Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => 'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports => Topic started by: wildside on January 17, 2019, 10:34:38 pm

Title: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 17, 2019, 10:34:38 pm
[size=14pt]SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ The Lake of Stars
                                        ....Malawi , Tanzania, Mozambique.... DECEMBER 2018
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The idea of riding all the way around Lake Malawi from the southern shores of Malawi,  up through Tanzania down to the eastern shore of the now Lake Nyasa and into Mozambique continuing down the eastern shore of the same Lago Niassa had been on our minds for about 3 years now but there was always some reason why we couldn’t pull it off. However, finally our plans were in motion with the intention of actually doing this trip. We dangled the carrot for our daughter, Roxy, whose first adventure ride was to Kubu Island in 2016.  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=192841.msg3566810#msg3566810

To our delight she grabbed the opportunity to keep us company and participate in this ride. Once she had booked her tickets from the Netherlands, confirming her decision, we knew that this adventure was now for real!
Hopefully some readers will find my account of our ride around the lake of interest. I have called it ‘Squaring the Circle’ as it was by no means an impossible ride but at some stages it seemed fairly improbable that we would complete the circle.


“ You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by...
Teach your children well...
And feed them on your dreams.... ”              Graham Nash       


Believe it or not we had done a lot of preparation for this trip. We tried our best to ‘Google’ other people’s travels around Lake Malawi but information and experiences were not available. The adventure riding sites and 4x4 travel forums also came up with nothing. The info may have been there but we couldn’t find anything that would help us in planning our route down the eastern side of the ‘Lake of Stars’ ...as David Livingston once referred to it.

We worked with ‘open street maps’ and Google Earth when plotting our route as close to the eastern shores as possible. So the roads were there and we managed to connect all the villages we were passing through. We tried to keep off the main roads by finding the shortest route.  After many frustrating weeks of plotting we tweaked it to the point where we could ‘fly’ the route on Google Earth. We did it...we had our route and it was doable!

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route%20All_zpsov6sgimu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route%20All_zpsov6sgimu.jpg.html)

Above is the the Map of the 585 km long Rift Valley Lake Malawi which is split between Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. It is the fourth largest freshwater lake in the world by volume and the nineth largest lake in the world by area.
The route we originally planned is the grey route and the blue is the actual route completed. At times I have had to fill in the route manually as the GPS would have been off to save batteries or perhaps the batteries were flat.


Our recently replaced Honda XR 650’s were sporting new back tyres and were ready to take on the new African terrain. Roxy’s bike was a newly purchased old Honda 200 R, with electric start. The only work done on it was a service, a luggage rack and a long range tank – probably worth more than the bike. So the trailer and bikes were also ready to roll.
The distance was just too far for us to ride these small bikes to Malawi so we would be trailering the bikes to Cape Maclear – southern shores o Lake Malawi. Once again we had made arrangements with Geoff and Karin from Fat Monkey’s to leave the Hilux and trailer there until our return.

We were fully aware that it was the wet season up there as we had experienced it 7 years ago when ‘Riding the Rift’ ( http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=90093.msg1774124#msg1774124 ) but December is the only time we have available to take time off work so we were prepared for wet and muddy conditions....or so we thought!


“Since we can rarely foresee the consequences of anything you do, you may as well do it.”           W.H.Austen




THURSDAY 13 DECEMBER 2018
HOWICK (KZN) to CAPE MACLEAR – MALAWI :  2627 Km



“ I’m going up the country, babe don’t you want to go
I’m going to some place I’ve never been before
I’m going where the water tastes like wine
We can jump into the water, stay drunk all the time.”          Canned Heat



It was so good to see Roxy again. She had arrived the previous afternoon and still had some final packing to do so there was a lot of last minute fussing. Preparing for this trip took up a lot of time and by the time we left at 4 am I was physically and mentally exhausted. Sitting in a vehicle doing nothing, except talking, for the next two days was just what I needed.
(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181213_095948%20Medium_zpstgh6lguo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181213_095948%20Medium_zpstgh6lguo.jpg.html)

Roxy fighting off boredom.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1414%20Medium_zpsfr9uqjbo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1414%20Medium_zpsfr9uqjbo.jpg.html)


 Catching up with Roxy added some excitement and humour to our trip. We chatted so much along the way that we enjoyed very little sleep. We entered Swaziland at Lavumusa border Post and had no problems there. It was very quiet. We assumed that all the trucks had started using the new road via Kosi Bay to Maputo.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1400%20Medium_zpsfbom9gtf.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1400%20Medium_zpsfbom9gtf.jpg.html)

Our cross over from Swaziland into Mozambique was a drama. It was very quiet here and it appeared that we were the only tourists. As usual the ‘runners’ were immediately indicating where we should park. We ignored the guy who, never the less, insisted on sticking close to us. After getting out passports stamped at Immigrations we moved over to Customs where the officer behind the counter gave the ‘runner’ the forms to complete. When we gave him the genuine value of the vehicle, trailer and 3 bikes he insisted on making them lower as he said we would have to pay R 25 000 for our TIP (Temporary Import Permit) if we gave the real value. We knew this was nonsense and realised this was the starting process of a bribe. Regardless we left the form as he had filled it in and went back to the vehicle. Here he asked for his money. Kingsley offered him R 100 which he immediately declined and requested more because he had saved us a lot of money. It ended up in a loud disagreement and Kingsley being told to keep his voice down. In the meantime we had found the number for the SA Embassy in Maputo and informed them we were making the call. There was no reply, however, Roxy made out that she was having a conversation with them.  Kingsley returned inside, was given another form by the officer, completed it with the genuine values, handed it back and walked out without further adieu and no payments made.  This incident just left us feeling so rattled and had wasted an hour of our time.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_132040%20Medium_zpsn6nlnkel.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_132040%20Medium_zpsn6nlnkel.jpg.html)
A snatch of local village life in Mozambique

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_163110%20Medium_zpswpdj372e.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_163110%20Medium_zpswpdj372e.jpg.html)
I couldn't get enough of all the bright colours of the materials and wares


By the time we reached Maputo it was late afternoon and we slowly worked our way out of the hustle and bustle and headed north...more time wasted. We were all tired by now as we had been on the road for over 12 hours.  Xai- Xai was our choice for an overnight stop. It was late evening when we arrived at the backpackers and badly timed with a power failure. The light of the torch was enough to put me off the place and the lack of secure parking confirmed our decision to look elsewhere. Further down the road was the campsite. This was also a poor choice. We decided it was safer to just travel through the night. Lack of tourism to these areas has taken its toll on these resorts. What was once a thriving holiday destination is now a rundown and forgotten part of Xai-Xai.

We took turns to sleep and drive. This stretch of road is so long and fortunately the condition of the road up to Vilanculos was very good which made for safe driving in the dark but there after it was a shocking road. The left over tar road was so badly potholed that it was wiser to use the gravel section of road on either side. This reduced our travelling speed a great deal and the 403 km to Inchope was frustratingly slow. The scary part about this section were the huge trucks that thundered and bounced towards us and from behind encouraging us to go faster. The poor trailer bounced and jolted around behind us but the bikes were firmly strapped down and didn’t create a problem.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_083338%20Medium_zpsstiuj3qi.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_083338%20Medium_zpsstiuj3qi.jpg.html)
These narrow roads made it difficult to over take.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1418%20Medium_zpsnpdl1hoo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1418%20Medium_zpsnpdl1hoo.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_163451%20Medium_zpsijougere.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_163451%20Medium_zpsijougere.jpg.html)
Now these guys know how to pack!!


Somewhere along the way the trailer finally objected to the hectic roads and popped a tyre. Thanks to the truck behind us indicating that something was amiss we were made aware of a flat. Damn.... more time wasted!

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_152955%20Medium_zpsrzlshv6t.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_152955%20Medium_zpsrzlshv6t.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1427%20Medium_zpsgy3ssuem.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1427%20Medium_zpsgy3ssuem.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1430%20Medium_zpsh9ojhyuo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1430%20Medium_zpsh9ojhyuo.jpg.html)
Roxy took this opportunity to entertain some local kiddies

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_145701%20Medium_zps5822pydr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_145701%20Medium_zps5822pydr.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181214_163121%20Medium_zpsz7jazlkj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181214_163121%20Medium_zpsz7jazlkj.jpg.html)

Getting the punctured tyre repaired.


Heading up towards Tete we decided we had to stop for the night otherwise we would just have to sleep at the Mozambique/Malawi border post and besides we were too exhausted to travel further.

While Kingsley was sleeping Roxy and I found our way to some accommodation in Tete along the shores of the mighty Zambezi River.  What a relief to arrive here, have a shower, freshen up and have a good night’s sleep.
We left after breakfast the following morning.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_064924%20Medium_zpsl2mdwqa4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_064924%20Medium_zpsl2mdwqa4.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_075008%20Medium_zpsplomm6eh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_075008%20Medium_zpsplomm6eh.jpg.html)
The impressive Zambezi River...and the impressive Hondas  :thumleft:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_075549%20Medium_zpsub2hxnfy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_075549%20Medium_zpsub2hxnfy.jpg.html)
One of the bridges crossing over the Zambezi

Tete to Zobue (Mozambique/Malawi border post) was another 122 km which should take us about 2 hours but after finding a fuel station, filling up, buying coffee and the bad road conditions delayed us a lot.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_100526%20Medium_zpshtmglkpz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_100526%20Medium_zpshtmglkpz.jpg.html)
Another typical day in a Mozambique village

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_094429%20Medium_zpshuuxjv4n.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_094429%20Medium_zpshuuxjv4n.jpg.html)
Arriving at the Mozambique/Malawi border post at 9.45 am

Exiting Mozambique was no problem at all as we slipped through any little gap we could find to  pass the extended line of trucks snaking down the road and get closer to the border post.

Once again we ignored the ‘runners’ or 'dobadobas', as they are sometimes referred to, at the Malawi border post and paid a high price in regards to time for it.

 (https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_104818%20Medium_zpstr7em53o.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_104818%20Medium_zpstr7em53o.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_121659%20Medium_zpsacypfegf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_121659%20Medium_zpsacypfegf.jpg.html)
I think this sign is purely for show...as the 'dobadobas' are plentiful.

 We thought we were so cool in getting all our paperwork done, TIP sorted and Innoculation certificates checked and on departing were informed that, unlike Mozambique, each motorbike had to have its own TIP. So after 2 hours, USD80 poorer ($20 per bike and vehicle) and 40 000 Malawian Kwacha ( 10 000 MWK per vehicle for road tax - about ZAR190 each) later we breathed a sigh of relief and rolled into Malawi (+/-ZAR 1300). This was now our third day of travelling.

 About 10km down the road we were stopped by the police and documents checked. They refused to accept our insurance. We were covered by our personal insurance which was accepted at the border post. So we had to turn around and head back to the border post. I went to the kind ladies who did our TIP’s and she laughed and said they had to accept it and promptly stamped and signed it. This worked and once again we set off in the direction of the lake. It was such a relief to have finally arrived in Malawi.
  It’s a scenic route to the lake and it was good to see the familiar little villages and the friendly folk.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1446%20Medium_zpsbgbddh0v.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1446%20Medium_zpsbgbddh0v.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1442%20Medium_zpshoraj9pn.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1442%20Medium_zpshoraj9pn.jpg.html)



(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1443%20Medium_zpsjm3atqpy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1443%20Medium_zpsjm3atqpy.jpg.html)

The locals trying to make money from selling bags of coal....a very familiar sight all along the way


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1448%20Medium_zpsu6g5ppwy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1448%20Medium_zpsu6g5ppwy.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_173218%20Medium_zpsuludlue4.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_173218%20Medium_zpsuludlue4.jpg.html)
These chaps were in no hurry to moooove along.


The result of heavy rains was starting to become obvious as all along the road we could see vast expanses of water. The rains had arrived early this year.

It was evening by the time we completed our third full day of travelling, and with relief, entered through the welcoming gates of Fat Monkeys.
We now had the opportunity to celebrate Kingsleys 60th birthday - what was left of it. After a delicious meal of fried kampango, (a critically endangered species of fresh water catfish endemic to Lake Malawi)  we enjoyed the cake which the chef had kindly made for the occasion. Had we known then that kampango was endangered we certainly wouldn’t have eaten it.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_195147%20Medium_zps5tkpufmp.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_195147%20Medium_zps5tkpufmp.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181215_184824%20Medium_zps3djk5rtr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181215_184824%20Medium_zps3djk5rtr.jpg.html)

                                                                CHEERS ~ TO OUR ADVENTURE    :ricky:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on January 17, 2019, 11:15:54 pm
Sub!! :drif: :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: RobLH on January 18, 2019, 08:48:03 am
Definitely sub'd for this one. I was also in Malawi over New Year for a couple of weeks and took the same route as you, except I landed up at Chembe Eagle's Nest after being in Liwonde for a few days. Loved the country but didn't have any issues at the border as I used a dobadoba (where you paid with time I paid in kwacha).
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Black_Hawk on January 18, 2019, 08:51:41 am
Subscribed  :sip:

You are very privileged to be able to do this as a family.

Looks like a awesome trip, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Mikie on January 18, 2019, 11:10:51 am
Those corrupt border posts and police officials really put a damper on trips like these
I am following, this, Lake Malawi is on my bucket list
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: >Herman< on January 18, 2019, 11:22:49 am
Sub  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: BikerJan on January 18, 2019, 11:26:42 am
bucket list trip
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: zacapa on January 18, 2019, 06:03:17 pm
Awesome guys! keep it rolling. Hats off for organising this ride and making it happen.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 18, 2019, 06:28:20 pm
Definitely sub'd for this one. I was also in Malawi over New Year for a couple of weeks and took the same route as you, except I landed up at Chembe Eagle's Nest after being in Liwonde for a few days. Loved the country but didn't have any issues at the border as I used a dobadoba (where you paid with time I paid in kwacha).

Pleased to hear that you had a good time. Such an awesome country. Thanks for following :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 18, 2019, 06:30:17 pm
Awesome guys! keep it rolling. Hats off for organising this ride and making it happen.

Good to hear from you again. Hope you're keeping well. Enjoy the RR.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 18, 2019, 07:26:42 pm

DAY 1 :  SUNDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2018

FAT MONKEY LODGE to NGALA LODGE
DISTANCE:  318 km
TIME:  11.00 am  -  6.00pm  (5hrs)



“ This is what I live for baby,
You’re my open road
You can take me anywhere the wind blows
Right into the great unknown...”              American Authors



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route16_zps3fhkfisi.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route16_zps3fhkfisi.jpg.html)

]

We thought we had woken up early enough to get an early start but we fussed around for so long off loading bikes, sorting out the luggage –what was needed on the bikes and what had to stay in the vehicle, getting dressed, munching breakfast and enjoying a short moment on the beach checking out the local scene. A very common sight along the shores of the lake is laundry time and with that comes swimming and fun time for the kids. It was good to see the little silver fish drying on the racks as the lakes supply has become so depleted and this is their main food supply. With very little effort the paddles slice into the calm waters as the men in their canoes move up and down the shores. They took no notice of us as we move around in fascination and awe. This resort was very quiet for this time of the year and it appeared that we were the only guests visiting.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_060233%20Medium_zpswctmxoev.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_060233%20Medium_zpswctmxoev.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_060430%20Medium_zpscsv650nr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_060430%20Medium_zpscsv650nr.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1454%20Medium_zpsyi6967pg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1454%20Medium_zpsyi6967pg.jpg.html)
An unhurried off loading of bikes

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_081057%20Medium_zpswehelwf6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_081057%20Medium_zpswehelwf6.jpg.html)
Roxy trying to make sense of the organised chaos.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_082350%20Medium_zpss1kbwmdh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_082350%20Medium_zpss1kbwmdh.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_082441%20Medium_zpslp9jqkyp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_082441%20Medium_zpslp9jqkyp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_082521%20Medium_zpszfyxdkvm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_082521%20Medium_zpszfyxdkvm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_084256%20Medium_zpsoe7svgmk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_084256%20Medium_zpsoe7svgmk.jpg.html)
'Paddles cutting water...'

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_084436%20Medium_zpsxrbjqtba.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_084436%20Medium_zpsxrbjqtba.jpg.html)
Usipa fish, a small sardine-like fish, drying on the racks. These are sold at most markets in Malawi and play a significant role in the economic livelihood for many families

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_084643%20Medium_zps7mpnfd7y.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_084643%20Medium_zps7mpnfd7y.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1466%20Medium_zpsaacrb8sk.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1466%20Medium_zpsaacrb8sk.jpg.html)
Laundry time. Not sure if it's a good time to go swimming  ???

