Friday 22 December 2017. Photos.
Highlights: Lake Malawi coast, Kande Beach Village visit
We got to sleep in today with a 7 am alarm and 8 am departure. This gave me a great chance to see the spectacular scenery and sunrise over the Chitimba Beach around 5.30 am.
Today was only a 5 hour drive around Lake Malawi which allowed us to take in the views of this beautiful country. We stopped off for shopping about half way though the day but I found my credit cards wouldn’t work at the Supermarket, they worked for most people, and that some of the group couldn’t get the ATMs to work. Further 3 out of 4 ATMs at no money. Effectively this meant a very small food shop for me given I had almost no local currency.
The Kande Beach campsite was placed in a very ideal location with mountains surrounding the left view and a small island just of the coast complimenting a picturesque sight. After we prepared and ate lunch I joined Roz and Arran on a local village tour. Bill and Maggie followed us without paying for the tour which I’m not a fan of given this money supports the village. While they didn’t get the commentary or visit everything they got the guidance / protection of our guide. If you don’t want to pay you should go on your own time and not tag around in the background taking photos. People in this area have so very little money and $10 USD charge wasn’t that much.
During the tour we got to see a little of what village life is like. We saw how the chickens each night climb a ladder to a hen house of the ground so they are protected from wild animals during the night. We meet the village chief and heard about how the village works and how the chief sorts out minor disagreements and issues. We saw the hand water pump to get fresh water (which Roz operated) and how they make flour from a local plant.
We also visited the local hospital which attempts to treat most medical issues with two staff, including a ‘maternity ward’. They usually see 200 people per day, very serious case get sent to a large more equiped hospital. We also visited the local primary school which teaches 1,500 students with 11 teachers. The primary school covers grades 1 to 8. And finally we observed some singing outside a church. The choir had some excellent voices.
During our tour some local artists struck up conversations with us all in order to get us interested in their work. In the end I did buy a hand drawn map of Africa which outlined all the places I’m visiting during 2017-18. I know I should have negotiated / bargained for a better price but I liked the artist and the work so after some hesitation I just took the first price of $35 USD.
We got back into the campsite just as the sun was going down. During dinner we heard about the various options around Lake Malawi but I’m a little concerned about the micro creatures in the lake that will infect you and which if not treated can cause significant issues. I might just relax on the beach and in the hammocks tomorrow.