we had to take down the awning and bang in some extra pegs.
The next morning we drove to Chitimba and stopped at Nikata bay. Very hippi’ish villiage, hectically busy because we were told the “sheep” came in from the island. We couldn’t work this out but thought they must be short of meat. Anyway later on after some more enquiries we discovered that “Sheep” is actually “SHIP” and that is there supply ship to all the traders. We met the owner of The Butterfly camp site and said we would come stay there on our return trip as we were just passing through, they also have a Dive centre there so I may go for a dive sometime.
We noticed two signs amongst the many which made us laugh. One was “Kaka Hotel” which seemed deserted and the other was “Shito Welding”. Our proposed camp site at Chitimba was not very good so we drove on a bit and went to “Sangilo Sactuary” Was excellent for a room to stay but not such a wonderful camp site as you camp in the owner’s back yard. But it was on the Lake and they had a fantastic tropical pub right on the beach in a little cove. I had a friendly chat to a Rasta man behind the bar.
The next morning we left early for the Tanzania border and flattened a goat or two that ran across the road. I didn’t stop but saw a brown goat on my side spinning in the road and Colleen saw a white one disappear under the bull bar. We were totally shocked and dumbfounded as what to do, I didn’t want any altercation with the locals so I headed as fast as I could to the border one hour away. We went through two police road blocks before the border and were sure we may have been reported and would be arrested. However we got through the border but only after running over a chicken, Just to add insult to the injury.

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