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1458%20Medium_zpsaowkasjp.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1458%20Medium_zpsaowkasjp.jpg.html)
Someones on a mission to find a friend

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1467%20Medium_zpsfro7nbd8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1467%20Medium_zpsfro7nbd8.jpg.html)
High five little buddy

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_094545%20Medium_zpsmsk7nufj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_094545%20Medium_zpsmsk7nufj.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_094201%20Medium_zpsfpozpfzs.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_094201%20Medium_zpsfpozpfzs.jpg.html)
My riding buddies   :love10:

It was already 11.00am when we said our farewells to Geoff and the amazingly friendly staff and excitedly departed Fat Monkeys.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_092729%20Medium_zps3ydvvqgo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_092729%20Medium_zps3ydvvqgo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_105034%20Medium_zpstf8e35g1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_105034%20Medium_zpstf8e35g1.jpg.html)



(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_095510%20Medium_zpsclrirdz0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_095510%20Medium_zpsclrirdz0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_095607%20Medium_zpscyrzn8yn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_095607%20Medium_zpscyrzn8yn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_095612%20Medium_zpscfev1cqn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_095612%20Medium_zpscfev1cqn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_105511%20Medium_zpsuqnlinsl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_105511%20Medium_zpsuqnlinsl.jpg.html)
Another selfie    ::) 

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_105621%20Medium_zpspvn5upny.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_105621%20Medium_zpspvn5upny.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 18, 2019, 08:16:59 pm

We were now officially on our way. I still couldn’t quite absorb the fact that we were actually pulling this ride off.  A few kilometres later we were relaxed on our bikes and used to the heavy load on the back. Roxy, who was in front of me, looked very comfy on her bike that she had never ridden before and we were weaving our way up and down, round and about the lovely narrow stretch of tar road that heads out from scenic Cape Maclear....off to chase our dream. 

Turning right into a narrow little dirt road proved to be very interesting. We passed through lovely tidy, clean little villages lined with friendly, smiling and waving little Malawian kiddies that greeted us enthusiastically all along the way. This was a very pretty area with baobabs, topped in bright green foliage, popping up all around us, adding to the magical spirit of our surroundings.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_112929%20Medium_zpsezopkftx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_112929%20Medium_zpsezopkftx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_113105%20Medium_zpsahbxrhks.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_113105%20Medium_zpsahbxrhks.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_113135%20Medium_zpsaa2j8z7s.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_113135%20Medium_zpsaa2j8z7s.jpg.html)
Always connecting with the kids

 However, as we progressed so the road regressed. I did mention earlier that the rains had arrived sooner than expected and as a result the road became messier, muddier and more slippery, requiring all our attention. I wasn’t ready for this type of riding so early on our first day of. I was hoping to get into the more challenging bits slowly over a couple of days but then again we did plan our route to follow the shoreline as closely as possible and avoid the busier roads.

 But wham...here we were slip sliding around the road within the first hour of our ride. Despite all this it was a very pretty route which also led us to a wide river crossing that was just short of a bridge. One of the local gentleman encouraged us by saying that “it was passable/possible”. Roxy shot off confidently in pursuit of Kingsley and I followed after reassured that it was do-able. The kids were fascinated by the stupid ‘Mzungus’ and excitedly followed us across the shallow flowing river with much laughter and loud encouragement.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_113507%20Medium_zps5go1cduu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_113507%20Medium_zps5go1cduu.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3784%20Medium_zpswyzk8v3q.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3784%20Medium_zpswyzk8v3q.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3785%20Medium_zpstd1ihnds.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3785%20Medium_zpstd1ihnds.jpg.html)
Karen crossing cautiously   :P

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3787%20Medium_zpsim3n53mi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3787%20Medium_zpsim3n53mi.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_113628%20Medium_zpsfhlyawf0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_113628%20Medium_zpsfhlyawf0.jpg.html)

I soon started to get the hang of this wet riding and started to enjoy it.  We continued on our way confident that the worst was over. But we soon came to another obstacle. The road was being repaired and had been dug away making space for huge pipelines.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_120738%20Medium_zpscgefosf4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_120738%20Medium_zpscgefosf4.jpg.html)


We watched in awe as the locals on their 125 cc pikki–pikkies took a detour across the watery ditch, round the other side over a little drift with no fuss or bother,  hopped back on and rode off again without further adieu.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_120512%20Medium_zpsrtcfyhvu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_120512%20Medium_zpsrtcfyhvu.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_121436%20Medium_zpsmk1nynlq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_121436%20Medium_zpsmk1nynlq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1473%20Medium_zpsxe1i54vy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1473%20Medium_zpsxe1i54vy.jpg.html)

By now a curious crowd had gathered to watch how we fared. With lots of laughter, chatting and cheering they watched Kingsley take our bikes across. Our Honda's were rather heavy and trying to maneuver them in the mud was a bit trickier than a pikki-pikki but fortunately there’s always one willing local who will assist us. After a bit of huffing, puffing and waving goodbye we set off once again.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_121141%20Medium_zpsjip6k9si.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_121141%20Medium_zpsjip6k9si.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_121245%20Medium_zpsosqkcpz4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_121245%20Medium_zpsosqkcpz4.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_111328%20Medium_zpss4zxf0cb.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_111328%20Medium_zpss4zxf0cb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_111411%20Medium_zps7u5yqvzw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_111411%20Medium_zps7u5yqvzw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_111541%20Medium_zpsyz8iot4n.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_111541%20Medium_zpsyz8iot4n.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1478%20Medium_zpsh1c2pa2f.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1478%20Medium_zpsh1c2pa2f.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_121852%20Medium_zpsprwydfrz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_121852%20Medium_zpsprwydfrz.jpg.html)

This was starting to feel like an adventure already. I thought we had planned an uncomplicated route for our first days ride so this was a total surprise. It took us about 2 hours to complete this 25 km stretch of road. The other little short cut road that I was expecting wasn’t as bad but Roxy managed to have her first fall on the final muddy section – the counting had begun.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_133727%20Medium_zpssssabqmk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_133727%20Medium_zpssssabqmk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_134100%20Medium_zpse95hseau.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_134100%20Medium_zpse95hseau.jpg.html)

It was a relief to get back onto the tar road and try make up some time, however, we now had trucks to contend with and with the roads being so narrow with no shoulder area we battled to overtake at times as they would encroach on the whole road so now we really had to be cautious and the going was slow and as you soon frustratingly discover on a motorbike, ‘might is right’!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181216_151818%20Medium_zpsba8odwgi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181216_151818%20Medium_zpsba8odwgi.jpg.html)
Having a rest and a much needed cup of coffee

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1485%20Medium_zpsekf5ajb9.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1485%20Medium_zpsekf5ajb9.jpg.html)
Happy little faces cheering us along

The sun was soon slipping behind the mountains to the east of us. Despite the beauty the sunset created, silhouetting the fisherman and there baskets down on the river as we crossed over a bridge, it also forced us to ride in the dark which we promised ourselves we wouldn’t do. The many small villages started to get busier and more active as locals peddled and walked into the markets from both directions to buy their meal from the many vendors on the side of the road and socialize with an old buddy. Piled up high were baskets of ripe mangoes, bright tomatoes, cassava roots, bags of coal, little piles of dried silver fish and more unidentifiable foodstuffs. It became more cramped on the dark roads that split the markets as they moved unconsciously into our space and with thumb on hooter, eyes focused into the dusk we carefully worked our way, following each other’s rear lights, through the darkening bustling villages. Shortly after complete darkness finally descended we turned right and followed a sandy track to the entrance of Ngala Lodge.
 
A friendly Patricia came out to meet and welcome us in. Fortunately she still had her staff on duty and we headed straight for the pub and ordered a survival drink and a quick meal. It was too dark to start pitching tents so we opted for the backpackers dorm. We were the only people here and spread ourselves out taking full advantage of all the space to hang up our wet, dirty clothing. We were so exhausted and wasted no time climbing into bed.



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Splash on January 18, 2019, 10:26:14 pm
Wow - just amazing. Thanks for sharing. A dream trip. Makes me want to get on my bike and go on an adventure.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: adrekruger on January 19, 2019, 09:44:21 am
 O0
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: BabyBeemer on January 19, 2019, 12:38:38 pm
Lekker to see you still going strong.  Looks like a lekker trip - and more special with your daughter along.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 20, 2019, 02:48:16 pm

DAY 2 :  MONDAY 17 DECEMBER 2018
NGALA LODGE to MAKUZI BEACH LODGE
DISTANCE :  70 km
TIME :  9.00am  -  1.00pm


“Is a dream a lie
If it don’t come true
Or is it something worse?”          Bruce Springsteen



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route17_zpsjymqjpbu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route17_zpsjymqjpbu.jpg.html)

One heck of a storm crashed over our roof during the night, lightening thrashed around and the thunder rolled into the distance waking us up several times as the rain pelted down..... what a relief to be warm and dry.

 Waking up to an unexpected sunny day was surely a sign of good things to come. With coffee and muesli in hand we walked the short path down to the beach to relax before packing up. It was great to be out in the sunshine and sitting on the shore of the calm lake scanning the horizon for signs of the distant and faded Mozambique Mountains giving us an idea where we were planning on heading to.



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_062024%20Medium_zpshq9rltfq.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_062024%20Medium_zpshq9rltfq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_063133%20Medium_zpsgmtgkxn2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_063133%20Medium_zpsgmtgkxn2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1491%20Medium_zpszlyqxbcd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1491%20Medium_zpszlyqxbcd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1492%20Medium_zpsehcv5vzn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1492%20Medium_zpsehcv5vzn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_065419%20Medium_zpsi3qhhvai.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_065419%20Medium_zpsi3qhhvai.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_065639%20Medium_zpsptr2waq9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_065639%20Medium_zpsptr2waq9.jpg.html)

While we were packing up a chap called Grant Atkins came over to chat with us... strangely enough he was actually from our home town and was very interested in our trip as he was returning from a 6 month trip through east Africa with his wife and two young boys whom they had taken out of school for the occasion. I thought this was great as  valuable lessons are learnt through the informal teachings while travelling around from country to country, as kids can learn best through their own life experiences,  rather than in a boring old classroom. But, that’s a matter of opinion.

We finally got away and were now fully prepared to head off towards Livingstonia, another 294 km away. An early start would ensure a nice early arrival.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_082638%20Medium_zpszzuuk7qs.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_082638%20Medium_zpszzuuk7qs.jpg.html)


We had ridden a good 20 km when Kingsley’s bike just cut out. This was now the first of many frustrating stops as we were soon to discover. On checking out the problem he discovered that there was a hassle with the fuel supply getting to the carburetor which he eventually managed to clear. Chuffed that we had such an ‘ace’ bike mechanic we confidently continued our trip.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_075244%20Medium_zpsgyujkdop.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_075244%20Medium_zpsgyujkdop.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_085301%20Medium_zpslhwxwigw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_085301%20Medium_zpslhwxwigw.jpg.html)

Just as we were relaxing and settling in for the long ride up north Kingsley’s Honda spluttered to a halt again with the same problem.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_082828%20Medium_zpsrurhldbt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_082828%20Medium_zpsrurhldbt.jpg.html)

Fifteen minutes of fiddling resulted in another false start as about 10 km further we stopped again.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_080616%20Medium_zps9h1erdql.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_080616%20Medium_zps9h1erdql.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_090743%20Medium_zpsg25cvupi.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_090743%20Medium_zpsg25cvupi.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_090808%20Medium_zpstcsup3if.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_090808%20Medium_zpstcsup3if.jpg.html)
'The London Shop' - another missed shopping opportunity.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1495%20Medium_zpsedkrb0bw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1495%20Medium_zpsedkrb0bw.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_090704%20Medium_zpszytd1fjp.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_090704%20Medium_zpszytd1fjp.jpg.html)

This happened about five times and by now we were all silently cursing this unreliable chunk of  Honda and putting on brave smiley faces displaying endless patience. Not so sure about this ‘ace’ mechanic anymore.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1494%20Medium_zpss7pd57jr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1494%20Medium_zpss7pd57jr.jpg.html)


So once again we were on our way and enjoying the cool wind whistling through our stuffy helmets whilst admiring the great scenery on either side. Good grief....he was pulling over again!!

It was really a matter of smiling through gritted teeth as he explained that he now had a rear wheel puncture. Could this get any worse? This took at least another hour in which time the neighboring kids, teenagers and adults had discovered us and curiously came to observe the changing of tubes. One guy who was so inebriated insisted on attempting to help but was more of a hinderence. Roxy and I were making buddies with some of the ones who good speak a smattering of English and even exchanged phone numbers – perhaps a few digits were swopped around.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_084632%20Medium_zpsryad9kcx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_084632%20Medium_zpsryad9kcx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_085449%20Medium_zpsfbdttak9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_085449%20Medium_zpsfbdttak9.jpg.html)

When all was sorted, tools packed away, helmets on and waving goodbye we rode with bated breath hoping to cover a fair amount of mileage before stopping again. But this was not to be as the bike cut out again about ten minutes later. I took this opportunity to ride back a few kilometers to take some scenic photos of the lake.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1498%20Medium_zps6evdirvj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1498%20Medium_zps6evdirvj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1497%20Medium_zpswauew0hc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1497%20Medium_zpswauew0hc.jpg.html)
The rain in the distance didn't go unnoticed.

Out of frustration Kingsley eventually removed the filter and this proved to be a very wise decision as it actually solved the problem. But all these delays now altered our decision  to not continue all the way up to Mushroom Farm near Livingstonia but to rather head to Makuzi Lodge, a short distance away and rather relax for the afternoon than stress about the bikes and ride another 4.5 hours.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_093044%20Medium_zpsvenfftge.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_093044%20Medium_zpsvenfftge.jpg.html)




Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 20, 2019, 03:32:10 pm

It was almost midday by the time we made a brief stop at Kande Beach Resort. We just wanted to show Roxy this spot, get something to drink and decide if we wanted to overnight here or move on further north.  It was also very quiet but nicely maintained. Obviously still a popular stopover for the overlanders.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_112702%20Medium_zpsvwxbrgun.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_112702%20Medium_zpsvwxbrgun.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_104555%20Medium_zpsdp8kbona.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_104555%20Medium_zpsdp8kbona.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_113417%20Medium_zpsymqzhavs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_113417%20Medium_zpsymqzhavs.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_113551%20Medium_zpsbslyiurx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_113551%20Medium_zpsbslyiurx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_113749%20Medium_zpsisq9miud.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_113749%20Medium_zpsisq9miud.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1502%20Medium_zps76qsjk8d.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1502%20Medium_zps76qsjk8d.jpg.html)
The locals certainly know how to carve.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1503%20Medium_zpsphtiwcyd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1503%20Medium_zpsphtiwcyd.jpg.html)

It wasn’t much further to Makuzi Lodge and arriving at this familiar spot was very special for me and seeing that the gardens and buildings had been beautifully maintained after all these years was welcoming and a relief. We promptly stocked up with booze and found our old familiar camping spot....right on the beach.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_115138%20Medium_zpsqda5lao2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_115138%20Medium_zpsqda5lao2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_125135%20Medium_zpsymqigqy4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_125135%20Medium_zpsymqigqy4.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_125337%20Medium_zpsze9dwahj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_125337%20Medium_zpsze9dwahj.jpg.html)
Check the glint in the eyes.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_130240%20Medium_zpsmbe8qm5h.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_130240%20Medium_zpsmbe8qm5h.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_130247_zpsimyfzibc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_130247_zpsimyfzibc.jpg.html)

We wasted no time in setting up camp, made it comfy and feeling all hot and sweaty strolled down to the lake for a much needed swim. Now this was a treat. We relaxed on the beach, soaking up cold G & T’s along with the summer sun.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181218_052953_zpsit1bfx18.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181218_052953_zpsit1bfx18.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_131335_zpszpktnjp7.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_131335_zpszpktnjp7.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_141123_zpsdw87px5i.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_141123_zpsdw87px5i.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_132740_zpsgxwrty4x.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_132740_zpsgxwrty4x.jpg.html)
Happiness is....

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_144926_zps2ownszwm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_144926_zps2ownszwm.jpg.html)


After showering it was sundowners on the deck.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1505%20Medium_zpsnucidnc7.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1505%20Medium_zpsnucidnc7.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_173613_zpswxs7hgjp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_173613_zpswxs7hgjp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_173641_zps6ht0et6s.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_173641_zps6ht0et6s.jpg.html)

Here we met Nick, the manager, who was extremely surprised to hear of our plans.

He had worked for the fishing industry on an island in Lake Malawi somewhere off the Tanzanian coast for over 20 years and he was not familiar with any roads on the other side of the Livingston Mountains that would take us to where we were heading. He strongly advised us against going through Tanzania as it was also the rainy season, which we were fully aware of. He suggested we head for Likoma Island on board the MV Ilala Ferry which departs from Nkata Bay in the evening. From there he suggested we take a small local boat across the short stretch of lake to Cobue in Mozambique and then continue on our journey.

Now this was something to stew over as it would change a few days of planned riding. Admittedly, this was a section of the trip that did have us concerned during the planning stage and now with bike problems and two girls along as well as the rain perhaps we were aspiring to too much.

