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Gently gently catchy Jumbo


From the bottom of the sea-like Lake Malawi flows the Shire river which in turn drains into the Zambezi (which even I’ve heard of). And this slow moving sleepy river Shire and the transport-hub town of Liwonde would be our next stop. The river flows through a national park which is renowned for its birds and wildlife and the river makes it rather unique as a wildlife park. Neither of us were particularly interested in a game drive but the chance to pootle up the river in a boat sounded like a nice alternative to see riverside wildlife.

So we arrived, left Jeroen to recover from his tummy upset, borrowed Anna’s laptop for a rare film and room service treat in our elevated turret room overlooking the river listening to the sound of hippos in the river.

Next day we hopped on the back of a cycle taxi to the riverside and had a very lazy river trip past all sorts of birds (my favourite being the “intermediate egret” for the name alone) and yawning hippo pods. The highlight of the trip though was an elephant who had come down to the reed beds to drink. He was none to happy to have us so close judging by the apparent charge-warning of his flapping ears and swaying head but soon we left him alone to watch him and his mate disappear under the water bar their trunks sticking out like periscopes and walk along the bottom to the other side and privacy.

We had offered to cook something healthy like a veg stir fry for Anna and Jeroen using their Landrover stove so we checked out the local covered market but nearly all the stalls in the market were offering the same things – tomatoes, onions, cabbage, dried fish and sometimes some dried beans. We did manage to track down some garlic and a man whispered to us that he could get us a green pepper, literally sold to us under the table out of a hidden bag, which we jumped at. We headed home with what we could get and it turned out they had a store of green curry paste and even some coconut milk they’d stocked up with in Zambia I think. Saved!
As I’m writing this of course we’ve been here for a month so I can say that the markets are often the same. No matter what their size they will still stock only the same things. In the larger markets you can get some bread, mangos and condiments as well but as far as main ingredients go…that’s pretty much it, anything extra is worthy of investigation and comment. Fortunately the tomatoes and onions here are some of the best I’ve tasted. But I tell you, I could murder some cheese.

But I quite liked Liwonde, it had character and we’re easing our way into how the towns work. We left Anna and Jeroen at this point as they head back towards Mozambique and we headed south to climb mount Mulanje…festival hangover safely behind us.

Posted by rachndave 02:24 Archived in Malawi Tagged animals markets

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