Lake Malawi

Trip Start Jan 04, 2008
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Trip End Dec 17, 2008


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Monday, June 23, 2008

After a short drive from Chitimba we arrived at Kande Beach on Lake Malawi which was to be our home for the next 3 nights.  Alex and I decided to upgrade to a bungalow for $20 a night and have a few decent nights sleep in a bed.  After dinner we had a talk about the local area from Sammy who explained in full detail about the parasites in the lake and whether we would be at risk from them.  It turned out that in the area of the lake we were staying at there hadn't been any cases of the parasites as they only survive in still water and here there is almost surf with the breeze coming across the lake. He also spoke to us about the local lads outside the camp whose main pastime was to sell the local herb "Malawi Gold" to the tourists on site, he noted they could be quite pushy and to be careful not to buy anything from them, the most amusing thing was their nicknames though, most notably a Mr. Mel Gibson and a Mr. Spiderman. After a few drinks in the bar we headed to bed.

The next day some of the lads decided to go sailing but as the wind was quite strong they were only allowed to take out pedalos and even these started to capsize.  Alex's t-shirt was the first casualty before the whole pedalo overturned with Mike somehow the only survivor and Tim swimming earnestly to catch up with the boat ! I'm not quite sure how they managed to get the things back to shore but Alex noted it probably wasn't the best idea they had that day. In the afternoon a few of the lads went diving in the lake and Alex started his PADI qualification.

I chose to remain on dry land away from any activities and spent a very relaxing afternoon with some of the girls in the hammocks with my book.  We were joined later on by Mincer who had been bareback horse riding in the lake.  After he found great amusement in me trying to get into the hammock with a bottle of cider he managed to find the only hammock that wasn't tied up properly and just as he got settled there was a snapping noise and he hit the deck - where's the video camera when you need it ??

That evening we had a poker tournament in the bar and a few social pops. On our final full day at Kande Beach it was Tim's birthday and so he got to choose the costume theme for the evening's festivities and he chose "banana leaves".  After some arguments with the Simons and Ed it was decided that we would be allowed to wear underwear and/or swimmies with our leaves.  Sammy had arranged for some local guys to deliver a small mountain of big banana tree leaves and we set to making our costumes armed with pen knives, string and Ed with a sewing kit.
After dinner we assembled by the truck and Tim was very pleased at the effort that we had gone to.  Needing to have a few drinks to take the edge off the fact that all we were wearing was a few leaves we headed to the bar.  Several beers and shots of strange spirits later it was time for the men to do their losers penalty.  On the long drive a couple of days earlier Selina & Carrie had produced the T*ts, Ar*e and Feet (TAF) quiz.  The truck was split into two teams - men vs women and we were shown shots of various body parts that they had taken so far on the trip and had to identify the owner.  Assuming that we would win the women agreed that the prize would be boasting rights and the losing team would have to do a streak on Tim's birthday at 10pm...obviously we won so a 10pm it was streaking time.

Unfortunately for Tim he'd had a few too many birthday shots and started running before he'd got his boxer shorts off and tried to run up a step with them still round his ankles and hit the deck !  Undeterred and in no pain due to the amount of alcohol he'd consumed he was soon back on his feet and running to catch up with the other blokes who had made it to the beach.  We followed kindly taking pictures on our and thier cameras to record the moment forever.  Once they had completed their mission and recovered themselves in banana leaves it was back to the bar for more of the same.  

Ed and I had spotted that a couple more overland trucks had arrived and their occupants were also in the bar so we set off on a tent moving mission.  Unfortunately one of the tents had someone asleep in it who we think was their group leader and a couple of people had spotted us moving tents in the dark.  After explaining what we were doing they weren't too impressed (boring) and the girl proceeded to kick sand at Ed much to his disgust. So we headed back to the bar for some more beers. Unknown to us the other overland group decided to get their own back and move our tents in retribution, they however picked the wrong set of tents and began moving another groups, one individual actually urinating on the other group leaders canvas. I think quite a few words were had between the two groups and somehow Ed and Maud's tent moving activities had created a bit of conflict but without our group actually being blamed for anything ... terrible !!  

The next morning with a few sore heads we left Kande Beach heading for the capital of Malawi - Lilongwe.
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