We mulled it over back at the camp whilst preparing dinner and after us all putting in our pennies worth, made a reluctant decision to opt for the Ilala Ferry idea.
It was good to slip into our sleeping bags and finally get some rest.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181217_173453_zpsftxp6tts.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181217_173453_zpsftxp6tts.jpg.html)
   
                                                                CHEERS.....to our reluctant decision   ???



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Xpat on January 20, 2019, 04:47:08 pm
Alright, alright - I'm in  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Goingnowherekwickly on January 20, 2019, 08:58:29 pm
Marvelous :)
looking forward to more, well done!!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 22, 2019, 10:11:18 pm
Marvelous :)
looking forward to more, well done!!

Thanks Jules. Working on it...hopefully post more tomorrow. 
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Amsterdam on January 23, 2019, 09:48:02 am
Curious to read what you find on the other side of the lake.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 23, 2019, 08:18:16 pm
Curious to read what you find on the other side of the lake.

Oh boy....so were we...hahaha :spitcoffee:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 23, 2019, 09:17:40 pm

DAY 3:  TUESDAY - 18 DECEMBER 2018

MAKUZI BEACH LODGE  to LUKWE BIO CAMP (near Livingstonia)
DISTANCE:   250 km
8.30 am  -->  5.45 pm



‘Does the road wind uphill all the way?
                                Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
                                From morn till night my friend.’          Christina Rosetti


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Route18_zpstw6lstea.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Route18_zpstw6lstea.jpg.html)

The sound of energetic birdsong woke me up at 5 am. It was pleasant lying back and listening to them waking up as well. I took this opportunity to walk on the beach and enjoy the sunrise. Jet, the crazy resident boxer, bounded up also full of renewed energy. So we enjoyed each other’s company while exploring the nearby rocks and shoreline.   Eager fishermen were paddling around purposefully, either heading off or returning. It was a perfect scene for a sunrise.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_051855%20Medium_zps4augzcof.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_051855%20Medium_zps4augzcof.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_052321%20Medium_zps0qzpx59e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_052321%20Medium_zps0qzpx59e.jpg.html)
Definately crocodiles in the lake but they do appear harmless   ;)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1511%20Medium_zps3vb82crm.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1511%20Medium_zps3vb82crm.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1516%20Medium_zpsmxnvrt2d.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1516%20Medium_zpsmxnvrt2d.jpg.html)

The other two had woken up by the time I returned and Kingsley made us some coffee and we munched muesli.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR0918_Moment%20Medium_zpssx6img1r.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR0918_Moment%20Medium_zpssx6img1r.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_061235%20Medium_zpsbgoei6zx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_061235%20Medium_zpsbgoei6zx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_061318%20Medium_zps8hali7sc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_061318%20Medium_zps8hali7sc.jpg.html)

Chatting with Brett, the owner, this morning also confirmed that we should give Tanzania a miss. He felt if we were three young males and it was the dry season it would make more sense.
We were out of there by 8.30 am and looking forward to an easy days ride and an early arrival at Mushroom camp.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_083017%20Medium_zpsrfsx9q02.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_083017%20Medium_zpsrfsx9q02.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_083037%20Medium_zpsnnpid7sl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_083037%20Medium_zpsnnpid7sl.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_082814%20Medium_zps0kxjjsd8.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_082814%20Medium_zps0kxjjsd8.jpg.html)

We hadn’t even gone 10 km and Roxy wobbled to a stop....another puncture. Poor Kingsley had another repair to take care of. We were once again entertained by the kids selling mangoes.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_091609%20Medium_zpskdaenvnv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_091609%20Medium_zpskdaenvnv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_091850%20Medium_zpsegvfkwkp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_091850%20Medium_zpsegvfkwkp.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_082301%20Medium_zpsacj5j5jb.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_082301%20Medium_zpsacj5j5jb.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_144151%20Medium_zpsiptp5zez.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_144151%20Medium_zpsiptp5zez.jpg.html)

We stopped for fuel just outside Nkata but they would only take cash so we needed to go into Nkata village to get cash and check out the ferry timetable. We found two ATM’s which would only accept Visa card....we had Mastercard. So reluctantly we cashed in some dollars. Sometimes if lucky you will find a Standard bank as they accept Mastercard.

  Continuing down the road and through the village took us to the Malawi Shipping Company at the port. A friendly chap came out to assist us and were told that the Ilala was departing next Monday evening, Christmas eve.

 He tried to convince us to go on another little wooden vessel that certainly didn’t look ‘water worthy’. On inspection of this ‘ferry’ which was full of water, a few planks for seating, no shelter and limited space for the motorbikes, I decided ‘not a chance’....with the slightest rough waters the bikes would be thrown off balance. This was leaving on Thursday with a load of ‘medical drugs’. Kingsley and Rox were keen and couldn’t understand why I was not prepared to risk my life in this poor excuse for a vessel. I put the argument to bed with ‘I’m not getting on that f*^@#~g thing’!!! .....Message received !

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR0921_Moment%20Medium_zpsa05plmqz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR0921_Moment%20Medium_zpsa05plmqz.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_111502%20Medium_zps9zmrbfb9.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_111502%20Medium_zps9zmrbfb9.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_111542%20Medium_zpsamjz3fyv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_111542%20Medium_zpsamjz3fyv.jpg.html)

Before leaving town we needed spare tubes as our supply was running out. Roxy managed to buy us two simcards but to find a place to register them was proving to be difficult.  All these little stops gobbled up so much time.  On arrival at the fuel station back up at the intersection we were now informed that they had no fuel so we needed to move on to the next fuel station...our luck was in. It was a continuous climb up into the hills that led to Mzuzu, 30km away. You could feel the chill in the air and see the rain up ahead. After a quick stop we covered our backpacks and donned our jackets. Within minutes the threatening rain arrived.  It’s the feel of that first trickle of water which snakes its way down between your legs that is initially so unpleasant but once you’re completely wet it’s bareable.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_113733%20Medium_zpstekubhxb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_113733%20Medium_zpstekubhxb.jpg.html)

Once again our pace slowed as we cautiously wound our way up the wet, slippery twists and turns. The skies cleared as we arrived in Mzuzu where we found a Standard bank and withdrew some cash and found a place to set up our simcards. Lunch consisted of bananas which we bought from a local vendor. We still had 160 km to go and an agitated Kingsley politely encouraged us to get a move on.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_124716%20Medium_zpsap0vpqeq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_124716%20Medium_zpsap0vpqeq.jpg.html)

Stopping at the local market in Mzuzu for our supply of potatoes, tomatoes and onions

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_125109_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsmzf2jwnb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_125109_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsmzf2jwnb.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMGP3790%20Medium_zpsojhbf2jf.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMGP3790%20Medium_zpsojhbf2jf.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/gopro%20market%20Medium_zpszhu6zsn8.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/gopro%20market%20Medium_zpszhu6zsn8.jpg.html)



At this stage we were quite a distance inland but as you head towards the lake again there is a pass that leads to the shore with some impressive views but the road surface has deteriorated terribly and rock slides have also blocked off parts of the road. Once again we had to ride with caution. We had company at the view point and offered them our mangoes and they kept us entertained for a while.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3478_Moment%20Medium_zpsvxccccud.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3478_Moment%20Medium_zpsvxccccud.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3478_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstrcnri0i.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3478_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstrcnri0i.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_155710%20Medium_zpsosxrfkzg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_155710%20Medium_zpsosxrfkzg.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_150147%20Medium_zpsctrrvwsb.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_150147%20Medium_zpsctrrvwsb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1520%20Medium_zpscteybvvn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1520%20Medium_zpscteybvvn.jpg.html)
A family portrait


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 23, 2019, 10:01:31 pm

It was a pretty ride as we hugged to shoreline up to the turn off to Livingstonia.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3489_Moment%20Medium_zpspgposltu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3489_Moment%20Medium_zpspgposltu.jpg.html)

 It was now 4.30 pm and for some reason a vehicle had blocked the narrow little track so we maneuvered our way round between some huts and back onto the road. We had all been looking forward to this 16 km stretch of road that climbs 700m in altitude through a series of 20 hairpin bends. It started off being a sandy strip of road and turned into very rough road with lots of rocks and occasional muddy patches but it improved as we got higher up.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3482_Moment%20Medium_zpsecxe7bat.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3482_Moment%20Medium_zpsecxe7bat.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3482_Moment%201%20Medium_zpspan51sif.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3482_Moment%201%20Medium_zpspan51sif.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3482_Moment%202%20Medium_zps5yld99rq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3482_Moment%202%20Medium_zps5yld99rq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsmbdkwueq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsmbdkwueq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%204%20Medium_zps9qbmljdx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%204%20Medium_zps9qbmljdx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%206%20Medium_zpsrf6sr3w2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%206%20Medium_zpsrf6sr3w2.jpg.html)

We all managed to keep our pace and wound our way up, up and up passing through dense woodland and occasionally we would be treated to awesome views of the lake.  I was initially apprehensive about this section of road as I had read somewhere that this route was often described as ‘one of the most exciting roads in Africa’. It was picturesque and a great ride but at no point challenging or dangerous as most of the sharp hair pin bends had been concreted, making riding a lot easier despite some scary drop offs. It was difficult to stop on the uphills to take photos but we do have sections of it on gopro. There is no public transport available on this road resulting in tourists hiking up or being offered lifts by people with their own transport.
I have posted a quite a few photos heading up the hill just to give you some idea of what the road is like....as you can see it's not so bad  :ricky:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%205%20Medium_zpsmjpchova.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%205%20Medium_zpsmjpchova.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%207%20Medium_zpsuenhwisa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%207%20Medium_zpsuenhwisa.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3483_Moment%208%20Medium_zpsv81bdo9t.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3483_Moment%208%20Medium_zpsv81bdo9t.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3485_Moment%201%20Medium_zpseu5hxhbj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3485_Moment%201%20Medium_zpseu5hxhbj.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3485_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsulqd2yvm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3485_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsulqd2yvm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3484_Moment%20Medium_zpseyfbsrdy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3484_Moment%20Medium_zpseyfbsrdy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3485_Moment%20Medium_zpst3vmngoz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3485_Moment%20Medium_zpst3vmngoz.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3485_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsr7hmswj3.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3485_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsr7hmswj3.jpg.html)


 It certainly is a lot easier, faster and more comfortable on a motorbike than in a vehicle bouncing around. After about 12km we turned off to the popular Mushroom Farm.  From the parking area there’s a steep pathway that led us down to the restaurant and pub area where we met up with a lot of tourists lazing around the place.  This Eco Lodge overlooks the Great Rift Valley offering stunning views of the lake.  There was such an awesome vibe here and we were keen on spending the night but unfortunately no accommodation was available. So we quickly gulped down some coffee before continuing up to Lukwe Eco Lodge.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_165918%20Medium_zpswqo7axen.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_165918%20Medium_zpswqo7axen.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_165957%20Medium_zpsrtvohdtg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_165957%20Medium_zpsrtvohdtg.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_171525%20Medium_zpsboezibhe.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_171525%20Medium_zpsboezibhe.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_171428%20Medium_zpsuhx2zahj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_171428%20Medium_zpsuhx2zahj.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_160826%20Medium_zpsyoxbmngt.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_160826%20Medium_zpsyoxbmngt.jpg.html)

This camp was also in a very tranquil setting, spread out between the natural bush and linked up with neat little pathways with pretty well kept gardens in between. We all liked the idea of staying here and booked in for two nights as we now had more time on our hands to enjoy Malawi before heading back to Nkata Bay in six days time.  The restaurant, pub area as well as our tented chalet had an amazing view all the way across the lush green Rift Valley down to the lake and in the evening the many little flickering lights was an indication of the many villages spread out in the distance .

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1532%20Medium_zpsmqfmnapx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1532%20Medium_zpsmqfmnapx.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_165050%20Medium_zpsucnhl4fg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_165050%20Medium_zpsucnhl4fg.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181218_165455%20Medium_zpsnlxmk1bh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181218_165455%20Medium_zpsnlxmk1bh.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181219_064213%20Medium_zpszygmontf.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181219_064213%20Medium_zpszygmontf.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181219_064204%20Medium_zpswuonm6lp.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181219_064204%20Medium_zpswuonm6lp.jpg.html)

A mattress had been brought in for Roxy and placed on the floor. It really was a comfy and clean spot. We placed our dinner order for 7pm and headed up the long scenic pathway to the showers. From within the showers you also had a view of the surrounding bush as the walls and doorway only came up to neck height so one could socialise nicely with the occupant next door.
After a generous portion of stir fry we relaxed back on our deck in the darkness and tried to absorb the peacefulness of our surroundings. We have a habit of carrying our alcohol in water bottles, for obvious reasons, so tonight my tooth brushing time came with a numb gum surprise. Nice for a comfy night knowing we had no drama or challenges in the morning.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181219_063410%20Medium_zpswwtgwqac.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181219_063410%20Medium_zpswwtgwqac.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181219_064354%20Medium_zpsx3kftill.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181219_064354%20Medium_zpsx3kftill.jpg.html)

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: CUZZY on January 24, 2019, 10:54:37 am
Wow what a fantastic adventure. African border crossing are a humbling experience!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 27, 2019, 02:39:32 pm
Wow what a fantastic adventure. African border crossing are a humbling experience!

You are so right Cuzzy.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 27, 2019, 03:20:38 pm

DAY 4.     WEDNESDAY :  19 DECEMBER
REST DAY at LUKWE CAMP
+/- 15 km riding  --- LIVINGSTONIA



“When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like
 this,
When there’s no one complaining there’ll be days like
 this,
When everything falls into place like a flick of a
switch,
Well my mama told me there’ll be days like
 this.”                                                                                Van Morrison




What a treat waking up to no alarm ringing in your ear and not having to rush around. Once again it poured with rain again during the night but this morning was a lovely day.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_063513%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsdklw63v0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_063513%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsdklw63v0.jpg.html)

Kingsley boiled us some water for coffee only to discover to our dismay that he had poured the same ‘water’, as I had brushed my teeth with the previous night, into the pot. So that was now the end of our precious Gin supply.

A lot of thought and planning had gone into developing this establishment and making it into a functioning Eco camp. The lights are all solar powered...even the little lamps they supplied for our tent. The toilets were very nicely designed ‘long drops’.  The user was required to use the wooden spoon supplied to scoop up ash and leaves, dropping it into the pit after use. So no flushing required. Strangely enough there were no flies and an absence of odour. A locally made clay pot filled with water, a cup and a basin next to it was the hand washing facility. All was very clean and tastefully done. Oh...you also had a view of the surrounding bush and trees as again the wooden/reed structure was only shoulder height. A loo with a view!

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_063610%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpseyjqo73n.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_063610%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpseyjqo73n.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_063831%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpscq8tusxs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_063831%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpscq8tusxs.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_063822%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsaxtfcwl4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_063822%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsaxtfcwl4.jpg.html)

After a certain period of time the used ‘long drop’ would fill up and then be left for a while to allow it to become compost. The other ‘loo’ next to it, in the same enclosure, was now used instead. When I originally saw this I was confused and thought that they were catering for very social toilet behaviour. This compost then became the fertilizer for growing the fruit and veggies. Everything that is prepared and cooked here comes from their garden.
 There’s a path that leads through the lush organic vegetable gardens and takes you through the natural bush up to a clearing to view the Manchewe Waterfalls... about a 15 minute walk away.
These are the highest waterfalls in Malawi plunging about 120 meters into the Rift Valley. A cave behind the falls was apparently used many years ago by people hiding away to escape from the slave traders.
So after breakfast Roxy and I decided on checking out the falls.  At the viewpoint there is a small building with a veranda where tourists can purchase cold drinks and food stuff.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1526%20Medium_zpsxwvqknqa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1526%20Medium_zpsxwvqknqa.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_092823%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsjpwwancl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_092823%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsjpwwancl.jpg.html)



If you at any stage plan on visiting the Manchewe falls then take cash with you as unbeknown to us there was a small entrance fee as we were soon made aware of when one of the locals approached us and demanded money for the viewing. After explaining that we had not brought any with us as we were not informed back at the camp that there was a viewing charge we suggested he walk with us back to the camp if he wanted money. Fortunately he left us alone.

