11 August 2023 | Tanzania, Africa
06 August 2023 | Moshi/Kilimanjaro Area, Tanzania Africa
27 March 2018 | Port Townsend WA
23 March 2018 | Opua NZ Boatyard
Motorbike Ride From The Mushroom Farm Down The Mtn. To Chitimba
23 September 2023
Check out the album with a few pics of our ride down to catch the Sienta back to Karonga. We had 3 motorbikes, each with a driver, cargo and passengers. Jimmy had an old style TV along with his baggage, Romain and Amelia 2 large backpacks and Brad and I, a knapsack and a combo suitcase/backpack.
There are 20+hairpins along what looks like a continual cliff. It’s a mass of rocks, potholes and debris but it’s the quickest way from A to B. The ride was over before we knew it.
Just another adventure!
Nkhata Bay and Livingstonia
23 September 2023
The wild ride finally ended in Mzuzu.
A family member of Jimmy’s picked us up there in a quite nice car and drove us to Nkhata Bay about an hour away on Lake Malawi. Jimmy is spending time with family in a nearby village while we’re here.
The Lake runs North/South and is the Eastern border of Malawi. It’s roughly 350 miles long and 47 miles wide. From where we’re staying on the shore at Mayoka Lodge it looks like the Pacific.
Freshwater fish called Cichlids occur and are abundant here so we brought our masks and snorkels to have a look. What we saw ranged from tiny to 6-8” long in mostly beautiful, bright blues and yellows. It’s good we went in early because when the wind picked up mid day there were waves like the ocean.
The resort has literally been carved into a steep stone hillside. A mountain goat would be right
at home. I feel like an old geezer! Our bungalow almost overhangs the water and the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks below our deck is like being at the ocean.
There’s a nice restaurant (with ice cream,) a couple kitties and interesting travelers to visit with. Most are British or European.
Next stop is Livingstonia which is in the hills and named, of course after the famed Dr.Livingston. From Mzuzu we take a Sienta which holds
8 of us comfortably for the ride up the mountain. Shockingly, the road is excellent and I have a sweet little one year old boy riding in his mom’s lap next to me. I think he spent most of the trip rubbing my arm in hopes that the white would come off!!!
We’ve come here both to see a different part of Malawi, as well as to meet Jimmy’s wife Molly and his youngest daughter Glory (6). His wife is working at the hospital doing bookkeeping.
We’re staying at the Mushroom Farm nearby which is an eco lodge everyone in Malawi is talking about.
Constructed on the top of a cliff, there are accommodations ranging from bring your own tent, dorms, cabins and a multi room structure of Cobb construction. They have a large, steep, permaculture garden and a fabulous vegetarian restaurant.
The guests are all considerably younger than we are and most have been on the road for almost a year. One fellow from The Netherlands is walking from Cape Town to Cairo pushing a small trolley with his tent and a few belongings.
We are pretty dull aren’t we?
The Beginning Of A Short Sightseeing Holiday
17 September 2023
We made a 6 day road trip to see Nakata Bay on Lake Malawi and Livingstonia located in the nearby mountains. It was great to get away and have a change of scenery for a few days!
Jimmy, our friend from TWESA coordinated everything except accommodation and was along on the transit parts of the outing. Getting around here can be an absolute nightmare.
The bus he chose for our departure ended up not having a departure time until late afternoon so he bought tickets for another bus at 9:15 am. About 9:45 we were told that bus, coming from the north was already full so we wouldn’t be able to have seats. Next option was for the 3 of us to pack into a mini bus with god knows how many other people and their stuff for the 4 hour ride (which will actually take who knows how long?) We were finally on the road by 10:30 with Brad and I piled in the front with the driver. No seat belts, no passenger limit. They tie the back shut with a piece of twine.
The roads here are mostly huge potholes, so drivers weave from shoulder to shoulder to reduce impact. It looks like a constant head on collision in the making. Add in the bicycles, walkers, motorbikes, goats and cows. It’s chaos. There are a gazillion police roadblocks for who knows what reasons. Guess it keeps people employed. They seemed to enjoy looking at our passports.
We were traveling to Mzuzu and part of the road is really steep and in worse condition than already described. There are broken down transport trucks and baboons
everywhere. Our max speed might have been 5mph. And yes, the African techno pop music is playing full volume. Too bad there was no room to dance : )
To be continued …
Time To Check In
17 September 2023
I know I’ve been awfully quiet and it’s about time I made a post.
Our experience here in Karonga has been what I’ll call full immersion. 24/7 other than getting some sleep every night. It’s been hard not having a place of our own to escape to. You’re always feeling like you need to be engaged with people either at the TWESA office or here at Luis and Mary’s.
Luis and Mary live a comfortable life compared compared to most of their neighbors. Running water, concrete floors, electricity (as of a week ago) and food on the table. It’s tough going here. We have our own room with a toilet, cold water shower, a small sink and a reasonably comfortable bed.
You always sleep under mosquito netting. Malaria is prevalent here so we take Malarone every day. We’ve been able to drink their tap water with no ill effects. That great as it saves on adding more empty plastic bottles to the litter problem.
Luis is a retired accountant and Mary has raised their 4 children as well as plenty of extended family. There are 2 nieces and a nephew in their 20’s here, along with 2 grandsons, 4 and 7. It’s a full and happy house!
September and October are their hottest months. It sounds like things are just starting to get hot. Glad we won’t experience the worst of it and that the construction work at the TWESA office is complete.
The building is one story, made of brick and maybe around 1000 sf. Brad and the volunteers poured concrete floors and a narrow porch across the front. Now they’re putting whitewash on the interior walls. They need to find about $3000 US for 4 windows, a front door, electricity, a water line and laptop. That’s a massive amount of money here.
If you’re interested in what they’re all about, here’s a link to info.