Back to Malawi.
November 1: We were on the road this morning at 8:30 and started the 300km to the Malawian border. The road works and dust that we cycled just over a month ago were tricky even in the car and we realised the effort we put in to cover these roads on the bikes. A quick stop for lunch and to buy some vegetables in Rungwe and we made it to the border at around 14:30. At 15:30 we looked like we were almost done on both the Tanzanian side and the paperwork required for the Malawian side and celebrated a one hour border crossing, rather than the three it took us last time heading in the opposite direction. We found out a few minutes later that the border control were expericing a network failure and that the TIP (temporary import permit) we needed, had to be done manually. With a scurry of moving from one queue to the next, speaking to four or five different people, who all started to look the same, over an hour later we crossed, with the vehicle and our manually written TIP into Malawi again. I wrote about this before, but the difference between Malawi and Tanzania is as clear as the difference in the names of the two countries. The moment you enter Malawi hundreds of motorbikes are replaced by thousands of bicycles. The levels of poverty are noticeable in Malawi and there is more litter around the rundown houses. Yet despite the lower standard of living that Malawians experience, everyone is happy. More people stop, smile and wave as we drive past. Oversubscribed teams with about 20 players a side on a dusty field enjoy a game of soccer, all chasing a ball made of compressed plastic bags and elastic. The sun set over the mountains which make up The Great Rift Valley on our right hand side side and the water from Lake Malawi was calm on our left hand side as we arrived in Chitimba and checked into the Hakuna Matata campsite. We were the only guests staying there and Maggie the campsite manager made us an amazing dinner. As we sat down to eat, Willie the owner of Hakuna Matata joined us. He and Maggie have been running this resort since 2006. Originally from South Africa he's travelled extensively since the early 70's and has now found the place he's happily going to see out the rest of his days. Chatting to someone that's done so much in his life and so happy with his personal accomplishments is refreshing and inspiring to listen to. It's great to be back in this beautiful country. November 2: A drive along the lake. We left Hakuna Matata just before 8 this morning to go to Nkhata Bay. We found an amazing spot called Mayoka Village, an amazing spot buoy onto the rocks next to the lake. Unfortunately the place has hostel and roomed accommodation and doesn't really cater for camping and self catering. We had just bought three days worth of groceries so that we could camp and cook over the next few days. We decided to move on and perhaps come back in a few days time to stay a few days. We drove an hour further south along the lake and checked into the Kande Beach camp site. Also a great location right on the lake. We went for a run this afternoon next to the lake as the sun set followed by a swim in the lake. Happy days. #PerfectDay