Later in the day we hopped on our bikes and made the short ride further up the mountain to Livingstonia.  We were surprised to see a new tar road a few kilometres from our turnoff. However, there are no signposts indicating that we need to turn left and go up the steep road to Livingstonia so after riding a few more kilometres we realised we needed to turn back and eventually found our way to the top of the little hill. It’s a confusing area to ride around with not many people out and about to ask directions. This fascinating and quaint little village was founded in 1894 by Scottish missionaries. The Livingstonia Mission, named after David Livingston, a British physician and explorer in Africa, is located up here in this small forgotten town. It was originally down at Cape Maclear but the malaria problem forced them away from the lake.  The Mission church was closed but I managed to peep through the window. Apparently this little church attracts a big crowd on Sundays.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_114634%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpss5zcbh1v.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_114634%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpss5zcbh1v.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_114942%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps9ve7uzjp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_114942%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps9ve7uzjp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_105336%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsanz4jojl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_105336%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsanz4jojl.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_115019%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsy0ew3boq.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_115019%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsy0ew3boq.jpg.html)

The stain glass window shows David Livingston holding his sextant.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_164557%20Medium_zpskkmtqzh4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_164557%20Medium_zpskkmtqzh4.jpg.html)

Dr. Robert Laws was the leading missionary in this village for 52 years, which ultimately led to building of the Livingstonia University in 2003. I was really impressed when I saw building and even more surprised when I discovered that it was a University.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_114116%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsxrftboum.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_114116%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsxrftboum.jpg.html)

After aimlessly riding around awhile we found the original homestead of Dr. Robert Laws, commonly known as the Stone House. This lovely old building, dating back to 1903, now boasts a small museum. Due to lack of interest from the other two we didn’t venture inside.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_115821%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvthrfzmc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_115821%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvthrfzmc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1528%20Medium_zpsgxoukmmv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1528%20Medium_zpsgxoukmmv.jpg.html)

There is also the David Gordon Memorial Hospital
(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_164514%20Medium_zpszxbjrawn.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_164514%20Medium_zpszxbjrawn.jpg.html)


There were a few folk milling around the little shops and after enquiring we found the little market where we bought some bananas, eggs and freshly made crumpets....what a treat.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1529%20Medium_zpsmm2omkfb.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1529%20Medium_zpsmm2omkfb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_164422%20Medium_zpsyipsel0q.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_164422%20Medium_zpsyipsel0q.jpg.html)


The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the deck, admiring the view, cooking and enjoying the time out. We were hoping there would be days like this!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1538%20Medium_zpsywz58t8r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1538%20Medium_zpsywz58t8r.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1539%20Medium_zpslmzreueh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1539%20Medium_zpslmzreueh.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_171015%20Medium_zpsduocpfmd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_171015%20Medium_zpsduocpfmd.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181219_095341%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps7gmdmoik.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181219_095341%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps7gmdmoik.jpg.html)



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: BMWPE on January 27, 2019, 04:03:26 pm
Awesome ride report   :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Thank you for sharing
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wilfwalk on January 30, 2019, 10:24:17 am
Well done so far folks. Interesting reading. Good luck with the rest of the trip and look forward for more postings.Thanks for your efforts.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Black_Hawk on January 30, 2019, 10:34:38 am
Thanks for keeping us updated, looks like a very awesome trip  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 30, 2019, 05:42:57 pm


                                                                             TANZANIA

DAY 5:    THURSDAY  -  20 DECEMBER 2018
LUKWE ECO CAMP  to  MATEMA (TANZANIA)
DISTANCE:   250 km
8.15am   -->  3.30 pm


“ I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see that dust cloud dissipate without a trace
I wanna take shelter from the pouring rain
Where streets have no name.”                     U2



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Route20_zpslb1kmdua.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Route20_zpslb1kmdua.jpg.html)

Roxy was most unimpressed with waking up at 5.45 am. But with all our fussing around one only gets going about 2 hrs later. I know from experience that it’s necessary to start our day early as we never know what curved balls are going to be tossed our way and we need time to deal with any hassles.  Kingsley was really taking his job of looking after us very seriously and spoilt us with decent coffee and scrambled eggs for brekkie before departing down the fun and windy road back to Chitimba on the main road heading north to Tanzania.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_063957%20Medium_zpsi1ecxzqj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_063957%20Medium_zpsi1ecxzqj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_074031%20Medium_zpsav71i1xh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_074031%20Medium_zpsav71i1xh.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_080021%20Medium_zpshclxgpnq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_080021%20Medium_zpshclxgpnq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_080207%20Medium_zpsauomvypw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_080207%20Medium_zpsauomvypw.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3792%20Medium_zpsknx4irls.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3792%20Medium_zpsknx4irls.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3796%20Medium_zpsomfb03st.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3796%20Medium_zpsomfb03st.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3801%20Medium_zpskymoybsq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3801%20Medium_zpskymoybsq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_081712%20Medium_zpsollbdob9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_081712%20Medium_zpsollbdob9.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_081416%20Medium_zpsrhyhqdsl.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_081416%20Medium_zpsrhyhqdsl.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_081607%20Medium_zpsorclbxcw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_081607%20Medium_zpsorclbxcw.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_083139%20Medium_zpshq1jzjx0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_083139%20Medium_zpshq1jzjx0.jpg.html)


We really enjoyed this stretch of road and spent a bit of time at the turn off buying curios.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_083600%20Medium_zpslyer5akg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_083600%20Medium_zpslyer5akg.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_083835%20Medium_zpspkll29xs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_083835%20Medium_zpspkll29xs.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3489_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsiumqms0x.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3489_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsiumqms0x.jpg.html)


Travelling north towards Karonga where we refueled was enjoyable. The road from here to the border post was in good condition and obviously constructed by the Chinese who had improved the infrastructure in many African countries.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_091125%20Medium_zpshqoxq7rf.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_091125%20Medium_zpshqoxq7rf.jpg.html)
Fun time at fuel stations    ;D

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_101644%20Medium_zpsxiwoqexs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_101644%20Medium_zpsxiwoqexs.jpg.html)


Departing Malawi was hassle free despite parting with our TIP’s. These we had hoped to keep for our multiple entry, but no luck, we were now going to have to part with lots more money on re-entry...damn.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3491_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsnjeebf7z.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3491_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsnjeebf7z.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_115938%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsv71xyyhr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_115938%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsv71xyyhr.jpg.html)

At the Tanzanian border post we had been chosen by one of the locals to be escorted into the building. No matter how determined we were to avoid him so he was more determined to assist us. They just have a knack of forcing their help on you regardless. The officials are also to blame as they don’t communicate with you and leave you wandering what your next move is. I was now required to have photocopies of our documents done for them to keep...so of course you are going to accept help from this guy when he indicates for you to follow. Before I could object too much he was getting my photocopying done, fetching the printed copies, stapling them together and handing them back to the officials....okay, so now we were committed to this guy.

 While I was busy inside Kingsley and Roxy waited outside with the bikes under the shelter as the heavens had opened. On completion of our paperwork this chap now insisted that we need insurance and only because we couldn’t arrange for insurance for Tanzania back home we were kind of persuaded to consider this. In the pouring rain Roxy and I accompanied him to his ‘office’, out past the exit boom, down some narrow little lane, through some dodgy little shops and bar and into a dingy little Insurance office. The warning flags had been raised!   He then informed us it would cost $34 per bike ...without even asking for the values of each. Now I smelt a rat. If this Insurance was legit he would have had an office at the border post. We immediately turned around and walked out. I returned to the guy from customs and explained the situation. He told me this guy was taking a chance and that there was no government insurance offices here so we should just continue on our journey as no one will request our insurance documents. On returning to the bikes the same chap was there. We gave him some cash for helping us out and he apologised for having wasted our time. Once again we were on our way into the pouring rain and new territory.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0940_Moment%20Medium_zpsgkpaihdw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0940_Moment%20Medium_zpsgkpaihdw.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_122351_Moment%20Medium_zpscpt8klua.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_122351_Moment%20Medium_zpscpt8klua.jpg.html)
'I guess it rains down in Africa..."    Our entrance into Tanzania   :toothy2:

Despite the continuous rain it was a lovely ride to the most northern point of the now Lake Nyasa. We experienced various road surfaces as there was a lot of road construction happening. Despite all the mud, puddles and dirt we all just soaked up the beautiful scenery... along with the rain.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3802%20Medium_zpsuhglzbyy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3802%20Medium_zpsuhglzbyy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3803%20Medium_zpsasj8u0s2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3803%20Medium_zpsasj8u0s2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_131417%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsda41mguj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_131417%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsda41mguj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_131453%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsja33bugx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_131453%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsja33bugx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_131505%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsmu7zgrpx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_131505%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsmu7zgrpx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3496_Moment%20Medium_zpso1rfm9rm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3496_Moment%20Medium_zpso1rfm9rm.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_131407%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsrsd1zv36.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_131407%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsrsd1zv36.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_150337%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsoygxlpqi.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_150337%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsoygxlpqi.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0942_Moment%20Medium_zpsdbnp9n2g.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0942_Moment%20Medium_zpsdbnp9n2g.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_153034%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpso5jivxlb.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_153034%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpso5jivxlb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3804%20Medium_zpsrdmgdxik.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3804%20Medium_zpsrdmgdxik.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_133148%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps683xups6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_133148%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zps683xups6.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3497_Moment%201%20Medium_zpssriwgzak.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3497_Moment%201%20Medium_zpssriwgzak.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3501_Moment%20Medium_zpsznmkew2z.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3501_Moment%20Medium_zpsznmkew2z.jpg.html)



 Some of the images are taken from the Gopro...hence the raindrops...but merely an idea of what we experienced.


At one stage we headed east into the direction of the Livingston Mountains appearing in the distance. The closer we got to them the more impressive and massive they appeared. I reminded myself that heading into those mountains was what this trip was originally about for us.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_132804%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsafph83ty.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_132804%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsafph83ty.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3499_Moment%20Medium_zpsi6maou5r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3499_Moment%20Medium_zpsi6maou5r.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_184050%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsh7adb7ql.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_184050%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsh7adb7ql.jpg.html)


The finally stretch of tar road was lined with bright green banana plantations and brightly decorated little shops. We all just had a good feel about this place and now riding south towards the lake with the mountains ever present over my left shoulder felt marvelous.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_133843%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsidzamlri.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_133843%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsidzamlri.jpg.html)

Sadly the Blue Canoe Lodge was closed for this period so we found our way along the wet, sandy track to  Matema Lakeside Resort which immediately appealed to us. We were fortunate to get a room right on the beach front. This long, sandy, tropical beach was so pretty and ended in the east at the base of the Livingston Mountains which rise up to a height of 2500m.  We settled in here very quickly and before long we were showered, dry and clean and in search of some food at the welcoming restaurant as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_170048%20Medium_zpscrqkhqey.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_170048%20Medium_zpscrqkhqey.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_170140%20Medium_zpsph4yqp3k.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_170140%20Medium_zpsph4yqp3k.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_161107%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpssxltfy6n.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_161107%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpssxltfy6n.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_161117%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpswnr5halr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_161117%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpswnr5halr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_164310%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvulxyca2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_164310%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvulxyca2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_164411%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvp9r4pxp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_164411%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsvp9r4pxp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_164441%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsskxkcnap.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_164441%20-%20Copy%20Medium_zpsskxkcnap.jpg.html)

We met up with some very interesting tourists from Germany. Max, one of whom we had briefly seen at the Mushroom Camp, had studied in Cape Town and was finishing off his time in Africa with some travelling. Talking to this youngster who was travelling on his own, through Africa, using only public transport, made us realise we were looking for excuses to opt out of our initial plan. We’ve had no problems up to now and decided to forge ahead into the Tanzanian Southern Highlands and should we feel out of our depth we would simply turn around and go for plan B or C.       
This now meant that we would not be able to stay for an extra night but would have to continue on our way in the morning. We all felt good about this decision and enjoyed a good night’s rest looking forward to heading up into the mountains.   

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181220_164418%20Medium_zpspujcky02.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181220_164418%20Medium_zpspujcky02.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: RobLH on January 30, 2019, 06:22:52 pm
Great news that you decided to press on, loving every installment, thanks   
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on January 30, 2019, 06:40:04 pm
This is so helpful as usual from you 3. Plenty good research for me, thanks!

 8)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: NoRush on January 31, 2019, 02:14:20 am
Thank you for sharing this trip with us.  :thumleft: Huge motivation for my wife, who started riding as well.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: KiLRoy on January 31, 2019, 03:30:30 pm
Thanks for the effort - all here will agree its RoH stuff - well done :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 08:40:12 pm
Awesome ride report   :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Thank you for sharing

Glad you're enjoying it.....Thank you for taking the time to follow it.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 08:49:48 pm
Well done so far folks. Interesting reading. Good luck with the rest of the trip and look forward for more postings.Thanks for your efforts.

Thanks for following. Posting is a bit delayed but trying to keep on top of it.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 09:01:19 pm
Great news that you decided to press on, loving every installment, thanks

Thanks for following my report. Has been fun capturing all the memories.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 09:03:40 pm
This is so helpful as usual from you 3. Plenty good research for me, thanks!

 8)

Thanks for your positive feedback....glad you're finding it useful.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 09:06:37 pm
Thank you for sharing this trip with us.  :thumleft: Huge motivation for my wife, who started riding as well.

Wow....that's awesome. I'm sure the two of you are going to enjoy many adventures together.  Ride safe
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on January 31, 2019, 09:11:35 pm
Thanks for the effort - all here will agree its RoH stuff - well done :thumleft:

Sjoe....this is unexpected  and I am very flattered.  Glad to know that some members are enjoying our adventure. Thanks to all   :ricky:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Sithe on February 01, 2019, 12:18:55 pm
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Sheepman on February 01, 2019, 12:28:35 pm
Excellent report.I enjoy your writing style and detailed humor.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: DikZol on February 01, 2019, 01:52:57 pm
What a ride!!!  Great pics too! 

Really enjoying this!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: BMWPE on February 01, 2019, 06:15:01 pm
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:

 :laughing4: stop looking at the pics and read the ride report and you will find out  :laughing4:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 01, 2019, 10:19:56 pm

DAY 6 :   FRIDAY - 21 DECEMBER 2018
MATEMA LAKESIDE RESORT  to MAKETE
DISTANCE:   206 km
8.00am  --> 4.00 pm



“ I’ve chosen a path I may not endure
One thing’s for certain nothings for sure
And it all might come together
And it all might come unraveled
On the road less traveled.”                                         George Strait



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route21_zpsqh9dfvvw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route21_zpsqh9dfvvw.jpg.html)

I got up before the others to check out the lovely Lake Nyasa and mountains once again. Yup, we had to get to the other side of those mountains. This was part of the trip we were unsure of so we made sure that we all packed our sense of humour. I think we were going to need it.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1547%20Medium_zpsn63fmxlj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1547%20Medium_zpsn63fmxlj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_053828%20Medium_zps4flzhhsd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_053828%20Medium_zps4flzhhsd.jpg.html)

Today required an early start, so by 8.00am we had finished our breakfast, bikes packed and ready for departure. Such a pity we couldn’t spend another night here. It was such a cool place. There was also a waterfall here that I would have loved to visit.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_073621%20Medium_zpsil8awqrs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_073621%20Medium_zpsil8awqrs.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_074855%20Medium_zpstkupr0f1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_074855%20Medium_zpstkupr0f1.jpg.html)

It was a pretty ride out from this area with Livingston Mountains on the right with the occasional waterfall tumbling down and the plentiful banana plantations now on the left.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3807%20Medium_zps8efuvplv.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3807%20Medium_zps8efuvplv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3808%20Medium_zpsp0ubaafo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3808%20Medium_zpsp0ubaafo.jpg.html)

 This new road also made for ease riding. I had plotted another route to Tukuyu so as to avoid the main road and this proved to be a good choice as it was 70 km of compacted dirt road lined with spectacular country side offering lovely views and scenery. There were very few vehicles on this road but we did encounter some road works. For many kilometers huge piles of rubble had been dumped on one side so at times we were competing for space with the few vehicles and piles of sand.

Occasionally we would encounter stuck vehicles and some being towed but we always managed to work our way around these problems. We were spoilt with the views as the lush green valley’s dropped down below.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0951_Moment%20Medium_zpsa6w7gw41.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0951_Moment%20Medium_zpsa6w7gw41.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_075559%20Medium_zps4ynho7rc.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_075559%20Medium_zps4ynho7rc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_075602%20Medium_zpslx2nfsfz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_075602%20Medium_zpslx2nfsfz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_095537%20Medium_zpsn3qgh28x.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_095537%20Medium_zpsn3qgh28x.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_100303%20Medium_zpswkjnfwui.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_100303%20Medium_zpswkjnfwui.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_095532%20Medium_zpss6tzfrwq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_095532%20Medium_zpss6tzfrwq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_100407%20Medium_zpstaanulyo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_100407%20Medium_zpstaanulyo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_080350%20Medium_zpsll5vli6n.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_080350%20Medium_zpsll5vli6n.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3504_Moment%20Medium_zpsbglgl2rq.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3504_Moment%20Medium_zpsbglgl2rq.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3505_Moment%20Medium_zpsfisws68r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3505_Moment%20Medium_zpsfisws68r.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3508_Moment%20Medium_zpsh3losrah.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3508_Moment%20Medium_zpsh3losrah.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_101400%20Medium_zpsgiecdfnm.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_101400%20Medium_zpsgiecdfnm.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3510_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsschovi6v.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3510_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsschovi6v.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3510_Moment%20Medium_zpshxfrim2x.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3510_Moment%20Medium_zpshxfrim2x.jpg.html)

In Tukuyu we wasted a lot of time, once again, trying to find an ATM and mastercards were a continued problem forcing us to exchange our dollars for Tanzanian shilling once again. Finding a fuel station with a supply of this now rare necessity also took up time.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_092940%20Medium_zpshjgvkarj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_092940%20Medium_zpshjgvkarj.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_103327%20Medium_zpsyzxzk8aw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_103327%20Medium_zpsyzxzk8aw.jpg.html)

From here we joined up with the main tar road heading to Mbeya and mingled with traffic before turning right at Izonje. We were now skirting the base of the impressive Rungwe Mountain, 2960 m high.  Kingsley who was navigating with his GPS missed this turning and I realised about 5 km further down the road that we should have turned off.  His lack of concentration and navigation skills now made me a tad nervous. This stretch of road we turned off onto was very wet and muddy but all- in- all not too bad.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3512_Moment_zpscghyrpzk.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3512_Moment_zpscghyrpzk.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 01, 2019, 11:46:55 pm

We passed through many little villages edged with the usual vendor tables selling bright orange carrots, potatoes and bananas. During planning one imagines these villages/towns to be much bigger and established with modern facilities catering for travellers, but this is definitely not the case. They consist of a few local dwellings, tiny little shops selling only the basics and open tables selling buckets of mangos, tomatoes and charcoal.  I couldn’t get enough of the bright coloured fabrics wrapped around the ladies. Colourful ‘crocs’ on feet big and small were also popular. Plenty of bicycles weaved in and out of the pedestrians. We needed to be alert and ride slowly when passing through.

