Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
144Trip End Ongoing
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We had been holding our breath for Lilongwe as it is one of the biggest towns in Malawi and we would surely get supplies there.
The expats we met at Chintcheche Inn all reside in Lilongwe. They work either at private schools or for a consulate. Strange how one can form a picture in your head before actually seeing a place. It is not even a conscious decision, it sort of just happens and most of the time it is nothing like you imagined. In this case, this was the case. Sometimes one has to listen to what people don't say, rather than what they do say. Good enough for us to do a shop, if nothing else.
Malawi is super expensive but one can get quality products and even familiar products here
All the children in the "village" passed by our stand a number of times (10 +) going to and throw from collecting wood. This ritual is not a quiet one as they giggle and laugh and stare and point. On the other side (about 3 meter away) a your woman was either on the cell taking to someone in Greenland, as she had to use maximum volume for them to hear her or having a full on conversation with the gardener that was about 300 meters away. If that was not enough she would break into song in between. I eventually switched on my computer and played some music of my own just to make a point.
Fortunately it was only a stopover and early the next morning we could pack up and be out of there.
The road to Blantyre is interesting with lots to see. Kopjies (hills) finally start appearing and the fields are being prepared in anticipation of rain. The road continues along the high ground with splendid views of the valleys below
Manual stone crusher’s stalls are a common sight. The stone in these parts are varied with different colours and some even with a sparkle. The Afrikaans phrase “ons gaan klippe kap” gets a very real meaning here. You see them sit on or next to a pile of stone with a hammer in hand happily crushing away. What blows the mind is that they don’t even look for a shady spot to sit under.
Open air butcheries display their product which leaves us utterly grateful that we were able to shop in Lilongwe. Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other fresh produce also take up big areas next to the busy roadway. Besides the normal baskets and rugs, they also sell live birds in small cages and live chickens are held up to entice a sale. Real fresh! Real free-range chickens! You don’t even need a fridge, as long as it runs around – it stays fresh. LOL
Going up a steep long hill we came across what looked like the “groot trek”. A string of donkey cars were making their way up the hill. Some with product, some with people or whatever needed to get to the top of the mountain.
*Something I forgot to mention is the way the guys pack their bicycles with wood in Lilongwe. It is a very efficient system that allows them to carry maximum amounts of wood per trip. Have a look at the photos…….it even forms a little roof over their heads.
Some big dark clouds in the sky driving toward Blantyre. Please let it rain.