John Lucas


John Lucas


Former TravelPod Member: johnlucas

Joined: January 30th, 2014
From: lives in Bishops Castle,United Kingdom

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London December 1st 2016

Geo: 51.5002, -0.126236Sorry there have been no updates for the past couple of days but the place we were staying did not have WiFi. We had a very nice day climbing around the rocks near a town called Dedza looking at rock paintings. One group were drawn by hunter gatherers around 10,000 years ago and another by more settled farmers about 2,000 years ago.There are over 120 separate sites within a 25 square km area. We were taken in a small Suzuki car (with one wheel the space saver - don't use except in emergency type) down all sorts of rocky forestry tracks to see three clusters of sites. Still, this was slightly more comfortable than yesterdays taxi ride. Rather than walk the 3km back from Dedza town to the lodge we hired two cycle taxis, ... read more
Rock Art 2

Africa » Malawi November 27th 2016

Geo: -13.9676, 34.8205On Saturday and Sunday in Cape Maclear day trippers come out from Lilongwe to swim in the lake, drink in the bars and jam up the internet connection so I have only just managed to post the pictures for yesterdays blog.Our last day next to the lake was spent people watching from our veranda with a short walk along the beach for a couple of beefburgers and a beer. Malawi is supposedly the poorest country in the world or so we have heard from several sources. I am not sure how this is measured, if it is just average dollars per day income then this might well be true as a very high percentage of people earn next to nothing. They grow their own food, catch their own fish and sell any surplus to ... read more
Same Kite traditional pose

Africa » Malawi November 26th 2016

Geo: -13.9676, 34.8205Welcome back to our blog, we have been on a tropical island in the middle of lake Malawi which has no electricity, internet access or proper toilets, the showers are buckets with a shower head underneath and the rooms are large tents under a canopy but like almost everywhere in Africa, mobile phones worked. Getting there was fun, we paddled the 10km in a kayak! We were in a two man kayak, I put Gill in the front, so I could check she was rowing, and our guide had his own kayak with a few bags strapped on, I hoped they were safety flares or other emergency equipment but it might have been his lunch. He did stress it was 10km and would take 2 hours, this seemed very optimistic to us.The first 30 ... read more
Tent with a view
Bucket Showers

Africa » Malawi November 22nd 2016

Geo: -12.8793, 34.1053We are now back at the lakeside in more modest accommodation right on the beach which is nice. This afternoon, provided it is on schedule, we catch the Ilala for the last time down to the far south of the lake at a place called CapeMaclear named by Livingstone after a friend of his. During the 50's it was the overnight stop for the BOAC flying boat service to South Africa, apparently it is now the "Benidorm of Malawi", we can't wait!Actually we are only there one night as we are then due to paddle ourselves to a tropical island (Mumbo Island) which is about 10km away from the shore. The company who organise the trip say it takes 2 hours to get there and I have noticed that they intend to bring us ... read more
Another Elephant
Two More (there were six in total)
Gill on a beach somewhere in Malawi

Africa » Malawi November 21st 2016

Geo: -12.8793, 34.1053Whilst we have not come to Malawi to see lots of animals we were getting a little frustrated that we had hardly seen any. That was resolved this morning when a small herd of elephants were spotted near the lodge. It had just started to rain so we picked up umbrellas, our guide and the man with the gun and we were soon able to see a couple of adults and a baby. In the tourist parks in Tanzania or Botswana you can get very close, here the guides get a bit stressed if you get within 100m. Poaching has made the established elephants very nervous and the newer batch are still nervous after they met Prince Harry a few months ago (actually I think it was being darted and driven 200 miles which ... read more

Africa » Malawi November 18th 2016

Geo: -12.9354, 34.3205I am pleased to say that our excursion off the ship mentioned in the last posting went to plan. We managed to get on the first lifeboat off the ship, get into the bar where my camera had been left, have a couple of beers, a very nice dinner and catch up on the news. Apparently Barnet drew, England beat Scotland and a hotelier will be the next President of the USA but I presume you all knew that. We then got back on before it set sail again.The planned three hour stop took over five as the jetty at Nkhata Bay was washed away in a storm last year so even at this quite big town they still use the lifeboats to load and unload the ship. You can't imagine that a lake ... read more
White man goes fishing
La 5e d'un bord...
Men Overboard

Africa » Malawi November 14th 2016

Geo: -10.8871, 34.277Welcome back to Lord and Lady Mucks blog. We are now cruising down the lake in our steam ship the MV Ilala. Unfortunately it is no longer steam, it has diesel engines, where is the romance in that! We are back in the Owners Cabin complete with non functioning bath and shower and at least one cockroach (now deceased). Very few tourists or middle class Malawian people use the ferry. It is so unreliable that the tour companies or anyone on a tight schedule cannot rely on it and the main roads in Malawi are quite good so anyone with a car drives. So the two upper, first class, decks have about 20 people (only three of us are white) and the lower, second class deck is absolutely rammed with people most of whom ... read more

Africa » Malawi November 11th 2016

Geo: -13.7158, 34.6287As mentioned yesterday we are staying in a place called the Mushroom Farm, it is on the side of a mountain with spectacular views. Our bedroom is a cob house (straw and mud construction, as seen on Grand Designs) and the bathroom is huge, it only has three walls, the fourth is open with a 1000ft drop immediately below so there is no danger of anyone looking in although it is a bit disconcerting when you go to the loo in the middle of the night. It is a vegetarian establishment but they seem to think that if you are not given meat you must eat lots of greens. Yesterday's lunches were huge and then dinner was beyond us, I managed 70% of my plate of food but Gill was completely defeated and only ... read more
Manchewe Falls
Rush Hour

Africa » Malawi November 8th 2016

Geo: -10.606, 34.1063Throughout Southern Africa there is a strange, almost religious, custom which is performed every day. Guest houses, lodges and hotels insist that at around 5pm you get in a vehicle, drive up the nearest hill, unload a table, a few chairs and a cool box and have a "Sundowner" which is either a G&T or a beer whilst you watch the sunset. You then all climb back in the vehicle and return home in the dark. Whilst I rather like a nice G&T or a beer I have never understood this custom, the sunset happens every day as, unlike England, it is always sunny, why leave a perfectly serviceable bar to drink somewhere there is a high probability of sand, flies or other rubbish getting in your drink. This strange custom even takes place ... read more

Africa » Malawi November 6th 2016

Geo: -10.5956, 33.8587Not only did we have a ship stop especially for us (see A very African Day) but we also have our own game park and a valet! We spent a night in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve which is a transfrontier park, a very fashionable concept, where the borders between countries have been removed to allow the animals to migrate.This reserve borders Malawi and Zambia although we stayed firmly on the Malawian side. We were the only people in the reserve, 960 square kilometres just for us. Unfortunately most of the animals decided to holiday in Zambia so apart from a lot of hippos (who find migration and holidays in general stressful) we did not see much else although it was great just sitting out at night listening to the frogs and the odd strange, ... read more
Zebra in the North Yorkshire Moors
Our House

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