The weather has been so unpredictable with a down pour every now and again leading us into muddy and slippery sections. There were some really steep, muddy uphills and I was most impressed with the way our bikes handled the mud and rocks. For some reason the chain on Roxy’s bike slipped off as we were heading up an incline. Thank goodness it was on one of the better roads. Once again it was ‘Dad’ to the rescue.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_125343%20Medium_zpspzcblraz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_125343%20Medium_zpspzcblraz.jpg.html)

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(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3513_Moment%20Medium_zpsg8gv9jh3.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3513_Moment%20Medium_zpsg8gv9jh3.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0955_Moment%20Medium_zpsyztvunaj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0955_Moment%20Medium_zpsyztvunaj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0956_Moment%20Medium_zpstzvu6xo0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0956_Moment%20Medium_zpstzvu6xo0.jpg.html)

We were soon on our way again heading in the direction of the Tanzanian Southern Highlands....finally. We eventually approached the boundary of the newest of Tanzania’s national parks, the 13 500ha KITULO PLATEAU NATIONAL PARK.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_135829%20Medium_zpsabvlgijr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_135829%20Medium_zpsabvlgijr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_135931%20Medium_zpsyklmgbjm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_135931%20Medium_zpsyklmgbjm.jpg.html)

 It is known locally as Bustani ya Mungu  (God’s Garden) and apparently also the Serengeti of Flowers as it has long been known as a ‘botanist’s paradise’, boasting a stunning variety of plants that start flowering from November to April and this ‘phenomenon has been described as one of the great floral spectacles of the world’. Unfortunately we didn’t appreciate this knowledge at the time as we merely focused on the road and only gave glances over the shoulders with an occasional rest stop.

 Despite the above information according to Bradt, ‘it is one of Tanzania’s most neglected biological gems.’ It also represents the largest and most important plateau grassland community in Tanzania. I was expecting to see some sort of wildlife up here but we weren’t that fortunate. Perhaps they were hiding from the miserable weather.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_134809%20Medium_zpscjfltd8n.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_134809%20Medium_zpscjfltd8n.jpg.html)

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(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_114805%20Medium_zpsu8muxaed.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_114805%20Medium_zpsu8muxaed.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_135030%20Medium_zps3abbxoxf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_135030%20Medium_zps3abbxoxf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_115400%20Medium_zps5x67mlar.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_115400%20Medium_zps5x67mlar.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_115046%20Medium_zpsanhidyyk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_115046%20Medium_zpsanhidyyk.jpg.html)
We spoke of scores earlier...Kingsleys first off..... ::)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_114906%20Medium_zps7zephlfq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_114906%20Medium_zps7zephlfq.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_135119%20Medium_zps6itm39ww.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_135119%20Medium_zps6itm39ww.jpg.html)
'You know the nearer your destination the more you're slip slidin' away'   ;D


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3523%20Medium_zpsvn2pveqx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3523%20Medium_zpsvn2pveqx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_182105%20Medium_zpspyq62jtw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_182105%20Medium_zpspyq62jtw.jpg.html)

 Two of the highest peaks in the southern highlands rise from this plateau, the 2 961m Mount Mtorwi, which we skirted around, and the 2 929m Chaluhangi Dome. I was so intrigued by the expanse of the plateau and grasslands ....it was all so pretty and it felt amazing being here... such a privilege. Due to time restraints, bad weather and awful roads very few photos were taken but once again a few Gopro shots are an okay reminder of this special place.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3810%20Medium_zpsycelvulo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3810%20Medium_zpsycelvulo.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1550%20Medium_zpsvkplr7ro.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1550%20Medium_zpsvkplr7ro.jpg.html)
Now this sign post confused us as our GPS wanted us to go straight but the sign indicated left. When plotting this route i was not aware of any left turns so the GPS won.

With being so high up we encountered quite a bit of mist along with the intermittent rain and mooshy roads and trying to keep Roxy and Kingsley in my sight was now important.  We made a brief stop at the Bamboo viewpoint and here we really felt on top of the world...in more ways than one. Looking down into those valleys and across to more mountains was quite humbling.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/GOPR3534_Moment%20Medium_zpsdtwqxkel.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/GOPR3534_Moment%20Medium_zpsdtwqxkel.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_140841%20Medium_zps5p9ohibz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_140841%20Medium_zps5p9ohibz.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_140805%20Medium_zpso5yngsl3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_140805%20Medium_zpso5yngsl3.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_141018%20Medium_zpshvgrx520.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_141018%20Medium_zpshvgrx520.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_140719%20Medium_zps0yuzuny4.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_140719%20Medium_zps0yuzuny4.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_140917%20Medium_zpsa681md6g.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_140917%20Medium_zpsa681md6g.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3814%20Medium_zpsyeb6o7qp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3814%20Medium_zpsyeb6o7qp.jpg.html)



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 02, 2019, 12:36:41 am

Some sections of road in the park had been nicely maintained with concrete strips making riding easier as we worked our way out of the park back into the mountainous area through lovely pine plantations. I know I harp on about it but this part of Tanzania was simply beautiful and around each corner there was an even prettier scene to greet us. There were times when we stopped for a rest (and a quick sanity puff for Rox) and unlike Malawi the locals never came up to greet us or where even vaguely curious about us.
 The occasional one who happened to walk past wouldn’t even acknowledge us. We actually seemed out of place up here and appeared to be intruding on their turf. Yet, at no stage did we feel uncomfortable.  Going through my mind at this stage was how fortunate these people were to live in such a beautiful setting regardless of the simplicity of their lifestyle.  Despite the steepness there were still attempts at small crops being grown and some slopes resembled a patchwork of colours and textures.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3524%20Medium_zpsp2meaejg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3524%20Medium_zpsp2meaejg.jpg.html)

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(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3535_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsxwpjg85o.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3535_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsxwpjg85o.jpg.html)

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(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3536_Moment%201.1jpg%20Medium_zpsahsqu9fl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3536_Moment%201.1jpg%20Medium_zpsahsqu9fl.jpg.html)

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(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1553%20Medium_zpsjsayagdd.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1553%20Medium_zpsjsayagdd.jpg.html)

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(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_124754%20Medium_zpsdtumebrl.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_124754%20Medium_zpsdtumebrl.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3539_Moment%20Medium_zps0ssokj7z.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3539_Moment%20Medium_zps0ssokj7z.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3540_Moment%20Medium_zpsevkmfdjg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3540_Moment%20Medium_zpsevkmfdjg.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3541_Moment%20Medium_zpsmalchdr9.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3541_Moment%20Medium_zpsmalchdr9.jpg.html)


At this stage it was late afternoon and we were starting to tire. We had been riding in the rain for a long time now and our pace was much slower due to all the twists and turns and mud. We were hoping to get to Ikonda but by the time we reached Makete we were all so wet, tired and cold. As we entered the village I noticed a ‘Guest House’ sign on my left and indicated for us to stop. This was when I noticed that Kingsley’s breathing was compromised. Ikonda was another 25 km away, it was still raining and we knew we would never get there before dark and Kingsley was in no condition to ride. Roxy and I went into the small drinking room alongside the main building and a friendly English speaking gentleman came out to help us. He took us around to the front of the Guest House and showed us around. It was very clean, nothing fancy and would do us just fine. We returned to Kingsley to confirm our stop and when this chap saw the condition Kingsley was in suggested he take us to another place nearby where we would be more comfortable. By now Kingsley had reached panic mode and his asthma pump failed to help. The altitude and cold was taking its toll and he was gasping for breath and shivering. He indicated that he would be okay so we followed our new friend, Peter. We couldn’t believe our luck when we approached the gate of this amazing and most unexpected Madihani Villas Lodge in such a remote area and what is known to be the coldest corner of Tanzania.  I can’t understand why we never once anticipated this cold and the breathing problems associated with it for Kingsley at these high altitudes.

Two delightful ladies came out to greet us, giving us such a warm welcome and immediately showed us into one of their units. We were prepared to pay anything just to get warm and dry. They quickly assessed the situation and wasted no time in bringing us a small portable, already hot and glowing, fireplace into the sitting room and a tray with cups, coffee and flask of hot water. They kindly even offered to get ‘assistance’ for Kingsley, which we declined. In no time at all we had stripped out of our wet clothes, wrapped ourselves up in warm towels and huddled around the fire quaffing back fresh hot coffee. As Kingsley warmed up, relaxed and calmed down so his panic attack subsided. Now exhausted he climbed into bed and slept till dinner time. The elder of the two ladies told us that at one stage she had worked in Pretoria(South Africa) and the lovely younger Mpili had been a contestant for Miss Tanzania and was now the accountant for the lodge. I can only sing their praises. If you ever happen to have the amazing opportunity to venture up into these mountains please stop by the lodge for a visit.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_071141%20Medium_zpsoyiekybg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_071141%20Medium_zpsoyiekybg.jpg.html)

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Dinner was a delicious bowl of vegetable soup, a huge plate of savoury rice and potatoe wedges. We ate as if we had been starved for days....just what we needed on this cold evening.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_174307%20Medium_zpsyaexn9jv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_174307%20Medium_zpsyaexn9jv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_194741%20Medium_zpslqd08jgq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_194741%20Medium_zpslqd08jgq.jpg.html)

I was so proud of Roxy at the end of this day. She had ridden like a champ and never complained once about the discomforts....well, perhaps about the lack of food....hahaha... but she handled everything in her stride. I don’t think this trip was quite what she had in mind, as she did remind us occasionally that this was not quite what we had sold her, yet she bravely forged on ahead and made the most of it.
We wasted no time in climbing into our warm beds with extra thick blankets... thankful to be out of the cold and rain and trying hard not to think about the next day.

 We had made it...this dream was not a lie.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181221_185123%20Medium_zpseixp5wvi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181221_185123%20Medium_zpseixp5wvi.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Mr Zog on February 02, 2019, 05:05:52 am
What a lovely report  :deal:  :thumleft:

You have made memories that you and your family will never forget. With time the memories of the hardships will fade, but the memories of the good times will always glow bright  :ricky:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on February 02, 2019, 06:56:08 am
Great trip and thanks for taking us along.
It is always interesting that we will go to great lengths to go and appreciate the beauty of an area and to the locals it is nothing.
But then, they do not travel around as they are on subsistence level of development and have not progressed so holidays are not done.
That last section with the red muddy roads make me miss the mountains in Venda. :'(
Keep it coming :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Kerritz on February 02, 2019, 09:11:49 am
Adventure riding at its best.  :deal:

Enjoying every installment and cannot wait for the rest.  :3some:

Thanks for taking the time to share your awesome trip!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on February 02, 2019, 04:29:11 pm
Excellent stuff folks, thanks for sharing all this great info.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: mike gs on February 02, 2019, 08:08:53 pm
Wow, wow, wow. Awesome RR. What a trip!

Sent from my SM-J810F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on February 03, 2019, 03:42:17 am
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:

Find it interesting that she rides without the jacket most of the way, and no one has had anything to say about it. Must be that charming smile, that keeps the silent.  :lol8: Anyways, awesome report and worthy of honory role. Would also love to see that area, as i would a 100 other areas :imaposer:. Love your outfits, i am cutrious though if the back packs don't put a lot of straighn on your shoulders, and when standing, does it not impact your movements. I am lucky in the sence my wife is also my riding partner, with now my eldest son who just turned 18, and after doing one elegal trip he is now legal on the raod. Dec we whent riding as a family, all 5 of us. Was awesome. So having your girl tag along i know is really special. Enjoying your writing, and your trips. You choose your areas well. Thanks for keeping our dreams alive
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 07:11:00 pm
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:

Find it interesting that she rides without the jacket most of the way, and no one has had anything to say about it. Must be that charming smile, that keeps the silent.  :lol8: Anyways, awesome report and worthy of honory role. Would also love to see that area, as i would a 100 other areas :imaposer:. Love your outfits, i am cutrious though if the back packs don't put a lot of straighn on your shoulders, and when standing, does it not impact your movements. I am lucky in the sence my wife is also my riding partner, with now my eldest son who just turned 18, and after doing one elegal trip he is now legal on the raod. Dec we whent riding as a family, all 5 of us. Was awesome. So having your girl tag along i know is really special. Enjoying your writing, and your trips. You choose your areas well. Thanks for keeping our dreams alive

Thanks for your  response and interest in the RR. Roxy is so used riding around Bali, where she lived for 3 years, with no protective gear. On all our adventure rides safety has always been compromised for a degree of comfort and we have settled for helmets and boots. The other protective wear are uncomfortable and on longer, wet/hot trips come with hygiene problem. During normal travelling the backpack rests on the seat and one is actually unaware it's even there. When standing we find it best to have the backpack weight added to the body weight on the foot pegs rather than strapped to the bike, baring in mind we are slow riders. We also don't pack them heavy and they're very comfortable. I believe it also offers us some sort of a back brace in case of accident..
You are very fortunate to have your family share your interests and experiences with you. Wishing you many happy and safe trips together. :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 07:12:28 pm
Wow, wow, wow. Awesome RR. What a trip!

Sent from my SM-J810F using Tapatalk

THanks....glad you're enjoying it. More to come shortly
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 07:16:13 pm
Adventure riding at its best.  :deal:

Enjoying every installment and cannot wait for the rest.  :3some:

Thanks for taking the time to share your awesome trip!  :thumleft:

THanks....it's been great capturing all these special moments again. More to follow shortly
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 07:21:33 pm
Great trip and thanks for taking us along.
It is always interesting that we will go to great lengths to go and appreciate the beauty of an area and to the locals it is nothing.
But then, they do not travel around as they are on subsistence level of development and have not progressed so holidays are not done.
That last section with the red muddy roads make me miss the mountains in Venda. :'(
Keep it coming :thumleft:

Yup...you are so right about that. One can only hope that are happy up in those pretty mountains. Venda is obviously a good place to visit then. I need to do some research on that. :biggrin:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on February 05, 2019, 07:56:06 pm
Great trip and thanks for taking us along.
It is always interesting that we will go to great lengths to go and appreciate the beauty of an area and to the locals it is nothing.
But then, they do not travel around as they are on subsistence level of development and have not progressed so holidays are not done.
That last section with the red muddy roads make me miss the mountains in Venda. :'(
Keep it coming :thumleft:

Yup...you are so right about that. One can only hope that are happy up in those pretty mountains. Venda is obviously a good place to visit then. I need to do some research on that. :biggrin:
:thumleft: Will wait for your RR!  :sip:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 08:35:51 pm


DAY 7 :  SATURDAY – 22 DECEMBER 2018
MAKETE to NJOMBE ( Gravel road110 km)  -->  continued to SONGEA ( Tar 233 km)
DISTANCE:   343 km
8.15 am  -->  4.00 pm



“And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering star I’ve grown
By myself but not alone.”                                              Metalica



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Route22_zpsh6ozm4fd.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Route22_zpsh6ozm4fd.jpg.html)

We awoke feeling refreshed, revived and hungry and got stuck into a lovely breakfast where we chatted to one of the ladies about our route from Ikonda to Manda. We had been excited about this short cut through the Livingston Mountains that would cut off the dog’s leg to Njombe and then back to Manda on the eastern shores of the lake. Other than the northern shore of Lake Nyasa the rest of the Tanzanian part of the lake is relatively inaccessible. That’s why it was important for us to get to Manda. However, the Bradt guide doesn’t even acknowledge Manda as being accessible but we knew for sure that there was some type of a road down to this village on the shore.  From here we were to follow the shoreline down to Mbamba Bay. We had spent a lot of time finding these routes and plotting them and were really looking forward to it.  But apparently it was a bad idea as all the rivers would be swollen, roads probably washed away and we were strongly advised to head to Njombe, further inland, and give Manda a miss. We kind of half heartedly accepted this advice and decided to make a decision when we arrived in Ikonda. She also kindly warned us about the very steep and muddy detour out of Ikonda to Njombe as well.

