Chitimba to Kande Beach, Malawi

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October 4th 2010
Published: November 30th -0001
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Up a bit later this morning, breakfast of pancakes and sausages at 7:30, departure at 8:00. We didn't have far to go, just a few hundred kilometers. Surprisingly, Malawi has a lot of hills and high rocky mountains that start right from the lakeshore. 

Lake Malawi is the third deepest lake in Africa, and is 75 km across and about 750 km long, part of the Rift Valley system. From our campsite, we can't see across it.

We drive through the hills, covered with all kinds of crops, from rice in the low marshy lands, to bananas, cassava, sweet potatoes, potatoes, red onions and tea plantations. This is quite a rich farming area compared to the southern highlands of Tanzania, and is much greener, even though this is the dry season.

On the last few days, we've seen many areas being burned off, in preparation for the new grasses to grow when the rains come. So the air is very smoky and the ground is scorched. Not good for photography. Kayla snapped many photos from the truck, but we don't expect any masterpieces from these.

We also have seen many larger homes, some with glass windows, made from red bricks, some with thatch roofs, some with corrugated metal. We mentioned cement factories in an earlier blog, but what we've seen more of is the little local operations all along the way, for making bricks or cement blocks on the spot. We assume that these are just mixed, poured into molds and then dried in the sun. In spite of the seeming availability of building materials everywhere, we see a lot of half-built homes.

We stopped at a rubber plantation to see how they tap the trees for the sap to make rubber. Typical of everywhere we've been, people came out of nowhere to see what we were up to. First a couple of young boys, and then an older youth, well gone on his high, selling big wads of 'Malawi Gold'. 

We are here in Kande Beach for two days of R & R. Good thing too because we both have colds and Kayla has a mild case of travelers stomach. We are happy to stay put. Once again we are protected by security guards, and we've been warned about the 'dodgy guys' that hassle tourists on the beach and outside of camp. We walked along the beach for a few meters past the camp and sure enough, were approached by one of the 'dodgy guys' who wanted to befriend us. We beat a hasty path back to our little stretch of beach, where they are not allowed, not wanting to deal with aggressive harassment this time.


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