Kande Island

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    • Day 37

      Chitimba to Kande Beach - New Year's Eve

      December 31, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      I had a slow build up of tiredness through the longterm camping experience that started causing me to do clumsy things like flood my tent by tipping over a water bottle. I also woke up with my tent filled with tiny insects again and had to brush them out before I packed up my tent. The insect populations are very dense by lake Malawi with dozens of bees buzzing around the honey on my breakfast pancakes, ants everywhere and large moths of all possible varieties sheltering on available surfaces. As we left the campsite, waving goodbye to the children who ran after the truck, we headed up into the hills and saw the huge plumes of lake flies rising like living smoke, in their billions, above the sunlit lake.
      We had fantastic views across the forested hills as we climbed. We passed small villages and towns with vibrant markets which are always a riot of colour and activity. We stopped by a shopping mall in a local town to buy lunch and some fancy dress clothes for the New Year's celebrations that evening. The clothes were arrayed on nearby stalls and sold by funny and characterful young men which made it a fun experience. We headed on through more green hills and a large rubber plantation where young boys were selling large balls made of rubber bands. We arrived on the shores of Lake Malawi who's extensive coastline we had been following for the entire journey, and found ourselves in a beautiful campsite, Kande Beach Resort, on a long golden beach with a small island just off shore. Lake Malawi has the 4th largest volume of any fresh water lake in the world and is over 700 metres deep at its deepest. It is fed by many rivers and over spills at one end to help form the great Zambezi river that we will witness spectacularly at Victoria falls. I booked a single cabin at the campsite with a view onto the beach which would be a welcome relief from the miserable camping experience the previous night. As I settled in to my bamboo wood and tin rooved cabin, a large rainstorm passed over beating a heavy and persistent rhythm with large rain drops on the roof. After the storm, I walked out onto the beach to take in a lovely golden sunset over the deep blue far hills with the stormy clouds providing an impressive backdrop.
      Next it was time to begin the New Year's Eve celebrations with my fellow travellers and welcome in a new decade. We had a nice meal, involving a hog roast, which I passed on in favour of some vegetarian sausages, roasted cabbage, vegetables garlic bread. Punch was made and everyone got drunk very quickly on that. Drunken games were played with much hilarity, until we walked over to the campsite bar to wait and see in the New Year. As midnight struck, fireworks were set off into the dark skies from the sand as distant pink lightning lit up the horizon, reflecting in Lake Malawi's calm waters. As is usual, everyone hugged everyone including local people who had joined the party. I had some funny banter with local young men who follow Premier League football. The celebrations continued until the early hours until I retired to bed to face the inevitable hangover the following day.
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    • Day 38

      New Year's Day in Kande

      January 1, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      I woke up early at 6am and decided to go out onto the beach to watch the sun rising before my hangover began in earnest. It was a beautiful view of the beach with a bright yellow sun slowly inching its way into a hazy morning sky. I retired to the veranda of the cabin to do some more writing. I then walked over to the Oasis Overland truck to get some light breakfast and returned to my cabin to sleep off some of my hangover and woke up 4 hours later at mid-day. I skipped lunch and spent the afternoon trying to keep as cool as possible away from the blistering heat of the day by sitting in the shade. I did go down to the beach to take some photos of the huge lake fly plumes rising above the lake looking like an insect tornado, but I didn't last very long and retreated to the shade again. Later in the day the weather began to cool and thousands of local people filled the beach and many started to take boats out to the nearby island. There was a big party atmosphere for New Year's day and local bars were pumping out heavy beats across the beach. The sun set behind the far hills and a blue-gray dusk settled across the beach contrasting with the pale yellow sands retaining the last of the light. The sky turned shades of pink and orange before darkness descended on the revellers.Read more