After exchanging hugs with these wonderful people we departed once again in the rain. The mist was hanging low over the distant mountains and the tone was set for the day. We refueled at the little fuel station which provided a great view of this clean and neat little village that we were in no condition to appreciate the day before. It rained all the way to Ikonda making progress slow and slippery but thank goodness for the under surface of gravel which kept us from falling. We worked our way up and down through some lush forests and plantations and enjoyed some great scenery.

The Chinese have even discovered this remote area and were upgrading the roads here as well resulting in detours and messy sections. If we had tried to continue with our journey yesterday we would have been extremely miserable, arrived in the dark and certainly not found such welcoming accommodation.

 Our approach into Ikonda was a mess of muddy roads and from what we could make out it was  really a basic little village.  It was decided to take the easy way out and head for Njombe.  Who knows what we would have encountered on our short cut. Sadly this is something we will never know unless one of you enthusiastic readers plan on doing this route in the dry season.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_071053%20Medium_zpsxswxnot4.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_071053%20Medium_zpsxswxnot4.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_075936%20Medium_zpspbmoisi0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_075936%20Medium_zpspbmoisi0.jpg.html)


 (https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_070217%20Medium_zpsogfqzsal.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_070217%20Medium_zpsogfqzsal.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_070224%20Medium_zpserggtqr1.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_070224%20Medium_zpserggtqr1.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_080129%20Medium_zpsnj6q3qxy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_080129%20Medium_zpsnj6q3qxy.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_071150%20Medium_zpspuyyo5qr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_071150%20Medium_zpspuyyo5qr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_071256%20Medium_zpssfvwfr4f.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_071256%20Medium_zpssfvwfr4f.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_080123%20Medium_zpsmujgtfv6.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_080123%20Medium_zpsmujgtfv6.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_080145%20Medium_zpso5gtapxe.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_080145%20Medium_zpso5gtapxe.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0967_Moment_zpsjrx23xya.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0967_Moment_zpsjrx23xya.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0967_Moment%201_zpsqqitelh3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0967_Moment%201_zpsqqitelh3.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3542_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszkbgpr80.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3542_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszkbgpr80.jpg.html)


The detour took us out past the Ikonda Hospital and our lady didn’t exaggerate when she told us about the long steep and muddy road out of town. I don’t know how Roxy and I managed to cope with all this mess but somehow we just cruised up these hills and to Kingsley’s surprise we were always behind him when he glanced in his mirror.  This was the first adventure ride I’ve done where I have not worried about what the roads would be like or how I would cope and was feeling very confident and comfortable on my bike. I was falling more in love with my bike with each passing day and watching Roxy cope so well was also an inspiration. Kingsley always made it look so easy as well as he cruised up front and led the way. He had always encouraged us to join him in some bush riding and fun rides at home on our smaller KTM freerides which certainly improved our confidence on the heavier bikes.  At the end of the day we were really enjoying our African adventure and we wanted to prove that a road does go all the way around.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3543_Moment%20Medium_zpszjwvijcp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3543_Moment%20Medium_zpszjwvijcp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3543_Moment%201%20Medium_zps1drenv8t.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3543_Moment%201%20Medium_zps1drenv8t.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3544_Moment%20Medium_zpsicitrifn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3544_Moment%20Medium_zpsicitrifn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3544_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgzxcwjcy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3544_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgzxcwjcy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%20Medium_zpskiih5ljj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%20Medium_zpskiih5ljj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%202%20Medium_zps7dtidmmx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%202%20Medium_zps7dtidmmx.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%203%20Medium_zps66nx4pl7.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3545_Moment%203%20Medium_zps66nx4pl7.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3547_Moment%20Medium_zpsvf4n6cs4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3547_Moment%20Medium_zpsvf4n6cs4.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%20Medium_zpsf60qf4ll.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%20Medium_zpsf60qf4ll.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsqnussfam.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsqnussfam.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%205%20Medium_zps7crcvofy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%205%20Medium_zps7crcvofy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%206%20Medium_zpstjthujbo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3548_Moment%206%20Medium_zpstjthujbo.jpg.html)
Rest time

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 09:08:22 pm

 Just when we think ‘woo-hoo.... the roads are improving’  we curve our way  around a corner and there’s more delayed construction and we’re slap bang in the middle of a quagmire  with a  heavily loaded truck axle deep across our path. It looked as if it had been there a while as rocks had been placed underneath it in an attempt for it to get some traction but as of yet no luck. Kingsley and Roxy managed to get past but I slipped down over a rock but with assistance managed to continue. We were now almost knee deep in mud but still with humour intact.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%20Medium_zpsxkay2woh.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%20Medium_zpsxkay2woh.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsihsdbsne.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsihsdbsne.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%202%20Medium_zpspzdscima.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%202%20Medium_zpspzdscima.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsxsdrh5ia.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsxsdrh5ia.jpg.html)
Roxy up front in a deep hole.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%205%20Medium_zpsis1t8cvb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%205%20Medium_zpsis1t8cvb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%206%20Medium_zpsazcbnwkl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%206%20Medium_zpsazcbnwkl.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%208%20Medium_zps1cjgu4sj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%208%20Medium_zps1cjgu4sj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%209%20Medium_zpsjdhnek2u.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%209%20Medium_zpsjdhnek2u.jpg.html)
Firmly planted on a rock.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%2010%20Medium_zpsapi4xpp5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%2010%20Medium_zpsapi4xpp5.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1554%20Medium_zpsmprcpnt7.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1554%20Medium_zpsmprcpnt7.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%2011%20Medium_zpsrptyaag0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3549_Moment%2011%20Medium_zpsrptyaag0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1558%20Medium_zpsfkilycfv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1558%20Medium_zpsfkilycfv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1559%20Medium_zpsjnvuyo5z.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1559%20Medium_zpsjnvuyo5z.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_072557%20Medium_zpsylrj5d63.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_072557%20Medium_zpsylrj5d63.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_072740%20Medium_zpshmi3zfnv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_072740%20Medium_zpshmi3zfnv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_092550%20Medium_zpss8cwkfnm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_092550%20Medium_zpss8cwkfnm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_092748%20Medium_zpsrko2s0bv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_092748%20Medium_zpsrko2s0bv.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_192701%20Medium_zpssqrmohz0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_192701%20Medium_zpssqrmohz0.jpg.html)
Nice n easy on a pikki pikki  ::)

We set off once again onto a new stretch of tarred road...yippee!!  We always try to avoid tar but at times it’s such a relief and you just want to get off your bike, onto your knees and embrace it. Picking up a bit of speed was a treat but also short lived as it only took us down the mountain, into a village and then back to mud as we rode out of town. As the morning passed we began to tire and Roxy slipped in the mud, so we took this opportunity for a rest as we had been slip sliding around now for over 3 hours.  This was when Kingsley noticed that, to our horror, the nut from Roxy’s back axle had disappeared and the axle had started to slip out.  Our ‘limp wristed’ mechanic, who had obviously forgotten to tighten the nut after adjusting the chain the previous day, made a wonderful temporary plan with the, must always have, cable ties. Blondie had no idea of the risk involved. We constantly had to keep an eye on this axle and it became quite stressful. In Njombe we spent a bit of time trying to find a take away coffee but they don’t cater for the coffee craving tourist and even with the help of one of the locals we came out empty handed so decided to continue on our way to Songea, 233km of wonderful tar and about another 4 hours of riding.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_102002%20Medium_zpsc47ndxmq.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_102002%20Medium_zpsc47ndxmq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_102320%20Medium_zpsttcz7y0a.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_102320%20Medium_zpsttcz7y0a.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3552_Moment%20Medium_zpsjlqite8b.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3552_Moment%20Medium_zpsjlqite8b.jpg.html)
Negotiating the busy street of Njombe.

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 05, 2019, 09:21:12 pm

We stopped at little villages along the way to look for a nut for the axle. The chaps repairing bikes were very willing to help but also came up with nothing suitable as the size was always wrong.
So between Kingsley and I, we kept a sharp eye on the axle.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_124931%20Medium_zpspfbjyjc2.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_124931%20Medium_zpspfbjyjc2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_121451%20Medium_zpsd2uhzcqu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_121451%20Medium_zpsd2uhzcqu.jpg.html)
Reinforcing the cable ties.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3555_Moment%20Medium_zpsupcr2sa6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3555_Moment%20Medium_zpsupcr2sa6.jpg.html)
Rain and road....just a different surface.

It was actually a pleasant ride, despite the intermittent rain and regular stops to check axle and a relief to arrive in Songea which was a busy town with lots more to offer than Njombe. Our first thought was to get to our accommodation as it was still raining and we were keen to find the Ruhuwiko Hunt Club which was a few kilometers out of town on the A19 road heading west towards the lake.

We soon settled into our room with a mattress on the floor for Roxy. It was a pleasant spot but very quiet. While relaxing at the bar and restaurant I phoned my son in Indonesia as we hadn’t made contact for a few days now.  He was in such a state and had already put out a missing persons report after contacting the embassies and various lodges that I had on our itinerary which changed after the second day of our trip. The Matema Lakeside Lodge reassured him that we had been there but left no forwarding address and that was the last he had heard about us. Panic stations. He firmly believed that we were very irresponsible doing this trip. If he had his own way he would have had us on a plane, out of there and back home.

I prepared him for our next 3 days of no contact as once again we would probably have no network. He politely informed us that our next holiday was caravaning at Shelly Beach, south of Durban. We enjoyed a little chuckle over this.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_081503%20Medium_zpsyl3r6wqk.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_081503%20Medium_zpsyl3r6wqk.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Man from Nam on February 06, 2019, 08:19:07 am
RESPECT!!!
One of the best RR's ever, cannot wait to read it daily.   :sip:
Thanks for the nice report and photo's, this is a bucket list adventure riding at it's best.
Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Mikie on February 06, 2019, 09:21:18 am
Those muddy road are just insane
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: RobLH on February 06, 2019, 09:55:58 am
Those muddy road are just insane

Agreed, my sphincter is knypping just looking at them on the screen.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 07, 2019, 05:13:08 pm

DAY 8 :   23 DECEMBER 2018
SONGEA to MBAMBA BAY
DISTANCE:  165 km
10 am to 4 pm



“On soft sand, the sunlight’s colour shows it’s late.
All travellers sorrow fades away,
What better place to rest
Than this.”                     Du Fu




(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route23%20Medium_zpsyrfromc6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route23%20Medium_zpsyrfromc6.jpg.html)


Can you believe it...it was raining again. Regardless, we got ourselves ready and at breakfast Roxy suggested we wait until the rain subsided...now this could take all morning. Kingsley’s creative side came out as he reinforced Roxy’s back axle with a make shift plastic handle from a dustpan. It was actually sitting nice and secure....this axle was going nowhere. I also decorated our handlebars with my travelling Santa buddies.....they’ve done a few Christmas trips now. We had to get a bit of Xmas spirit going as out here in this type of environment where there are no reminders of the festive season, spending most of our time on the bikes and only focusing on the trip one is inclined to forget ‘tis the season to be jolly.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_081338%20Medium_zpssdt4pufh.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_081338%20Medium_zpssdt4pufh.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181223_081351%20Medium_zpsx6kweuaw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181223_081351%20Medium_zpsx6kweuaw.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_094750%20Medium_zpschwthfzg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_094750%20Medium_zpschwthfzg.jpg.html)

 After whiling away more time in our room and after some coercing I convinced Roxy we had to move on. Despite it being a shorter ride today, 65 km of it would be a mud road up over the mountains and down to the shore and who knows what curved ball Africa would toss us today!
We put on our boots and got ready to get rained on.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3556_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsoj1ranqv.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3556_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsoj1ranqv.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_074733%20Medium_zpszeq3cgd8.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_074733%20Medium_zpszeq3cgd8.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_094416%20Medium_zpsecjjee7c.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_094416%20Medium_zpsecjjee7c.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_094514%20Medium_zpsnyk91ifj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_094514%20Medium_zpsnyk91ifj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_094404%20Medium_zpspzotxxiz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_094404%20Medium_zpspzotxxiz.jpg.html)


This 100km of nice tarred road to Mbinga has been referred to as ‘the adventurous gateway’ out of Songea. There are buses that can take backpackers up to this town but from here on to Mbamba Bay you need to use the 4x4 dala-dalas (taxis)...which generally means ‘bad roads up ahead.’ The ride to Mbinga was good....and wet.

Despite the continuous rain, low lying grey clouds and occasional misty areas heading away from Mbinga we were once again spoilt with picturesque landscape. The lush vegetation interspersed with little huts and agriculture could only lift ones spirits. The rougher muddy roads required some attention from us but nothing too hectic that could spoil the day. Tight zigzagging corners merely slowed us down a bit.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3557_Moment%20Medium_zpsjxyy2blw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3557_Moment%20Medium_zpsjxyy2blw.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3558_Moment%20Medium_zps0vqxdmbi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3558_Moment%20Medium_zps0vqxdmbi.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3559_Moment%20Medium_zps5exchmcq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3559_Moment%20Medium_zps5exchmcq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3561_Moment%20Medium_zpsuckuxltr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3561_Moment%20Medium_zpsuckuxltr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3560_Moment%20Medium_zpsupukyjbr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3560_Moment%20Medium_zpsupukyjbr.jpg.html)


But the best part of today’s ride was heading down the Rift Valley escarpment towards the eastern shore of Lake Nyasa. We stopped at the top to admire the view which sadly was being restricted by cloud cover. This was the start of a hard compacted beach sand pass.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3562_Moment%20Medium_zpsc0cermwn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3562_Moment%20Medium_zpsc0cermwn.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_124236%20Medium_zpszrkjlplg.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_124236%20Medium_zpszrkjlplg.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_110312%20Medium_zps2ptmlfeu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_110312%20Medium_zps2ptmlfeu.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_124220%20Medium_zpsitndhuzn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_124220%20Medium_zpsitndhuzn.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1563%20Medium_zpstujtx0tw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1563%20Medium_zpstujtx0tw.jpg.html)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on February 07, 2019, 05:38:15 pm
Nice, hehe you did not go down that single lane highway in the last photo? :laughing4: :peepwall:
Good on you all for carrying on in the rain!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on February 07, 2019, 06:22:16 pm
Wow!

I try to imagine myself on the AT attempting that ...  :o

So, when is the best time to do this the easy way?
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: punisher on February 07, 2019, 07:01:09 pm
Great RR
YOU GUYS ROCK
VERY HUMBLING TO READ YOUR ADVENTURE , WHAT AN AMAZING FAMILY , WHAT AN AMAZING ADVENTURE
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 07, 2019, 07:33:05 pm
We took a slow ride down to allow us time to absorb the beauty around us. In places the road had been slightly washed away at the edges but it remained a good road. We were treated to the occasional waterfall tumbling down in the distance and thanks to the wet season the vegetation was bursting with new colourful growth. As we rounded one corner we encountered a stationary bus. Initially we thought it had broken down but on passing through the narrow gap we realised that all the passengers were disembarking and taking the safe option to walk down a certain section of the pass. As we continued down we realised that this was a very good idea as the road was steep and extremely slippery with some serious drop offs. Perhaps this is the reason why the buses don’t go beyond Mbinga!

