Blantyre - Day 9

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Africa » Malawi
October 23rd 2008
Published: October 24th 2008
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We passed a very pleasant night, with the sound of the waves breaking on the sandy lake shore only a few metres away. But we had to get on to Blantyre because it would leave us just one day to get our Mozambique Visas before the weekend, and we didn’t want to waste a couple of days in a city. As you will have gathered by now we are finding it impossible to free-camp in the countryside because of the density of the population and consequent lack of any opportunities. We are therefore selecting known camping venues from the guide books and personal recommendations.

Before leaving the Senga Bay area we visited a tropical fish farm. Local fishermen were contracted to catch the huge variety of beautiful little fish found in the Lake and then bring them to the fish farm. Here they are kept in huge tanks from whence they are “packaged” and forwarded to aquarium dealers throughout Europe. The packaging consists of about 7 fish in separate double plastic bags, saturated in oxygen, and placed together to fill special polystyrene boxes for transit by air to Europe.. They have a safe transit time of 48 hours. It was a fascinating hour or so before we set off for Blantyre.

Today’s drive from Senga Bay (Salima) took us through Liwonde and Zomba on to Blantyre. It was far more interesting if only because of the huge Mt Zomba which dominated the skyline for much of the journey. But the big change for us was that it rained - not a nice prospect for us campers who rely on dry weather for our open air existence.

When we arrived in Blantyre we sought out Doogles as the site most favoured by travelers like us but we were most disappointed to find they had no room, other than a dusty, cramped, sloping car park which would have been unbearable. But the kind proprietor rang the Limbe Country Club who said they would be able to accommodate us. When we arrived there it was to find a colonial style sports club, with every possible sporting activity thinkable, and an old building built in 1923. Pictures on the wall proudly remember the past.

We were directed to a site next to the large sports field, where cricket, football and hockey are played; indoors are squash courts, snooker and darts, while next door is a very attractive looking golf course with plenty of Jacaranda trees, many now in flower. Our site is fine and we are surrounded during daylight and the early evening by enthusiastic training sessions. But in the evening the wind got up and we were severely battered by flapping tent canvas and miserably cold conditions for our evening meal. Oh well, it can't be balmy all the time!

A note, dear reader; to say that internet facilities so far have been non-existent. This means that getting the news to you is difficult to say the least. Moreover, the sending of pictures can be a problem too so these may have to be added later.


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