Staying Kapata Lodge, Korongo
Distance 92 + 6151 = 6243
Time on bike 5 h 36 m
Total from Amsterdam 11643
Car going back and forth with the loud hailer acting as an alarm clock this morning at 6. At most of the hotels we’ve stayed at recently we find a new toothbrush and toothpaste as well as the usual small soap. We have enough bars of soap to last us through Malawi but always need old toothbrushes to clean bikes, especially the chains and now have an ample supply. The ride today is a short one, 40 odd km to the border with a lot of downhill from Tukuyu. Got going at 8, bought a bunch of ten small bananas TSH500 … they’re nicer than regular sized ones which we haven’t seen lately. The scenery of the valleys and hills is so green and tropical and the soil looks very fertile. We are hoping that Malawi don’t have the 3 or 4 hump bumps across their roads as one has to slow way down, though can’t complain as it forces taxis and other road users to reduce their speed.
From what we’ve seen lately I think southern Tanzania is far prettier than Ethiopia. Lush green plantations of crops planted in valleys and on hills, various types of trees make up some of the beauty. With today being such a short ride I want to ride slowly to savour and take in all this gorgeous scenery. Peter’s in a hurry to get to the border so I’ve lagged behind and on one occasion catching up with him, he was chatting to a lovely young lady, Tusajigwe (Tusa for short) which means ‘blessing’. I teased him about scouting for a second wife. At 18 km, 09h20, and another catch up with Peter, we watched a group of people harvesting tea leaves. They use hedge clippers attached to a flat tray which catches the leaves. They then toss the leaves into a basket which they carry on their backs. When drinking a cup of tea in the comfort of our home, we will recall what it takes to produce loose tea leaves or tea bags. Another puncture at 20 km for Peter, front tyre again. I was already up the hill and thought he’d stopped to take a pic. I wasn’t popular as I had waited on top of the hill. On going down he told me there could be a problem in a certain area of the rim inner so he’s stuck some duct tape in the section that’s constantly causing punctures.
Holding thumbs its sorted. Got riding again 10h30. I’ve seen loads if poinsettia trees which obviously flourishes in this area. We will remember this area for the stunning valleys, hills and koppies (little outcrops) covered in dense bush, a variety of trees and various crops, all of these in various shades of green. Peter exchanged some left over Tanzanian shillings at a rate of 3.2 Kwacha. Our last chipati at the border was disappointing… doughy and greasy which we ate with fried shredded cabbage ??. I popped into a pharmacy and was surprised to see they had three Medi Soft mozzie repellent, TSH 3000 each. I bought two, should have bought all three. We met a couple from Australia, Bill and Julie (from NZ) who hired a kitted out Landcruiser in CT and were on their way to Botswana to drop it off. They’re on FB as ‘Bill and Julia’s big African Adventure’. Peter had to pay $75 for a visa, I didn’t pay to enter Malawi. First 20 kms from the border was pot holes, next 10 was road works and balance to Korongo town ok. Still hear mzungu quite a lot, screaming kids running from houses, male adolescents obnoxious, older men and ladies lovely to say hello to AND there are thousands of people riding bikes, many alongside us. We caught a glimpse of the lake a few kms from Korongo, reggae music coming from a local pub. So do we like Malawi so far … not sure. We loved the people and scenery in Tanzania, especially from Dar es Salaam, right down to the border.
Missing their friendliness already, especially the truck drivers. Our short ride turned into a long 92 km ride as we crossed the border into Malawi. Found the Kapata Lodge where Xander has stayed for 10 days recovering from malaria. He is from the UK but been living and working in Johannesburg for the past six years and on our Cairo to CT whatsap group. He has recovered enough to continue riding and will be leaving tomorrow. Supper was a chicken casserole and rice with spinach, very tasty and chicken wasnt tough. I don’t think I’ll be seeing the Harry Megan wedding tomorrow as the occasion is not of importance here ??. We are swopping simcards with Xander so I’ll end off here. Lala salama xx
Last of the stunning southetn Tanzanian scenery
A nice clean bike
Harvesting tea leaves
See two old biddies on the bridge and some say hello, some say ‘give me money’