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3563_Moment%20Medium_zpsjxdpz5dw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3563_Moment%20Medium_zpsjxdpz5dw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%20Medium_zpst4r9dvv1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%20Medium_zpst4r9dvv1.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsqdezof6r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsqdezof6r.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsfyrgpkd3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsfyrgpkd3.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsc6ucznp5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsc6ucznp5.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%204%20Medium_zpsbixnumzx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3565_Moment%204%20Medium_zpsbixnumzx.jpg.html)

The river at the bottom of the pass was swollen and pumping.  Fortunately the bridge was strong and intact and we stopped here to check out the flow. I started to feel the excitement and was looking forward to seeing the lake.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_131630%20Medium_zpsul6jcanz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_131630%20Medium_zpsul6jcanz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_131816%20Medium_zpsj0qfc4on.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_131816%20Medium_zpsj0qfc4on.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_131958%20Medium_zpsp8kzwx8c.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_131958%20Medium_zpsp8kzwx8c.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_133011%20Medium_zpsk0tkwqvz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_133011%20Medium_zpsk0tkwqvz.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_133049%20Medium_zpsgafexoh8.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_133049%20Medium_zpsgafexoh8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_132900%20Medium_zpsn1fdwida.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_132900%20Medium_zpsn1fdwida.jpg.html)
Ol' Santa hanging in there.   :santa:


 I couldn’t believe it when I saw that road construction was happening down here as well. We still had a few kilometers to go before we reached the village and this soon to be completed road led us into the Lake Nyasa port of Mbamba Bay which was lined with tall coconut trees giving it such an exotic and tropical appearance. Little clay-brick houses with scruffy thatch rooves lined the new wide sandy road. Wow...this was really a pretty spot and worth every bit of discomfort experienced along the way.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3567_Moment%20Medium_zpsgemtmht5.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3567_Moment%20Medium_zpsgemtmht5.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3569_Moment%20Medium_zpshq9fordo.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3569_Moment%20Medium_zpshq9fordo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3569_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsazmnnqd0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3569_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsazmnnqd0.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523399344%20Medium_zpsmgvxassv.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523399344%20Medium_zpsmgvxassv.jpg.html)


We were heading for the Bio Camp Lodge which was another 5 km further north out of the village giving us some lovely but brief views of the lake. I was bowled over by this place.
Now if we had kept to our initial plan this would have been the last part of the road that we would have traveled south on from Manda. It was a good road up to the lodge turn off but apparently from there up to Manda it was not recommended in the wet season.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523531695%20Medium_zpsma6hteit.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523531695%20Medium_zpsma6hteit.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523537250%20Medium_zpsqy9hryrk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523537250%20Medium_zpsqy9hryrk.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_103156%20Medium_zpsxw41ddju.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_103156%20Medium_zpsxw41ddju.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 07, 2019, 08:18:59 pm

On arrival at the Bio Camp we were initially disappointed and wanted to find alternative accommodation. On glancing around it looked unkempt and poorly maintained and when Roxy discovered the monkeys in a cage she was furious. Peter was the guy to talk to and he showed us around the place.
 The rondavels were out of our budget as there were no card facilities and we were keen to pitch our tents on the beach next to the lapha but this was not allowed as the local fisherman and friends walked through this area as we discovered later in the day.  So after a bit of discussion amongst ourselves we decided to hang around here and pitched our tents under the insect infested thatch roof structure further back from the shore that passed as the campsite. It was a tight squeeze but we weren’t letting Roxy pitch her tent under another shelter which was a bit further away from us...she was to stay close to us.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_154716%20Medium_zpslfji87zm.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_154716%20Medium_zpslfji87zm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_162349%20Medium_zpsldhdys7y.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_162349%20Medium_zpsldhdys7y.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_162401%20Medium_zps5opwygfi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_162401%20Medium_zps5opwygfi.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523560242%20Medium_zpsdvs6nia0.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523560242%20Medium_zpsdvs6nia0.jpg.html)
The joys of your own room   :biggrin:

Kingsley chatted with Peter, who kindly offered to find out for us, about options of catching a ferry to Likoma Island from here. As we didn’t want to return to Songea, or take our short cut from Mbinga that we had so confidently plotted, in order to reach the Matchedje border post that was 130 km south of Songea. From the border post is was another approximate 130 km to Cobue (Mozambique) over a range of mountains and down to the shoreline about 40 km north of Cobue via an insignificant little road that spelt trouble in this wet weather.

 Being the only visitors here we could enjoy the shelter on the beach for ourselves as we spread our wet washing around. The setting was so pretty and magical making the lake look inviting and within minutes Roxy and I were in that water enjoying a good soapy, and much needed, wash down in the warm crystal clear water. Peter had arranged for his wife to make us a lovely big pot of fresh filter coffee. We made some popcorn to nibble on and decided that perhaps two nights here would be an awesome treat. The fishermen in their dugouts  had started returning and were selling off their fresh supplies.


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_151048%20Medium_zpsvf4kia43.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_151048%20Medium_zpsvf4kia43.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1565%20Medium_zps4eivxhze.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1565%20Medium_zps4eivxhze.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1567%20Medium_zpsfak7trfk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1567%20Medium_zpsfak7trfk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1568%20Medium_zpsvlbi5yeb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1568%20Medium_zpsvlbi5yeb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1573%20Medium_zpshh50osi5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1573%20Medium_zpshh50osi5.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523384051%20Medium_zpsfhcnt5gz.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523384051%20Medium_zpsfhcnt5gz.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0992_Moment%20Medium_zpsm13hmny7.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0992_Moment%20Medium_zpsm13hmny7.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523345422%20Medium_zpsyqv7fd8v.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523345422%20Medium_zpsyqv7fd8v.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR0990_Moment%20Medium_zps0jl1l4pr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR0990_Moment%20Medium_zps0jl1l4pr.jpg.html)

Popcorn flying ...and beers flowing!!

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523376241%20Medium_zpsu5trzzwx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/FB_IMG_1549523376241%20Medium_zpsu5trzzwx.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_170128%20Medium_zps5fkgtc3n.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_170128%20Medium_zps5fkgtc3n.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_175213%20Medium_zps4wvzx6ub.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_175213%20Medium_zps4wvzx6ub.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_174950%20Medium_zpsqvz3rfkj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_174950%20Medium_zpsqvz3rfkj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_175131%20Medium_zpsjnhx894e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_175131%20Medium_zpsjnhx894e.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1576%20Medium_zpsnh3sbhtj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1576%20Medium_zpsnh3sbhtj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1581%20Medium_zpslkntzufl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1581%20Medium_zpslkntzufl.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1572%20Medium_zpsmln4zn9n.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1572%20Medium_zpsmln4zn9n.jpg.html)

The setting sun cast a stunning light across the beach and as it started sinking over the western horizon a beach fire was being made and chairs dragged out for us to lounge on and chill. What a perfect setting. We settled back, relaxed and started to appreciate this little patch of paradise.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_184001%20Medium_zpsqhr0qfcq.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_184001%20Medium_zpsqhr0qfcq.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1578%20Medium_zpswxr34sza.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1578%20Medium_zpswxr34sza.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1583%20Medium_zpsblhhzw0s.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1583%20Medium_zpsblhhzw0s.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_172640%20Medium_zpsipspvlct.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_172640%20Medium_zpsipspvlct.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1595%20Medium_zpsde6hhtuk.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1595%20Medium_zpsde6hhtuk.jpg.html)

Dinner was provided and was a delicious spread of rice, cream spinage, roast potatoes, a spicy tomato salsa and desert was chopped pineapple. We devoured this meal with great speed and enthusiasm.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_184300%20Medium_zpsbgmqocem.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_184300%20Medium_zpsbgmqocem.jpg.html)

By 9 pm we crawled carefully into our tents so as not to upset any creepy crawlies in the thatch and slept soundly.


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on February 07, 2019, 11:35:21 pm
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:

Find it interesting that she rides without the jacket most of the way, and no one has had anything to say about it. Must be that charming smile, that keeps the silent.  :lol8: Anyways, awesome report and worthy of honory role. Would also love to see that area, as i would a 100 other areas :imaposer:. Love your outfits, i am cutrious though if the back packs don't put a lot of straighn on your shoulders, and when standing, does it not impact your movements. I am lucky in the sence my wife is also my riding partner, with now my eldest son who just turned 18, and after doing one elegal trip he is now legal on the raod. Dec we whent riding as a family, all 5 of us. Was awesome. So having your girl tag along i know is really special. Enjoying your writing, and your trips. You choose your areas well. Thanks for keeping our dreams alive

Thanks for your  response and interest in the RR. Roxy is so used riding around Bali, where she lived for 3 years, with no protective gear. On all our adventure rides safety has always been compromised for a degree of comfort and we have settled for helmets and boots. The other protective wear are uncomfortable and on longer, wet/hot trips come with hygiene problem. During normal travelling the backpack rests on the seat and one is actually unaware it's even there. When standing we find it best to have the backpack weight added to the body weight on the foot pegs rather than strapped to the bike, baring in mind we are slow riders. We also don't pack them heavy and they're very comfortable. I believe it also offers us some sort of a back brace in case of accident..
You are very fortunate to have your family share your interests and experiences with you. Wishing you many happy and safe trips together. :thumleft:

Thank you for the feedback. We feel the same around the safety gear, although i got my wife one of those amatilda vests. The back pack theory make sence when you think about, weight on pegs and so forth. I know from a lot of hiking done in previous years that they are very comphy. Enjoying your writing still. Makes night shift sweeter. Looking forward to the rest
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on February 08, 2019, 12:04:19 am
Please anyone. Some of the pic's are not showing is it because i read to fast for them to download, or am i missing a certain program or app
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wilfwalk on February 08, 2019, 12:07:02 pm
The value of good photography ! What beautiful sunsets and scenery. Thanks for an amazing trip report. It makes my day. What are we readers going to do when its over - perish the thought ! Much respect to you all three of you in those tough conditions, well done.

MRK - I think your internet is just slow.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:01:25 pm
RESPECT!!!
One of the best RR's ever, cannot wait to read it daily.   :sip:
Thanks for the nice report and photo's, this is a bucket list adventure riding at it's best.
Thank you for sharing.

Thank you very much...pleased to hear you're enjoying it. Will be posting more shortly.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:10:01 pm
Those muddy road are just insane

These muddy roads were tossed into our daily riding so eventually we got used to it and at times actually  perversely looked forward to the muddy challenges.and we always rode slowly through the mud. Thanks for taking the time to read.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:11:47 pm
Those muddy road are just insane

Agreed, my sphincter is knypping just looking at them on the screen.

Hahahaha....I know that feeling  ::)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:13:35 pm
Nice, hehe you did not go down that single lane highway in the last photo? :laughing4: :peepwall:
Good on you all for carrying on in the rain!

Hahaha....nope...we stuck to the highway :ricky:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:18:40 pm
Wow!

I try to imagine myself on the AT attempting that ...  :o

So, when is the best time to do this the easy way?

Probably never....hahaha ;D   No seriously.....we actually don't know as we've also been told that in the dry weather everything is brown and not as pretty but people do go at these times and enjoy it.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:21:00 pm
Great RR
YOU GUYS ROCK
VERY HUMBLING TO READ YOUR ADVENTURE , WHAT AN AMAZING FAMILY , WHAT AN AMAZING ADVENTURE
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Thanks so much for that  encouraging  support...glad to hear that you are enjoying it. Thanks also for taking the time to comment :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:23:59 pm
Please anyone. Some of the pic's are not showing is it because i read to fast for them to download, or am i missing a certain program or app

As wilfwalk mentioned....probably slow internet. Hope you manage to view them eventually. Thanks for following.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 05:26:45 pm
The value of good photography ! What beautiful sunsets and scenery. Thanks for an amazing trip report. It makes my day. What are we readers going to do when its over - perish the thought ! Much respect to you all three of you in those tough conditions, well done.

MRK - I think your internet is just slow.

Thanks wilfwalk....appreciate the positive feedback. Will be posting more tonight. Enjoy!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 08:55:28 pm

DAY 9:   MONDAY 24 DECEMBER 2018
MBAMBA BAY to SOMEWHERE ON THE MOZAMBIQUE SHORE
FERRY TRIP!



“It’s a magical world, ol’  buddy....
...Let’s go exploring!”                       Calvin & Hobbes


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Route25_zpsnzdgtrqd.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Route25_zpsnzdgtrqd.jpg.html)
This map indicates the route we had planned to do...either going to Songea and then down south...or the short cut, avoiding Songea...and very crudely showing our actual route on the ferry. This map is for the next 2 days.

It was a comfortable night’s sleep and for once the rains didn’t taunt us. The skies were clear and our spirits lifted. We were looking forward to another day of lazing around and exploring our surroundings. Kingsley and Peter ended up going back to the port to find out about ferries as no one was around yesterday to assist, while Roxy and I lazed around on the beach and spent time entertaining the monkeys. We had grown fond of this place. Peter was the manager here but his uncle, who was married to a German lady, owned it. On the visitors register one could see that it was the Germans and Australians who favored this camp and strangely enough no South Africans. There is other accommodation available in Mbamba Bay but we didn’t have time to check it out. 

Kingsley returned with the news that there was a ferry departing from the port within the next hour ,and it would reach Likoma Island in about 9 hours (despite its close proximity to Mozambique, it falls under Malawi).  Awesome... we weren’t allowing ourselves to see this ferry trip as a cop out to our original plans as we had got further than expected and weren’t turning back as we were still ‘squaring the circle’ as best we can. Admittedly, this ferry trip would be an easy way out but at the same time something different, exciting and unexpected. This 90 km ferry trip would save us the long wet, muddy 420 km inland trip through the border post, over the mountains and back to the shoreline at Cobue.

With great enthusiasm we packed, loaded our bikes, said our farewells and admired the passing scenery again as we headed into town. We stocked up with some water and biscuits at the local shop before heading to the immigration and customs office next to the port to get stamped out of Tanzania.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3573_Moment%20Medium_zps8zazobur.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3573_Moment%20Medium_zps8zazobur.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3573_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9bwihmhp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3573_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9bwihmhp.jpg.html)

All excited we rushed off again to where the ferry was departing from as we didn’t want to be late...and to my horror there was this same type of little s*#t boat we saw at Nkata Bay. The only thing in its favour though was the little blue plastic shelter. Okay...I had to be mature about this and remind myself why we were doing this.... at least we would be close to the shore...the locals were using this mode of transport all the time ...it was too late to change our minds...I finally came to terms with our situation and convinced myself that all would be fine as it would only take 9 hours....we were now committed.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_101032%20Medium_zpsavaim7sc.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_101032%20Medium_zpsavaim7sc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_101022%20Medium_zpsqzaxuzaa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_101022%20Medium_zpsqzaxuzaa.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_101306%20Medium_zpsklghiqw1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_101306%20Medium_zpsklghiqw1.jpg.html)

While we waited for the ‘Ferry man’ to arrive we watched in awe as loads and loads and loads of supplies were being carried from a building to the ferry. Huge sacks of maize, sacks of wash powder, cases of cold drinks, pockets of cement, plastic containers, bags of luggage, more and more and more boxes of stuff just kept coming. Now we started worry if we would even get a space to sit let alone get three heavy motorbikes onto the boat. The longer we sat there and watched the more convinced we were that getting on that ferry was not going to be possible. There were so many people around also waiting to clamber aboard.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3574_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsnpn5i963.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3574_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsnpn5i963.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3574_Moment%20Medium_zps8wrghrmc.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3574_Moment%20Medium_zps8wrghrmc.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_111402%20Medium_zpss2uku62v.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_111402%20Medium_zpss2uku62v.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_111512%20Medium_zps6z2b1bd0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_111512%20Medium_zps6z2b1bd0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_101107%20Medium_zpsa09lv0js.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_101107%20Medium_zpsa09lv0js.jpg.html)


Eventually the Boss Man arrived and told us we had to pay him more money than was previously discussed as our bikes were bigger than he expected. The price was already 300 000 Tsh (+/- R1800). Kingsley stood his ground and refused to pay more as we had no more Tsh. Eventually they agreed to accept that price and they called some strong guys over to load the bikes. Now they demanded some money...fair enough I suppose...so we parted with another USD15. I couldn’t actually believe that they were still able to find space for us. However, they did have to off load several bags of cement to allow for the weight of our bikes.

It was fascinating to see how quickly and efficiently these guys loaded our bikes. Within about 20 minutes our bikes were neatly packed and stable on the ferry. But to my dismay I also noticed how buckets of water were being scooped up from within the ferry and tossed overboard. Should I be freaked out!?


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_095134%20Medium_zps7qlj6ui6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_095134%20Medium_zps7qlj6ui6.jpg.html)
My bike being loaded.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_095146%20Medium_zpsw7btmkyq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_095146%20Medium_zpsw7btmkyq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115015%20Medium_zpsvfj97gra.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115015%20Medium_zpsvfj97gra.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115304%20Medium_zpsibyyfzqr.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115304%20Medium_zpsibyyfzqr.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115323_Moment%20Medium_zpsieudx83k.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115323_Moment%20Medium_zpsieudx83k.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1001_Moment%20Medium_zpsxnat3mxy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1001_Moment%20Medium_zpsxnat3mxy.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115419%20Medium_zpsq7ssilrl.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115419%20Medium_zpsq7ssilrl.jpg.html)


Roxy's bike being loaded. They appeared rather amused by the fact that her bike was so small.(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115539%20Medium_zpsvjnxvg8g.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115539%20Medium_zpsvjnxvg8g.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115548%20Medium_zps1jpidclh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115548%20Medium_zps1jpidclh.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1002_Moment%20Medium_zpsou6cvhet.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1002_Moment%20Medium_zpsou6cvhet.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1002_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszz9qq4xl.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1002_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszz9qq4xl.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115608_Moment%20Medium_zps08cnuviu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115608_Moment%20Medium_zps08cnuviu.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115626%20Medium_zpsbvrkhdek.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115626%20Medium_zpsbvrkhdek.jpg.html)

Kingsley's bike getting heaved on. We had to remove our  luggage as it was rather heavy.
(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%201%20Medium_zpscgy9xtcm.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%201%20Medium_zpscgy9xtcm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%20Medium_zpsqsuaws4u.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%20Medium_zpsqsuaws4u.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_120106%20Medium_zpswgalb9pp.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_120106%20Medium_zpswgalb9pp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_120112%20Medium_zpsmcnog8jg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_120112%20Medium_zpsmcnog8jg.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_120406%20Medium_zpsiocaqfey.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_120406%20Medium_zpsiocaqfey.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_120437%20Medium_zpsingbvqkr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_120437%20Medium_zpsingbvqkr.jpg.html)
The three bikes all looking comfy and ready to sail.


