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  • Day131

    Nhkata Bay to Livingstonia

    January 24 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    It’s time for a change in scenery. Since we’ve been in Nhkata Bay for a bit longer than expected we decide to pack up our stuff and to the North of Malawi to Livingstonia. We plan to stay at a place called Mushroom Farm which is located on the hill up to Livingstonia and has an amazing view over the rolling hills and Lake Malawi.

    It’s a bit of a trek to as we start our day in a taxi to Mzuzu. It takes about 45 minutes to get here and we arrive at about 11am. Onto the next mode of transport!

    We have the option to take a spacious, clean coach bus that leaves at 1pm. Or, hop on a small, cramped and more expensive minibus with makeshift seats made out of wood with no cushions. Obviously, we choose the minibus as it leaves earlier.

    We’re easily distracted from the discomfort of the ride by the amazing views. We almost even forget we are on this bus that looks to be falling part. This is interrupted when we go over a puddle and the water manages to splash up through the bottom of the bus and get Chris all wet. It’s a good laugh. But, we can’t wait to get off.

    After a 3 hour “bus” journey we finally arrive in Chitimba. We are greeted by Stanley who works for Mushroom Farm and arranges transport up the mountain. Our third and final mode of transport.

    We didn’t realize it would be another 45 minute motorcycle ride up the hill. It’s 45 minutes not because of the far distance. But rather because of the terrible condition of the road. But hey, we don’t really have any other choice so we strap our bags to the back and each hop onto a motorbike. Katie is escorted by Evans and Chris by the name of Gift.

    The “road” is essentially a lot of rocks piled on top of the dirt. Apparently some white guy started to build it but stopped halfway through and now this is the result. The drivers seem to know which rocks to avoid and which ones are safe to drive over. But it is safe to say this is probably the bumpiest motorcycle ride we’ll ever go on.

    Evans tells Katie that it is 20 bends up the mountain until we reach Mushroom Farm. As he counts each bend, Katie isn’t sure if he uses this as a conversation topic or rather to pass the time as he goes up and down the mountain several times a day. They count together as Katie holds tight to the back of the motorcycle while admiring the views as they near the top of the mountain.

    Chris and Gift arrive much later to the top as his bag fell off and needed some readjusting with the straps. It also didn’t help that his bike was experiencing “some problems” and broke down a few times. This resulted in Chris having to climb up most of the mountain.

    Thankful to arrive in one piece, we check into Mushroom Farm. A cloud has masked the views from the lodge. But we opt to stay in a a Safari Tent with a big double bed and nice balcony so that we can enjoy the view once the fog has lifted. The room doesn’t have electricity so we have to rely on candlelit by night.

    We relax for the rest of the day in the hammocks that overlook the plateau and Lake Malawi. There’s one other guest staying named Emiliano who met previously at Mayoka. We chat over dinner swapping travel stories and tips and head to bed early at 8:30pm. We wonder to ourselves if this will be our permanent bedtime.
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