Transit Visas - Shopping - Day 10


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Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi
October 24th 2008
Published: November 6th 2008
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Our priority today was to get our transit visas for crossing through the top end of Mozambique tomorrow. Our guide book map showed
the embassy not too far away from where we were camped but, when we got there, we found the place is now a night club.

But the French Cultural Centre was nearby and they were kind enough to direct us to the centre of town. We found it soon after 9 am where the girl behind the desk was very efficient but must have passed out of charm school with zero marks. We parted with our $30 per head (in local currency for a change), plus a little extra for the express service - one hour!

We passed this time with a wander around the town centre and had a coke in a chicken take-away - coffee wasn’t on the menu.

With our visas in our passports we next descended on the one big shopping mall in town - which we all agreed was pretty good. It certainly provided all the provision replacements we needed, even down to the Malawi gin which we find extremely palatable and cheap. While wandering the supermarket aisles we bumped into a South African couple whom we sought advice about Zim, as they had motored between RSA and Malawi many times They spoke of dreadful roads through Mozambique and a total lack of fuel in Zim.

We left there rather depressed and immediately bought a cheap plastic jerry can of 15 litres capacity working out that with , in effect, 45 litres in cans on the roof rack, plus a tankful at the Zim border, I could get across without refueling. Ian has a second fuel tank fitted to his car so he was not really concerned. After a cooked lunch at the mall eatery we headed back to the Limbe CC for chores - dhobi and blog writing. They had a wireless connection there which was such a relief to use. A windless night and comfortable sleep in our nice roof tents.

Some personal thoughts on Malawi as we prepared to leave. We missed the Nyika Plateau, which was probably a mistake, but we saw other places we would not have otherwise been to. Apart from the excursion into the hills at Livingstonia, the roads were excellent. Traffic was minimal and we felt that, on average, we met about one moving vehicle for every mile of rural road we drove. We loved the Lake, it really looked an ideal “seaside’ venue. The towns were the only places where traffic was any consideration. There was plenty of colonial relics there, some of the buildings in particular , and the Limbe CC which was great - and they were so proud of its colonial origins. The people were always friendly and we never felt threatened at all. There was a railway line and it looked as though it hadn’t been used in years. But we think it does have the occasional train.


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