Pedalling to Malawi's Lilongwe

Posted by Pedal2peak on 5 June 2009

The population just became denser and denser as we rolled into the outskirts of the city of Lilongwe. We followed Schalk’s directions to his home and were welcomed by Peter, the caretaker, on arrival.

“Hello, hello! You are most welcome. Thank-you, come in.”

Peter ushered us to show us our room and exactly where everything was in the kitchen. A cold coke in hand we started to unpack the bikes.

Schalk is a keen cyclist and his knowledge of bikes definitely helped iron out a few minor problems we had. One being the straightening of my drop-out on the rear drailleur. Finally managed to set the damn gears properly. Its amazing how easy things are with the correct tools!

Thanks again Schalk. We really enjoyed your hospitality and will definitely have to visit again.

The Malawian Kwacha(MK) is a nightmare. At 20MK to the rand, you find yourself battling with buckets of notes, the highest denomination being 500MK. Thats an equivalent of R25.

It is a strange feeling drawing 20 000MK from an ATM. You don’t carry it in your wallet, but in your backpack.

Food and drink is relative to South Africa, but camping is cheap!

A prime camping site in a lodge will cost you 500 – 700 Kwacha. Thats a safe place to camp for under R50.Something you will not find in South Africa or Mozambique.

We camped in Kuti Game Reserve near Salima. The cry of the Fish Eagle woke us up at dawn, only to find a herd of Zebra around our tents.

With the coals still glowing from the night before we stoked up a hot cup of coffee and enjoyed our striped guests.

Marc grinned over his cup of coffee and said three letters,”T…I….A!”. This is Africa.






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