Staying at Lilongwe
Distance 100 + 6896 = 6996
Time 7 h 37 min
Total from Amsterdam 12396
Location S13.95793, E33.803628
Awake at 04h11 away by 05h40. We left our milk, fanta and coke in the reception’s fridge last night but discovered this morning that the office door was locked. Now we know why the fridge isn’t locked at night, not a smart move. Both Peter and I were a bit apprehensive about some chafing in our ‘nether’ regions but with plenty if bum cream, hopefully we won’t be fidgiting in our seats. Stopped at 20 km to make a sandwich, then again at 40 for tea and another sarmie at a police check point ‘tea shop’ owned by Yesani Mbewe, 39. Got chatting to an elderly gentleman, FB Nakutuwa, 75 who spoke excellent English. Back pedalling again at 10h30. At 60 km we stopped for chips and were watched or rather checked out by about 25 children. Then just 5 km later we saw children with skewers, holding them out to vehicles, and of course us on our bikes. I initially thought they were skewers of meat but neatly spaced were about six to eight barbecued mice ????. We gave those snacks a miss, not hungry enough to resort to eating mice, poor little buggers.
The route today was rolling hills with lovely scenery, the road not too busy. Retrieved our last packet of Jelly Beans from the bottom of the food pannier and they saw us (well, me mostly) through the last 40 odd km to reach Lilongwe by 15h15. On our way to Woodlands campground we rode past the South African High Commission and were going to give it a miss but decided to pop in. It was quite a bother to get invited inside … the Malawian security guard telling us that the staff only see people between 9 and 12 so we told him how disappointed we were and was about to leave when he said we must come inside. After writing a few lines on a piece of paper about our ride, Nico Steyn (originally from Pretoria) came and chatted to us and then Paul Siljeur also join us. Paul contacted his wife, Cornelia at home and they have offered us their guest cottage to stay in for three nights. We followed Paul to his home and met Cornelia, their daughter, Sarah and four year old cocker spaniel, Junior. Paul dropped Sarah off at school for a rehersal of a play that she’s in then the four of us went for supper. We gave pasta a wide berth and had pizzas instead. Paul is the Deputy Director of Political Relations and has worked in embassies … Mexico, Venezuela, China and been in Malawi for two years. Each posting overseas is for four years then he goes back to Pretoria, SA for two years before being posted to another country. We collected Sarah at a friend’s house and came home. Bikes are under cover but not locked as there’s an electric fence around the property and a security guard on duty 24/7. We get to sleep in a comfy bed, under a duvet with sheets that fit, shower without wearing flip flops and each have a real cotton towel to dry ourselves with. Mmmm, pure 5* and so appreciated. Very tired. Night ????
PS To all the people of Knysna, we are thinking of you. It was a year ago today when Knysna had devastating fires, taking the lives of people and destroying so many homes. You and all those affected by the fires are in our thoughts
– A tedious job this lady has to depip these mealies
– Market day in a village on our way to Lilongwe
– Does anyone need a motor vehicle seat
– The South African High Commission in Lilongwe
– Paul Siljeur and Nico Steyn