Sun 27 May 2018, Day 175
Staying at Tumbi village
Distance 75 6372 = 6447
Time on bike 6 h 14 m
Total from Amsterdam 11847
Location S11.026854, E33.93707
Left Hakuna Matata Camp at 07h39 with a heavy heart at having to say good bye to Willie. Our last general knowledge lesson from Willie this morning was on how the Landcruiser got its name. It was initially called Toyota Jeep and when the vehicle started becoming popular (Australia and Japan ordered over 1000 each) Jeep complained so they renamed it the Landcruiser … there’s more to the story. I’ve never met anyone with such a broad range of knowledge from topics on history to adventurers. A young couple from Gauteng province, Trent and Istene, a pilot (+- 26) and their 18 year old friend Pip from the UK arrived yesterday in a Suzuki Samurai, packed to the rafters. Trent and Istene were originally on motor cycles but Istene had an accident and he had engine problems so they bought this dinky car and are carrying on with their adventure, giving Pip a lift for a week or so. Their blog is called “The Nitty Gritty Nomads”. I haven’t checked it out yet so have no idea what their blog is all about. The first 15 km to Chiweta was flat and then at an altitude of 545 metres we starting climbing, sweating rivers.
I battled and had to stop a few times, Peter was in his element. Willie had warned us about the hill. We came upon two huge trucks, both with trailers that were involved in an accident, the one’s brakes more than likely failed. Cars were backed up going up and come down the hill. We managed to squeeze between the two trucks and was able to carry on riding. Then about 3 km from the top about 15 to 20 overland vehicles with trailers or off road caravans drove past us. I had a small SA flag that I was waving and while most waved back, some took photos but only one vehicle (Namibians), slowed down and asked if we were ok. The others all had SA registration numbers, a few were from George (CAW registration). If Peter and I had been in a convoy of cars and came across touring cyclists (any nationality) we would have stopped and asked if they needed anything or would like some water. I told the Namibian couple to tell the others that their attitude to fellow SA citizens ‘stinks’. When Willie bought his one hectare land in Malawi in 2006, and was surrounded by trees and bush, it cost him +- R25000. He started developing the land in 2010. He also bought the section of road outside his gate and from 2010 when he started building on his property many locals have built houses nearby, they also use his piece of road. He got fed up when they swept their yards and chucked all the rubbish and dirt in his road so one day he picked it all up and threw it into their houses. Now they smile and wave at him … no rubbish in the road any longer ????. At the top of the hill the elevation was 1200 metres so we had climbed about 655 metres. At noon we stopped to buy mini bananas and avocado pears. One km later (28 km mark) Peter’s front tyre got another puncture. He’s totally pee’d off and we think the tubes could be faulty as there appears to be little splits in the tyre or they’re too small. From 33 km we were on the flat with a little tail breeze and cruising comfortably through a lovely green valley with a flowing river on the right … but his back wheel is not right so on a few occasions he walked his bike down a hill ??.
We hope the bike mechanic in Mzuzu is at his workshop tomorrow. Arrived at Tumbi village close to 5 pm and Peter spoke to the village chief who spoke to the headmaster of a school so tonight we’re sleeping in a classroom that’s no longer used. We had an audience of 3 girls and 2 boys, aged +- 8/9 watching us cook spaghetti and smoor (brased) tomatoes and onions on the stoop outside the classroom. While we ate they danced, sang in English and recited a few English nursery rhymes. They bid us a polite good night at around 7 pm. We have had loud local music playing NON STOP about 50 metres from our classroom since the principle showed us the room at 5 pm … its now 21h23, Peter’s in dreamland and I’m about to read a few pages on my kindle before trying to fall asleep. Ah, I forgot to mention, there’s no door or windows to our room … in lieu of windows there’s some brickwork with gaps between the bricks, no electricity … then some kid took great pleasure in throwing a rock onto the tin roof of our bedroom ??. This is why we prefer to ‘wild camp’ … villages are too noisy after a long day in the saddle. We tried our best to have a wash, Peter, making an effort to wash, I just used a wet wipe and wiped my face and a few other essential areas ??. Night all xx
PS plse hold thumbs there’s not nothing major wrong with Peters bike tomorrow
– Saying goodbye to Willie was sad, we’ll just have to come back
– Peter’s Icebreaker T shirt has finally been retired after he wore it from 23 May last year when we left Amsterdam
– Lovely Malawian landscape
– We pushed our bikes through the narrow gap of these two trucks that collided
– Local children learning how to cook pasta on the MSR Whisperlight