Day 13 of our Malawi adventure had us driving up north the scenery had started to changed. It was a lot greener and the lake had been on our right hand side only a few meters off the road for quite a long time. The weather had caused waves to crash up onto the shore which had made the lake look like the sea. The people too have changed and there was a lot more of a Muslim influence with the women wearing the traditional Muslim cloth on their heads and having finer features more like the Somalians.
We got to Nkatha Bay early and went to Aqua Africa for some lunch before heading off to go to try and sort Wayne’s ear out as it was still blocked. After much driving around and stopping in at some very dodgy looking hospitals and doctors we eventually decided to buy a syringe and try and fix it ourselves. On our return to Aqua Africa we saw that the Ilala Ferry had arrived and so we promptly went to the ticket office buy our tickets before the first class on the top deck was sold out. After that it was much waiting around, first back at Aqua Africa, boarding at around 17:00 and then having a 3 hour wait before finally departing at 20:00. There were just so many people loading everything from 50kg maize bags to chickens to cement to plastic buckets and mattresses… I didn’t think that there would be space for even one person after seeing all that stuff but amazingly everything fitted in. The water was very rough and I soon decided to fill my stomach with some food and then get into a horizontal position as soon as possible to avoid the oncoming sea sickness I was feeling. It was cold, windy and the ferry was being thrown in every conceivable direction pounding hard against the waves each time it dropped. I just lay there saying a little prayer for safe travels as it was quite frankly hair raising. We had to stop at another island first to off and onload people which severely delayed our arrival time at Likoma Island. The night was really horrific and we found everyone either vomiting over the side of the ferry or flat on their backs trying to keep everything down. We tried to get some sleep on the filthy deck all huddled together trying to keep warm as well as protect our bags but we really didn’t sleep much at all. By 3am we couldn’t stand the stench of the vomit all over and proceeded to find another spot to lay our heads for the last leg of the trip.
On arrival we saw the Nkwichi Lodge boat on its way to collect us and there was just an enormous sigh of relief to the end of a terrible night. An adventure nevertheless…