Nkhata Bay

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June 13th 2010
Published: June 13th 2010
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While my parents were visiting one of our stops was Nkhata bay. While there I called in quickly to Aqua Africa to ask about scuba diving. It was suggested that at the end of my trip I go up and spend some time learning to dive, at the time I thought I would be quite cool but impractical as Nkhata Bay is so far away so I’d probably never get round to doing it. However since then it’s been swirling around in the back of my mind (much like the panga knife) until I eventually realized that it would be a great way to finish off my trip with a bang (or I guess a splash).
That was the plan anyway,
Unfortunately life doesn’t like plans (why I haven’t make any this trip, and apart from now it’s all turned out great) so after 11 hours sat crushed up on the lake-side night bus from Blantyre to Mzuzu I found myself waiting outside Aqua Africa at 4am. 4 hours later when they opened up (the sunrise was magnificent) I was told I wouldn’t be able to go on the course.
Basically the course requires a minimum of 2 people, so because I was on my own and no-body else has expressed an interest they couldn’t run the beginners course. All I could do at this point was to go off and hope someone else turned up wanting to learn to scuba too (as it turned out no one did while I was there).
Because I had no idea where I would stay and was dead on my feet from little sleep, I asked around and found where a backpackers lodge was (usually cheep and suits my needs). I was really lucky and got directed to the Big Blue Star backpackers, it’s a really nice place right on the beach, really chilled out, free TV and internet, snorkeling equipment you can borrow for the little private beach and just very social. It also has awesome food. I’d recommend it to anyone staying in the area. That first day I did not a lot more than chill out in frount of the TV and the beach, I did go for a swim but the lake was really rough so I kept slamming into the rocks and hurt my feet.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but it amazes me the variety of people you meet at backpackers places and the stories they have, guys heading to the world cup, guys volunteering or working in the area, guys travelling to Zambia or Mozambique, there was even two guys that had been cycling from northern Norway for 9 months trying to get to south Africa (northern most Europe to southern most Africa) and a German that had come from South America and had been traveling for 9 years.
On the Wednesday I went for a tour with an Australian guy I’d met, going to the world cup. It was to one of the local villages where we had lunch, looked around and met some of his family (we also bought a bottle of the local drink that his grandmother makes). After that we started walking up a hill, (after a quick stop to help some kids draw water and to glance into the primary school) at the top there were some beautiful views so we stopped for a rest and to take some photos and videos. Back down the hill we went to the beach and swam out to the jumping rocks that were fun (and I’ll admit, a little scary). On the way back to Big Blue along the beach we ran into a load of local kids that all wanted their photos taken while was funny.
On Thursday I took a walk up to the curio market by the junction to dust off my bartering skills and grab some quick presents for home. I don’t think I managed too badly, paid a fair price for the presents which is always good. On the Friday the power was out most of the day, to make sure it’d be on for the start of the world cup, so people were just sat around the lodge chatting, I also played many games of bao (game where you move beans around) before hoping back on the bus to Mzuzu then the night coach to Blantyre.
I had a really good week, met some great people and had a lot of fun. It was a shame I didn’t get to go scuba diving, but it ended up worked out really well.



13th June 2010

Your last week
Shame you didn't get to go diving, but at least you seem to have had a nice week and a chilled out, relaxed week to finish off your time in Africa. Love Mum xx

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