    • Day 39

      Kande to Mabuya near Lilongwe, Milawi

      January 2, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      The night was long, hot and disturbed - I woke up in the early hours with my mind turning over and with a tangle of thoughts and experiences preventing any further sleep. I therefore got up early, had some light breakfast and walked out onto the beach, where the troubled skies with dark storms and emerging clouds of lake flies seemed to match my mood.
      Some people say that travelling is an escape from the problems in your life. However, my experience on this journey has been the opposite - that the multifarious experiences of travel are more like a reflective lens that focusses a light as intense and unforgiving as the African sun on the issues in your life. Without the shade of rest and sleep you can easily get burned. All your feelings and emotions are magnified and expanded like the great African plains where your thoughts wander like herds of wildebeest and zebra, often falling prey to loneliness, exhilaration, hope, pain, loss, wonder, happiness, misery. All your emotions reach a high pitch, resonating in rhythm with the epic scenery, which can be intoxicating but also unbearable.
      We boarded the truck once again and headed back along the tree lined track up to the main road with the branches of trees crashing through the open windows of the truck and causing us all to duck down to avoid a swipe from a tree branch. Insects and even a small tree frog were momentarily stranded on the truck and had to be returned to their natural habitat.
      We headed out into the green and lush countryside with tree filled, misty mountains rising up above the road. We followed the lake again, up into highlands with expansive views up to the mountains that lined the road for many miles. At certain points the landscape opened out into huge plains leading all the way to dark, distant mountains.
      We arrived in Malawi's capital city, Lilongwe, around mid-afternoon and were shopping for food for our evening dinner when a huge thunderstorm hit the city and torrential rain came down flooding the streets. Suffice to say, we got drenched running back to the truck and then got caught in the Lilongwe rush hour. Once again, the weather reflected my own mood and I began to wonder if I was sickening for something.
      We finally arrived at a very wet campsite, Mabuya Camp, in pouring rain and there was little choice but to upgrade to a room as the campsite was flooded. I continued to feel tired and miserable, and after dinner I retired to bed for an early night with the rain still bearing down. I managed to go to sleep quickly, but had many, now forgotten, dreams of Africa as if the large African raindrops were somehow seeping into my soul.
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    • Day 325

      Tag 35 - 37: Lake Malawi

      June 24, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Mer händ drü nächt uf ehmene Campingplatz am See verbrocht und händ chönne mache was mer wänd.

      Ich bi am erste Tag uf ehn Tour dors Dorf wos üs viel über s Läbe und Kultur vo de Lüüt do verzellt händ. Mer händ de Brunne, d Schuel unds "Spital" ahgluegt. De Fakt, dass sowohl s Spital als au d Schuel werklich um jedi Form vo Spänd bitte händ, (also au Stifte, Moslitonetz oder übrig bliibnigi Malariapille) hed üs no meh zeigt wie fest sie tatsächlich uf Hilf ahgwiese sind.

      Am Nomittag hämmer es Ruederboot gmieted und sind zu de chline Insle diräkt vor ehm Campingplatz paddled. Det simmer im Lake Malawi (de See mit de wältwiit grösste population ah tropische Fisch ih Süesseasser) go schnorchle.

      De zwoiti Tag han ich nüt gmacht. Ich bi nor ih de Hängematte gläge, ha gläse bi chli go schwimme und ha mit de Lüüt gredt. Ich ha mer au no es Bild loh zeichne vo de Lüüt wo üs amVortag dors Dorf gfüehrt händ - das esch es tollsSä Souvenir und ged de Iheimische gliichziitig es Ihkomme.
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    • Day 29

      Kande Beach Resort

      July 7, 2017 in Malawi ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      We arrived at Kande Beach Resort at about 1:00pm so that left us plenty of time to explore after we had checked in. I decided to upgrade again as the price was very reasonable for a beach front room as you can see in the photos the room is average but the view is beautiful - we are lucky enough to be staying here for two nights.

      Carrie and I had taken a liking to skirts that one of the girls on our other tour was working, we asked her where she got them and this was the place! We had been looking forward to this for a couple weeks.

      After lunch we got some directions from Hesbon our tour manager and started making our way to the village shops. Hesbon said as we were leaving 'don't worry you will find plenty of friends' we didn't quite understand this until we walked out the gate of the resort and we were met by about three men. The three men weren't trying to sell us anything, they were simply asking us our name, what we did for work, how big our family was, where we came from etc. I felt like they were taking the opportunity to talk to a 'mozuma' and find out how we lived, they were just as interested in us as we were in them.

      We continued walking with one of the males Shud who was studying as well as an artist with his own Malawian hip hop band, he invited us to the local pub that night to come watch him - we told him we would think about it. He continued to walk with us quite a while just making general conversation before stopping and leaving us to walk alone. The walk to the village shops was about 2.5km long and took about half an hour to walk, the path took us through the village, crops and a forrest.

