Day 37: a day of two halves.
A full english breakfast was on offer this morning at the Capital Hotel and we all took the opportunity to fill ourselves beyond what would have normally been enough. The luxury of sleeping in a hotel isn’t without it’s challenges though. Living out of the trailer, bags and the car means that over the last five weeks, we’ve all developed a good routine of knowing where things are and are pretty speedy at getting ready in the mornings. Moving our stuff into the hotel meant that some of our things were out of place, some items we needed for the day’s ride were in the car or the trailer and not where we were getting ready in our hotel room. Rider’s sandwiches were made on our table set up in the car park. However, despite these delays we got onto the road in good spirits. Ten kilometres out of town the gradual uphill opened up and we were enveloped by a 40km/hour headwind, which swirled and pounded us and dropped our average speed down to around 12km/hour for the next 50km. It was brutal. The first 60km of the day’s riding took us 4 1/2 hours, where it would normally have taken 3. With these conditions we were on track for a tough 9-hour day to reach Lake Malawi. At our 60km stop Camilla dropped more “F-bombs” in 15 minute stop than she had done the entire trip thus far, as she gave her opinion of the conditions. Almost immediately after getting back onto the road, the gradient changed to a gentle downhill and the wind subsided and it lasted the entire next 60km as we sailed into Lake Malawi. (Thanks Cam :) ) We changed our planned campsite to a place called “Cool Runnings”, which had been recommended by some British travellers that we had met along the road 2 days earlier. Cool Runnings, is right on lake Malawi and is equipped with sun loungers, private access to the beach and lake and green grass - it’s heavenly. We watched the sunset while we had a few beers followed by cheap dinner for butterfish and chips from a local restaurant on the beach. Back to sleep in the rooftop tent this evening feel like home again.