Easter weekend trek

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello hello all. I'm home in Mzuzu and somehow alive and well from my trek this weekend. Those of you who know me might not think I'm the "trekking type"... I scoffed at anyone who doubted my abilities and embarked on a four-day hike with Becks, Will and Sophie along the northern shore of Lake Malawi.

We met at the bus depot at 7:30 am, but we didn't leave Mzuzu until nine, since the minibuses won't depart until they are filled to the absolute brim with passengers.

Me and Sophie

We were then stopped at the checkpoint leaving Mzuzu for forty-five minutes because our parking light was broken. (Considering how generally terrible the condition of these minibuses are, it's pretty ridiculous that something as minor as a broken parking light got us pulled over.) The driver had to pay off the officers, as is customary here, and we didn't leave until close to ten. Luckily the drive up to Chiweta was shorter than we thought it would be and we arrived there at noon.

We then had to take a matola (taxi) to Mwale, where the trail starts. Our "taxi" was actually a pick-up truck packed with 22 passengers, three chickens, and a baby. Also, it had to be bump-started every time the truck stopped and started.


Me and Sophie

The beginning of the hike was just lovely. Once we got to Mwale, we walked for a few hours along the trail, which was a mostly flat path along the lake. There were gorgeous views at every turn.

Will at a "tea room"

This trail is not often hiked by mzungus - it's more used as a pathway for locals walking between villages. So, we attracted even more attention than usual at every village we passed. The others take Chitimbuka lessons, luckily for me, so they were able to communicate with the villagers and I was able to pick up some new words and greetings. The kids were always keen on having their pictures taken.

The kids in Malawi always pose for pictures in these Kung Fu positions. We don't really know why.

We walked for about four hours on the first day and called it quits when we found an ideal little beach to camp on.

We had a few visitors who stood and watched while we swam, ate, and pitch our tents. It was funny...we sort of felt like the entertainment for the night even though we weren't doing anything all that interesting (to us).

Will built an excellent fire

We bought cassava (yuca root) and onions from our new friends, though over the ashy fire they were a little less than tasty.

That's all for now! Check back soon for part two of my exciting Easter Trek!


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