We woke at around 5:30 to the sound of howling wind and rain beating down outside. Even the Malawians didn’t know what was going on as their first summer rains only arrive in late November? It seems we’d brought the weather with us again. We packed and had a great breakfast before leaving to drive to Nkhata Bay. On our way out we stopped at the St. Anne’s hospital to see the big fig tree that Livingstone camped under in 1861 when he had meetings to try and stop the slave trade. Amazing to stand in the exact same place as Livingstone did! WOW!
The thought of having to get onto the Ilala Ferry today was not one we were looking forward to in this weather but the thought of being in line with Tanzania today was exciting! The roads up north are very narrow and barely have enough space for one car never mind two. The bridges are all single lane and when you overtake you have to drive with one side of your car off the verge and the other scraping past the trucks on your left. Travel in Malawi however has been very easy, the roads are generally in really good condition, the police don’t harass and try bribe you and the people are incredibly friendly and helpful wherever you go. Driving through the towns there are loads of little trading stores which sell and do multiple things like hair salons, to video stores, to bat pest control, to clothing, to food, to bottle stores, to laundry services, tailors, bicycle repair shops, taverns, brick makers, day care centers, schools, people on bicycles, taxis with fish hanging on the windscreen wipers whilst air drying in the sun, goats, pigs and cattle. It’s organized African chaos and it seems to work well for them. All the children in Malawi wear the same school uniform which only differs in color from blue in the south to green in the north but the pattern is the same having a big white bib like collar and all below the knee length.