A Travellerspoint blog

Goodbye to the lake

Rachel - Mzuzu and Nkarta Bay

It was nice to be back in a town and in an old school backpacker friendly place. The brilliantly named Mzuzu Zoo was a perfect place to relax on a sofa and share some drinks with other travellers (including Tisita, from the Ilala and Mushroom Farm) and the chain-smoking, shuffling Swiss/Italian Christopher Walken lookalike owner and his east ender ex-hippy mate. All the rooms were full, including the dorms, so we were given the caravan hidden in the towering bamboo forest. It was a funny little slightly knackered place the Mzuzu zoo but we had the comfiest night sleep we’d had in ages, some hosptible company and a later a chance to stock up on some bits and bobs in the town.

Tisita, bless her loopy cotton socks, donated me some tshirts she didn’t want anymore, lent me her charger and then failed to wait for us after we’d agreed to share a lift to our next and final stop – Nkarta Bay. So when we got to Nkarta bay we had to ask around in the lodges to find her and found out that her loopy reputation had preceded her since she had gotten into a fight with one of the bar owners after she’d been barred for un-surreptitiously smoking a big joint in the front garden. Everyone knew here but noone knew where she was so we gave it to someone who was also going back on the Ilala as we knew she had, so we hope it gets there.

So now we’re in Nkarta Bay where I’ve just spent three days sitting in the shady waterside bar of our hostel catching up with writing this blog so we haven’t seen much of it at all. In the evenings it’s lively here, especially at the moment because there’s a wedding hereon Saturday so the guests had a party last night which ended up with the bar owner gyrating half naked on the bar and being carried to bed by the staff :) Here we’ve caught up with Layni and Dean from Mushroom Farm, the Danny from Ruarwe, Tsur and Ido from Mzuzu zoo, Ryan from the festival/Cape Maclear, and Bella from Cape Maclear/Lilongwe so it’s been a great bookend to our trip.

We’ve been here for so long because we waiting here for the scheduled train to Tanzania which leaves on Saturday. We decided that although the train goes all the way west to east across Tanzania to Dar-es-Salam, and then we have to backtrack west and north using another train, that it would be a relatively stress free way to travel to the Ugandan border and take about the same time as going direct up the west edge by road given the reported bad state of the roads in the west of Tanzania and there isn’t much to see on that side other than some prohibitively expensive game parks. We may as well pay Zanzibar a visit in east Tanzania as well since it’s so close to Dar-es-Salam so we think it’ll take us a week to ten days to get to the Ugandan border. People tell us we need to be a bit more on our guard from here on in which is a shame after the easy going and welcoming nature of Malawi – even the hustles that we do encounter are pretty easy going. I’m looking forward to seeing some different landscape now though and even some bigger cities so much as I’m Malawi’s newest biggest fan I’m ready for the next stage.

See you on the east side!

Posted by rachndave 12:37 Archived in Malawi Tagged lake

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