That’s what Malawi calls itself in its publicity material, anyway. It’s mostly true. People in Malawi are friendly and helpful in a sincere way, like most citizens of small countries. In other places we’ve been, people often only want to talk to you in order to part you from some money.
We continue up the lake. Our next stop is Nkhata Bay. I was here in 1987. Things have changed a lot. At that time, there was virtually nothing here.
Now it has scores of guesthouses. The population has nearly tripled.
It’s still a hippy mecca of sorts. We stay at a lodge called the ‘Butterfly Space‘. We’re in the Beach House, a spot so relaxing that I barely leave the hammock for two days.
We know a place is right for us when we don’t leave the property because we have everything we need. There are even a few friendly dogs to pet.
We do manage to pry ourselves away to go for another snorkeling excursion.
We are ferried to a rocky bay in a rustic wooden boat by Captain Andrew.
Finally, we wake at 5:00 AM and make a ten-hour dash back to Cape Maclear to spend our last few days at the Chembe Eagles Nest resort before leaving Malawi for South Africa.
It’s the weekend, so we no longer have the resort to ourselves. But we manage to soothe our jangled nerves (after a pothole-tormented road trip from the north) anyway.
Sight or Insight of the Day
While driving up to Nkhata Bay, just before entering a small village, I see a man dressed very much like this walking nonchalantly down the road, coming in our direction. Big wooden mask. Strange costume.
This guy must’ve been a Gule Wamkulu dancer, on his way to or from a gig.
Maria was asleep, so she missed the whole spectacle. (This makes up for the time we were on a bus in Sumatra – a very conservative Muslim island – and Maria saw a naked man walking along the highway. I was asleep.)