Malawi-Mulanje Mountains

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October 2nd 2009
Published: October 8th 2009
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Tea Plantations around Mulanje
Hello Everybody!
Here's our first Malawi entry. It was quite the trip from Mozambique to Malawi and we were glad to get to Blantyre, which is a big city. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa but it's very friendly and seems more organized than some other countries we've been too. They have a lot of their own exports here; tobacco, tea, coffee, nuts, honey, etc.. But most items have to be imported and are expensive. For example sunscreen ranges in price from $45 to $60 US dollars. Nice accomodation and food is very inexpensive, you can eat a really nice meal for $2.50.
We stayed 3 nights in Blantyre and got ready for our Mulanje Mountain trek. The mountains have a series of self-catering huts so we needed to buy a pot, some utensils, and enough food for several days. We left Blantyre on the bus at 6:30 in the morning and got to Mulanje at 9:30. By 10:30am we were headed up the mountain with our guide and porter. It was a 7 hour hike, but it was really beautiful. You start off going through tea plantations which are gorgeous. Our path took us through wild flower
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Mountain with Fern Tree
and butterfly covered hillsides, pine and eucalyptus forest, it was stunning. Our first night was spent at the C.C.A.P. hut and it had dorm rooms with bunk beds which was really nice. There is a caretaker living at each of the huts and he makes sure you have firewood to last through the night, starts the fire for you around 5:00 pm and will heat water for you if you want to wash up. You cook your own food over the fire. There were 2 other groups of people there, but we all went off on seperate trails in the morning.
We didn't leave until 8:00am next morning because we only had a 4 hour hike today to Chisepo Hut. I''m glad it was only 4 hours because it was straight up most of the time. But it was beautiful. We were in spots where we were completely surrounded by clouds. It looked like an ocean of clouds in all directions, and it was nice and cool, for awhile. By the time we got to the hut we were drenched in sweat. Luckily there was a natural pool that we got into and cooled off and washed up in. Spent
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Shrouded in Clouds
quite a bit of the afternoon there. We were the only ones there and had the hut to ourselves that night. No bunkbeds here but they did have nice thick mats to put our sleeping bags on top of.
We were up and on the move by 6:30am. Today we were summitting Sepitwa Peak, then coming back to the hut for lunch and an hours rest. I've got to tell you, I hated every step I took. It was really hard and very hot. But of course when you get to the top and your surrounded by these dramatic mountains and you feel like you can see to the ends of the earth, you forget how hard it was to get to that point. Round trip took us about 4 1/2 hours. We got back to the hut, took a dip in the pool, had some lunch, taped up all my blisters and we set off again for Tuchila hut and our last night in the mountains. It took another 4 hours to reach Tuchila hut. Again, we were the only ones in the hut. No cushy mats here, just our sleeping bags on the hard wood floor of the
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High Peaks
hut, but we were so wore out that we slept like babies.
Up and out by 6:30am. Down, down, down. What took us 3 days to climb, we go down all in one day and the trail down was absolutely hellish. I was scared for the first 3 hours. It really was awful. I didn't think the ground would ever start to level out, but it finally did. We hiked into a little village and had to wait an hour for a "taxi" to come by. The taxi was a little Nissan pick-up. The 4 of us got in the bed of the truck with 8 others and away we went. We got back to Mulanje town in about an hour and a half. We went straight to the store there and we both pigged out on Coke, Doritos, and Snickers bars. We felt like we'd earned it.
Another bus ride back to Blantyre to rest up for 2 nights, have some laundry done, then off to the lake! I'm glad we did the mountain trek, even if it was hard. Aaron did it 15 years ago and said he didn't remember it being so hard. It wasn't that hard
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Sapitwa Peak
when you were 21 years old. I told him we'd come back in 10 years when he's my age and he could do it again. He said "no way"! Ha-Ha. Let us keep hearing from you. Your messages keep us going. Til next time,
Carolyn & Aaron

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


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Mount Mulanje

Crazy Rock Formations
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Mount Mulanje

Thachila Hut
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Mount Mulanje

Moss Goatie

8th October 2009

Mulanje Mountains
As they used to tell us in the army--No hill for a climber. Beautiful pictures---I need you guys to send future notes and pictures to Charie's e-mail address--as I will be leaving Comcast Spotlight soon! Charie's e-mail address, Rick
8th October 2009

What an experience, I'm so happy for you. Keep the pictures and stories comming,
8th October 2009

Malawi - awesome
I enjoy your travel blog and the pictures, it looks like you're both doing well... you guys are living the adventure! Aaron, you need to go back and hike the Mulanje Mtns in 10 years, and watch Carolyn will keep up with you. best regards, mike
18th November 2009

Those mountains sound pretty tough. Am thinking of doing the historic WW11 Kokoda Track in New Guinea with my son in 2011. Might have to go to Malawi to practise! Keep up the great reports!
28th April 2010

Home is beautiful
I'm a man aged twenty six.I came from a district where this magnificant beautiful mount lise. I wish to comment in this column about this wonderful mount whish make me proud from where I came from.I love this nature I'm happy to see this page talking about this nature(Mulanje Mount). I love yuo guys Vox
16th August 2010

I, appriciate the nature of mulanje mountain.
10th October 2010
Mount Mulanje

Rabbits ears!

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