Mangochi - capital of pot holes!

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Africa » Malawi » Southern » Mangochi
February 7th 2019
Published: February 13th 2019
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Mangochi was only a brief stop along the way but we felt the need to blog about it as it is a place that has so much wrong with it at the moment. There's a newly surfaced road running all the way from Liwonde to Mangochi. The first 20-odd kilometres were impressive. The final 20-odd kilometres are still under construction and we have to drive on dirt tracks at the side of the work in progress. Back on the road, you could tell we were getting closer as the potholes got bigger and bigger until at times there was pretty much no road left. Once we actually got to the town, incidentally in the pouring rain, there was indeed no road whatsoever for several sections.

Our objectives in Mangochi were twofold. First, we wanted to pay our respects at the Commonwealth War Graves and then we wanted to visit the Lake Malawi Museum. Getting to the cemetery was a challenge initially because of the lack of parking anywhere nearby. It is on a busy road so you can't just pull in. We parked in the car park of one of the major banks and walked over. What we saw there broke our hearts. It is clear that there is an issue with the maintenance of Commonwealth War Cemeteries in Malawi and this one was in a far worse state than the one in Zomba. Having visited, we were then accosted on the way out by someone looking rather like a tramp who appeared to live in a hollowed out tree. He claimed to be a guide and was quite persistent meaning we walked away rather more quickly than we would normally have done.

Next we visited the Lake Malawi Museum which had some interesting exhibits. The problem was that most of the lights were out of order so we had to use the torches on our mobile phones to read anything. Getting to the display about some of the ships which used to ply their trade on the lake was a challenge. The curator, who followed us around very closely every step of the way, had to move some parts of the replica ship out of the way for us to get to them! Before we went in he had been up front that the aquarium section is out of order. That's a shame because it had sounded really interesting and it would have been good to see some of the fish that live in the lake.

Nearby was the Victoria clock tower on the roundabout just before the bridge which had been donated by the Japanese government. Across the bridge there seemed to be a bustling market which explained the quantity of people moving in either direction, a veritable sea of humanity. Our journey then continued further north without further incident.

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