A Travellerspoint blog

Lake of Stars


We arrived at the festival on the back of a truck with a mixed bag of locals and backpackers after the minibus unexpectedly stopped short of the final destination - quite normal transport for us now after that initial dry spell - but still the most fun. The lakeside campsite belonged to the luxury lodge next door so it was quiet, grassy, shady, spacious and even had hot showers (but no burger van unfortunately). We put up our tent under a red flowery tree and awoke the next morning to a glittering blue lake and white sand not 20 metres from our front door. This feels like a holiday :)

The festival site was very small by past festival standards: two small stages on the beach, a couple of quiet bars and half a dozen food stalls with its own little bandstand stage. So by the end of the weekend you would recognise lots of people and bump into the friends we made on the bus ride over. So we spent the whole weekend buzzing between the stages and the bar. There wasnt any other entertainment off stage and the crowd wasnt particularly interactive like we’re used to so really there isnt much to report other than seeing a few new names like Aly Kaita (a merenge (xylophone) player) and a spine tinglingly good lady singer called Kheiti. The drummers of Burundi were impressive and energetic but otherwise everyone on stage was pretty groovy although very chilled surprisingly. Eddie Temple Morris did lots of dancehall remixes and was followed by Mr Jamm for the sunrise set. I’d never heard of Mr Jamm but someone says he’s a Radio 1 dj…this explains a lot. He did quite a good 80s dance classics set but for some reason he decided to mark sunrise by playing Phil Collin’s Coming in the Air............ We still don’t understand and people were still commenting on it days later. We caught Mr Jamm another time as well unfortunately and he was much the same. Apologies Malawi.

The only real break in the chilled vibe came on the Saturday morning, Dave woke up to the tent flaps brushing against his chest and when he sat up to close the tent he realised that the tent flap was actually a snake! Eek! A snake! We have to applaud his instinctive reaction to pick it up behind the head and throw it into the group of American peace corp camped next to us. The snake slithered off disgruntled and Dave promptly went back to sleep :)

While grabbing a breakfast veggie curry we sat on the same table as a travelling Aussie girl and Irish guy called Lani and Bryan and we ended up pairing up with them for the weekend along with their friends a spanish/dutch couple called Anna and Jeroen they met on the road. Both couples have invested in a land roving car with a spacious canvas tent that sits on the top while the car includes a fridge and stove, tables and chairs, water reserves and all the home comforts we cant fit in our rucksack. They’re amazing cars. Lani and Bryan are also carrying some footballs which they’re donating to kids that they come across – it’s not an official charity but they were struck by how much money fifa made during the world cup when South Africa made a loss and yet children here are playing football with bundled carrier bags or flat old balls. So if you want to donate some small change to the cause there’s a facebook group and paypal details at “Balls 2 FIFA! Balls 4 Africa”. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=131207233587674

Anna and Jeroen are going to give their landrover to a friend of theirs in South Africa to hire out to other adventurers after their adventure is done so if I ever come back i’ll definitely be borrowing it. You have total freedom to explore the entire reach of the country and when you’re riding in it everyone seems to smile or wave at you.

We even had the chance to ride in it after the festival when the six of us decided to go to nearby Cape Maclear, further up the lake coast, where there was talk of festival after parties and snorkling. Sounded perfect.

Posted by rachndave 05:44 Archived in Malawi Tagged festival companions

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