Chintheche via Mzuzu
Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
146Trip End Ongoing
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On our way to our most important stop to obtain a visa for Carlos in Mzuzu, we stopped at two campsites along the way just as a matter of interest. The first would not have been suitable for us with the trailer. It is a lovely spot on the ridge overlooking the lake and Tanzania on the other side. They were in the process of constructing a bigger Lapa but their guests did not seem to mind.
The next one, not very far from it, is also on the ridge and has its own private beach. More established but also busy making changes to the deck and restaurant areas. Camping with the trailer would have been possible. After having a beer and a long conversation with the owner we made our way over the mountain.
It is quite a climb to the top of the pass where a coal mine is in operation. Amazing Lake views from that height. It would be a long slow drive because of the multitude of villages along the way. The speed limit in Malawi is 80 km/h but 50 km/h when going through a village.
Mzuzu is a fairly big town. Our first stop, the immigration office. While Carlos stood in queues and pushed his way to be helped, I enjoyed "people watching" from the car. For the first time in Malawi there were a number of fancy dressers in the streets. Have a look at the photos taken on the sly. $100 and a 30 day single entry visa later we were all set.
Carlos went in search of bolts at all the possible hardware shops in town, fortunately he found some as the hitch needed work.
He kindly agreed to take me to a market where I would be able to buy some fabrics. Beautiful African prints from Tanzania and Malawi which all the ladies wear and use for just about every task under the sun. After a bit of a wild goose chase, a local agreed to take us to where the market was. He quickly saw a business opportunity and said that his brother has a stall there with fabrics
The military had some sort of fitness test in progress as a number of fully kitted soldiers were running up and down the hills in the heat of the day toward the army barracks.
The road out of town is on the high ground with many villages along the way. Green, with many mango and banana trees along the way. Something neither Carlos nor myself have ever seen was Rubber plantations! Young and old trees lined the road for kilometers. The older trees have the spiral cut in the trunk from where they tap the rubber. Next to the road they sell white rubber balls. We should have stopped to buy a white rubber ball.