      We were greeted by a man named James as we reached the shops, he asked us what we wanted - we explained to him that we were after material and a dress maker. He immediately showed us to a store with material, we found one each that we liked but we wanted two skirts each made so he took us to another store where we found another pattern each that we liked. What I liked was that there was no 'tourist price' or bullshit they told us the price and it was cheaper than what we had been told by our guides to pay. Once we bought the material James then took us to a dress maker who was sitting underneath a veranda of a shop on the side of the road with his singer sewing machine, James acted as a translator and explained to him what we were after.

      We then began walking back to Kande Beach Resort. Along the way many people, young and old spoke to us - everyone was so welcoming and friendly. It was great to be able to walk through the village, seeing the way that they live and speaking to the locals - a lot better than just driving past in the truck.

      That night I had an ant infestation in my bed, I went to sleep at about 12:00am and woke up at 1:30am in a sea of ants. I tried everything (even stripping the bed) to get rid of them but they just wouldn't budge so at 4:00am I am calling mum because I am in pain from the bites and emotional. The next morning they ended up moving us into a different room.

      The next day, after lunch Carrie and I went for a walk with Chris, Vig, Archana and Nicole to pick up our skirts. We wernt walking for long before Shud and James began walking with us again, they told us that they enjoyed walking with us because it gave them a chance to practice their English. The skirts had to be altered slightly so Shud and James took us for a walk about a kilometre down the road to a wood carving and painting stand on the side of the road. I ended up buying a bowl with the big five carved into the side of it, it was nice because they didn't hassle us and we were able to look.

      We walked back and the skirts weren't ready yet so we were taken to a local pub to have a beer. The pub literally had a few wooden benches, speakers, one fridge, television and a pool table.

      Our skirts were ready and they are just what we wanted! James began walking us back but at about half way he introduced us to his uncle William who walked with us the remainder of the way. Along the way we spoke to several children, one group showed us their soccer ball which was made out of a condom, plastic bag and string (very creative).

      This has been one of my favourite places to explore, majority of the places we have stayed we haven't been able to leave the resorts or camp grounds as it isn't safe for us. It was nice to be able to go out on our own, socialise with the locals, getting an understanding of the way they live and their culture.
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    • Day 365


      March 30, 2018 in Malawi ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      After another long day drive from Zanzibar and a overnight stop we crossed the border into Malawi and arrived at our campsite in Kande beach on the edge of Lake Malawi! We thought we would posh it up somewhat and paid for an upgrade from our tent to a beach front cabin for $10/night each.
      Most of the time here was spent relaxing, playing football on the beach and swimming in the lake. Our guide Wilson made us a alcoholic punch in the first night and we spent it chatting around a camp fire on the beach!
      The next day was another highlight for us on the trip, but was also very eye opening. We took a guided tour around the local village next to our campsite. Initially they tried to sell us stuff which was a bit annoying but when we got to the village they left us well alone. We met all the local children, they were so excited to see us and just wanted to hold our hand and walk with us. As 'payment' they just wanted to borrow our sunglasses, get their photos or videos taken and look back at them on our phone screens which amazed them. The concept of a touch screen meant I had about 6 children around me at one point all trying to play with my phone.
      It was also quite a sad visit, we went to the school where we learnt that usually there was 100 children/teacher. The small school had 1000 pupils in total and very little equipment mostly relying on donations for books, paper and pencils. We were told by our guide to ask before giving the children anything. When one child asked for our 2 litre plastic bottle we didn't know why, but we found out it was just so he could take enough water to school for the day. As the nearest water pump was over half a mile from the school. When we gave it to him a fight broke out between the children all trying to get the bottle off him so they could have it for themselves.
      We visited the local health centre (nothing like ours at home) which services 4000 people. At which there was not a single doctor, but a few health assistants (we think nurses) and if they needed any other healthcare they had to go the the regional health centre over 20km away, obviously none of these people had cars and the ambulances wouldn't normally do anything other than emergencies so they had to somehow get there themselves.
      That night we were cooked a local meal in the village, at the only house with electricity, which cut off after 10 minutes. Then the school children have us a display of African dancing and singing which we had to join in with. They were far better then any of us!!
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    Kande Island

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