Just ensuring that a few safety measures are put in place !!   :o :o
(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsu0dutkdv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_115830_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsu0dutkdv.jpg.html)

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 10, 2019, 09:48:27 pm

The boat was already sitting low in the water as the people began to wade knee deep, with their personal belongings, and climb aboard and heaven only knows where they were all going to sit. The only way to access this boat was to walk carefully along the strip of wood around the edge of it, hunched forward so as to avoid bashing your head on the shelter. Negotiating this with a backpack, a helmet, heavy wet boots and one hand was rather tricky but by some miracle we all found a space on top of, in between, next to, squashed up and firmly ensconced in any available gap. Oh yes...a box of chickens also made their way on to the pile of passengers. One lady made herself comfy on top of Kingsley’s bike, Roxy was initially perched on top of several cases of cold drink, Kingsley wedged himself between a wooden support and a bag of wash powder while I perched on the edge of a narrow strip of wood. We tried as best we could to make ourselves comfortable while looking forward to this little snap decision adventure.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_120845%20Medium_zpshzptggjc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_120845%20Medium_zpshzptggjc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_121214%20Medium_zpsbe89vfry.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_121214%20Medium_zpsbe89vfry.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_121226%20Medium_zps7yfajyls.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_121226%20Medium_zps7yfajyls.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_121242%20Medium_zpsxnt2hzut.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_121242%20Medium_zpsxnt2hzut.jpg.html)

All aboard!
(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123215%20Medium_zpsjevesp9j.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123215%20Medium_zpsjevesp9j.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123235%20Medium_zpsy3gpzpul.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123235%20Medium_zpsy3gpzpul.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1004_Moment%20Medium_zpsp1fcdmii.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1004_Moment%20Medium_zpsp1fcdmii.jpg.html)


Finally, shortly after midday we were putting slowly out of the bay. A few minutes into our great adventure the motor spluttered to a halt and all engine life was lost. Well now, that was a reassuring start! Fortunately the tiller man knew what to do and we spluttered back to life cruising at a mean 10 km/hour. This occurred a few more times

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123255%20Medium_zpsubg7jc8j.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123255%20Medium_zpsubg7jc8j.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123245%20Medium_zpshtfiqzzw.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123245%20Medium_zpshtfiqzzw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123322%20Medium_zpsln3ezzry.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123322%20Medium_zpsln3ezzry.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_114805%20Medium_zps6i5h0s0e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_114805%20Medium_zps6i5h0s0e.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1004_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgbpxghuy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1004_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgbpxghuy.jpg.html)


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123337%20Medium_zpsrria722s.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123337%20Medium_zpsrria722s.jpg.html)

As we left the bay and rounded the head land we saw a huge hotel perched on the edge with an awesome view of the lake. This took us by surprise as it appeared out of place and we were totally unaware of it. To be quite honest we all preferred our basic accommodation at the Bio Camp.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_131622%20Medium_zpse3skcokv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_131622%20Medium_zpse3skcokv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1600%20Medium_zpsqzab7f21.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1600%20Medium_zpsqzab7f21.jpg.html)


The local passengers appeared to be wary of us and I felt as if we might have been trespassing as there were no exchanges of smiles or any attempts at pleasantries. One chap spoke a bit of English but also said very little, however, two chaps just behind us, handling the boat were rather pleasant.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123706_Moment%20Medium_zps8fwapraz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123706_Moment%20Medium_zps8fwapraz.jpg.html)


As the time passed the three of us shifted around and changed butt positions regularly looking for a better spot. Everything seemed too hard, too bumpy, too narrow and just simply uncomfortable. Yet the other passengers hardly moved and all appeared to be comfortable and satisfied with their spot.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_134820%20Medium_zpsgfm2ss0m.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_134820%20Medium_zpsgfm2ss0m.jpg.html)

As we putted forward at a snails pace, rocking side-to-side with the bashing of the small waves we became quite sleepy but had nowhere to lean back on and rest the wary head. At one stage I had my legs dangling over the edge into the water and tried to lean against the sacks. We were still in our riding gear but had removed our boots and shoved them under the bikes.  There was a narrow space between the bikes and other supplies that had no pallet on top and the water sloshed back and forth through the length of the boat. This was a place to avoid placing bare feet.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181224_123740%20Medium_zpsqpvoucsh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181224_123740%20Medium_zpsqpvoucsh.jpg.html)

Every so often the guy at the front of the boat would start bailing buckets of water from the boat into the lake. I tried hard not to dwell on this. After what seemed like hours we could look into the distance and still see where we had come from – we were going somewhere slowly!  At one stage we stopped near the shore and a small boat paddle out to us with more passengers and luggage.....yes....more passengers and luggage and boxes and boxes of supplies. These were tossed unceremoniously on top of the other stuff and the new passengers somehow found a place to settle

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1005_Moment%20Medium_zps4bcchccp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1005_Moment%20Medium_zps4bcchccp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1603%20Medium_zpser7gx2gr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1603%20Medium_zpser7gx2gr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1607%20Medium_zpsas0qfksr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1607%20Medium_zpsas0qfksr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1610%20Medium_zpsevglc8dm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1610%20Medium_zpsevglc8dm.jpg.html)

This collecting of passengers happened a few more times that afternoon. At one beach stop we were allowed to get off and run to the end of the beach to find a bush.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1601%20Medium_zpscessjfjo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1601%20Medium_zpscessjfjo.jpg.html)


At the final stop there was a lot of shouting going on between our boat and the other little boats. It appeared people were being turned away. I kept thinking that we had encroached on their space and perhaps they were annoyed with us.

Later in the afternoon it started to rain and the make shift roof turned into an amazing reservoir that decided to leak onto any limb or body that was in its way. To add to this torment the occasional careless wave crashed over the edge and added to the collection at the bottom of the boat. No one appeared to be concerned so we sat there and tried our best to ignore the discomfort and enjoy our ‘magical adventure’!

After what seemed like ages it started to get dark. This made it very difficult for the skipper to see the fishing nets stretched out in the water which resulted in nets being dragged and caught up in the propeller and this would take up a bit of time to cut away. I was just hoping that they had taken into account all these little delays when they told us it would take 9 hours as I was now really looking forward to reaching Likoma Island.

 As the blackened sky and the darkening water merged into each other so the many lit hurricane lamps from the distant fishing boats and dugouts began to twinkle in the darkness, now creating ‘the lake of stars’. It was actually David Livingston, over 150 years ago, who famously named Lake Malawi, ‘The lake of Stars’.  It looked so peaceful out there in the darkness and accompanied with the lulling noise of the engine and the gentle rocking of the boat it gave one a false sense of pleasure and relaxation.
 
We tried to scan the horizon for any signs of the Island protruding out into the darkness but there was nothing yet. Surely it wouldn’t be much longer. But our skipper had other plans!! At about 10 pm we turned in towards the shore and headed for the few nearby lights. In broken English we were told that the weather was bad and we would stop here for 2 hours. Well, it wasn’t raining, the wind wasn’t blowing, the water was calm and a few stars were visible, so all looked hunky-dory to us. But, who were we to argue...we were in their hands now. Once anchor was thrown we all scrambled off the boat, some with blankets,  into warm knee-deep water and waded to shore to wait out the ‘bad weather’. Everyone just filtered into the darkness and disappeared but one lady, whom I hadn’t even been aware of on the boat, came up to us and indicated a sleeping position with her hands against her face. We assumed that she was going home to sleep and we waved her goodbye with lovely cheerful smiles, chuffed that she had taken the time to be polite and acknowledge us. We sat on the beach, in our wet riding gear and waited... and waited... and waited. Then the penny dropped....we had been abandoned. That friendly lady was indicating to us to get some sleep!  There was no intention of getting us to Likoma Island as this was Christmas Eve and clearly everyone had their own plans! We were left to sleep on the shore while everybody else had deserted us to find a place to sleep and probably find something to eat as well. For today, this was clearly the end of the line!

Once we had accepted our demise we tried to make ourselves as comfortable as possible on the lumpy damp sand.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0040%20Medium_zpscaipe2nn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0040%20Medium_zpscaipe2nn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0035%20Medium_zpsd0cawwzc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0035%20Medium_zpsd0cawwzc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0042%20Medium_zpsqibhyzgm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0042%20Medium_zpsqibhyzgm.jpg.html)

 Eventually I decided the boat would be more comfortable. Leaving Kingsley and Roxy sleeping in the sand, I waded back, climbed aboard and with the help of the feint glow from the bare globe swinging from the beam I stretched out uncomfortably on the 6 inch plank along the side of the boat, found a tattered life jacket for my pillow and willed sleep to overcome me. A slight drizzle, later in the night, (aaahh...our bad weather)  forced Kingsley and Roxy back on board as well.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0041%20Medium_zpsrnrsq6rd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG-20181225-WA0041%20Medium_zpsrnrsq6rd.jpg.html)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on February 10, 2019, 11:55:37 pm
 At one beach stop we were allowed to get off and run to the end of the beach to find a bush.

I was wandering about the size of your bladders!!? :eek7: :o
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Three Dawg on February 12, 2019, 10:49:18 am
Excellent, another Wildside cracker!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: WILDSIDES offspring on February 13, 2019, 08:30:50 pm
The young lady, Roxy, is she your daughter, is she spoken for  :deal:
[/quote] haha all about the ride

Find it interesting that she rides without the jacket most of the way, and no one has had anything to say about it. Must be that charming smile, that keeps the silent.  :lol8: Anyways, awesome report and worthy of honory role. Would also love to see that area, as i would a 100 other areas :imaposer:. Love your outfits, i am cutrious though if the back packs don't put a lot of straighn on your shoulders, and when standing, does it not impact your movements. I am lucky in the sence my wife is also my riding partner, with now my eldest son who just turned 18, and after doing one elegal trip he is now legal on the raod. Dec we whent riding as a family, all 5 of us. Was awesome. So having your girl tag along i know is really special. Enjoying your writing, and your trips. You choose your areas well. Thanks for keeping our dreams alive
    I've never been one for the full riding gear , despite my parents content efforts.

Thanks for your  response and interest in the RR. Roxy is so used riding around Bali, where she lived for 3 years, with no protective gear. On all our adventure rides safety has always been compromised for a degree of comfort and we have settled for helmets and boots. The other protective wear are uncomfortable and on longer, wet/hot trips come with hygiene problem. During normal travelling the backpack rests on the seat and one is actually unaware it's even there. When standing we find it best to have the backpack weight added to the body weight on the foot pegs rather than strapped to the bike, baring in mind we are slow riders. We also don't pack them heavy and they're very comfortable. I believe it also offers us some sort of a back brace in case of accident..
You are very fortunate to have your family share your interests and experiences with you. Wishing you many happy and safe trips together. :thumleft:

Thank you for the feedback. We feel the same around the safety gear, although i got my wife one of those amatilda vests. The back pack theory make sence when you think about, weight on pegs and so forth. I know from a lot of hiking done in previous years that they are very comphy. Enjoying your writing still. Makes night shift sweeter. Looking forward to the rest
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: WILDSIDES offspring on February 13, 2019, 09:27:37 pm

We stopped at little villages along the way to look for a nut for the axle. The chaps repairing bikes were very willing to help but also came up with nothing suitable as the size was always wrong.
So between Kingsley and I, we kept a sharp eye on the axle.
(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_124931%20Medium_zpspfbjyjc2.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_124931%20Medium_zpspfbjyjc2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181222_121451%20Medium_zpsd2uhzcqu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181222_121451%20Medium_zpsd2uhzcqu.jpg.html)
Reinforcing the cable ties.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3555_Moment%20Medium_zpsupcr2sa6.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3555_Moment%20Medium_zpsupcr2sa6.jpg.html)
Rain and road....just a different surface.

It was actually a pleasant ride, despite the intermittent rain and regular stops to check axle and a relief to arrive in Songea which was a busy town with lots more to offer than Njombe. Our first thought was to get to our accommodation as it was still raining and we were keen to find the Ruhuwiko Hunt Club which was a few kilometers out of town on the A19 road heading west towards the lake.

We soon settled into our room with a mattress on the floor for Roxy. It was a pleasant spot but very quiet. While relaxing at the bar and restaurant I phoned my son in Indonesia as we hadn’t made contact for a few days now.  He was in such a state and had already put out a missing persons report after contacting the embassies and various lodges that I had on our itinerary which changed after the second day of our trip. The Matema Lakeside Lodge reassured him that we had been there but left no forwarding address and that was the last he had heard about us. Panic stations. He firmly believed that we were very irresponsible doing this trip. If he had his own way he would have had us on a plane, out of there and back home.

I prepared him for our next 3 days of no contact as once again we would probably have no network. He politely informed us that our next holiday was caravaning at Shelly Beach, south of Durban. We enjoyed a little chuckle over this.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181223_081503%20Medium_zpsyl3r6wqk.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181223_081503%20Medium_zpsyl3r6wqk.jpg.html)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 14, 2019, 04:06:44 pm
At one beach stop we were allowed to get off and run to the end of the beach to find a bush.

I was wandering about the size of your bladders!!? :eek7: :o

Hahahaha....it sure proved to be a bit of a challenge  :tongue3:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 18, 2019, 10:53:46 pm

DAY 10 :  TUESDAY -  25 DECEMBER 2018                   :santa:  *CHRISTMAS DAY* :santa:
FROM SOMEWHERE to COBUE --   MOZAMBIQUE


“ I will find my way if I can be strong
I know every mile will be worth my while.
When I go the distance
I will be right where I belong.”        Alan Mencken (Walt Disney Hercules)



The rest of the passengers started to arrive back on the boat as the sun started to rise. The skipper called out towards the shore to alert them all of our departure. These passengers seemed to know the drill and were expecting this stopover. We had only brought with us a few snacks and water to get us through yesterday. We now had no food or water...oh...and very little sense of humour left as well.  Along with the discomfort factor this wasn’t a good combination. There was no Christmas cheer...in fact I think we even forgot it was Christmas Day!   However, as we putted off once again into the calm waters of now LAGO NIASSA (Mozambique spelling) we tried to keep up with the smiles and crack the occasional sarcastic banter to elicit a few laughs.  On one such occasion was the faraway look in the locals face as she relieved her bladder into the sloshing water within the boat. She was completely unphased. Kingsley, who had been foolishly standing bare foot in this water promptly abandoned his upright position and placed himself safely on a crate of uncomfortable bottles.  At least we got a good laugh from this.

Eventually, in the distance, we could see Likoma Island pushing up through the southern horizon but it would still take several hours to reach it. During the night while I had a few sleepless hours to ponder things I realised that heading to the island was not such a clever move. As mentioned earlier it was still part of Malawi which meant that we would have to pay 3 x TIP’s of $20 per bike as well as 10 000 kwacha each. This doesn’t seem too bad but in a few days time we would be back in Mozambique and once again entering Malawi down south which meant another pay out. This was going to add up to too many bucks. We actually hadn’t budgeted for this multi entry cost into Malawi. So we changed plans and decided that off loading in Mozambique was probably a better idea.

 We chatted to the chap who could speak a bit of English and he told us that they would be stopping in about another hour’s time in a small village called Ntobe, which was 30 odd km north of Cobue, to off load some supplies and passengers.  Roxy turned on her Google Maps so we could check out our location. We were just a small blue dot moving south  on the map and sure enough there was this little village right at the point where our original route coming over the mountain reached the shoreline. We couldn’t have asked for a better spot to end our ferry trip.

Decision made...we would depart the ferry at the next stop. It was a lovely calm lake as we slowly chugged our way closer to Ntobe.  It was eventually time to gather up our wet boots, backpacks, helmets and other luggage and once again clambered off the boat and off load into the knee deep warm water and bundle our belongings on the beach which by now had accumulated a few curious onlookers. Our translator friend placed his parcel with ours and instructed me to say there and look after everything. He helped arrange for our bikes to be off loaded. We were pulling on wet smelly socks over wet sandy feet and forcing them back into sopping wet boats while the bikes were being off loaded. These were lifted and dumped unceremoniously from the ferry into a smaller boat, rear wheels stuck up in the air, looking undignified, and pushed to the shore to be off loaded.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1612%20Medium_zpsffxzomhm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1612%20Medium_zpsffxzomhm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1613%20Medium_zpsr0j9k2qf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1613%20Medium_zpsr0j9k2qf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1615%20Medium_zpsduoncyyk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1615%20Medium_zpsduoncyyk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1614%20Medium_zpsxitrzzgk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1614%20Medium_zpsxitrzzgk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1616%20Medium_zpsu5r2z5mm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1616%20Medium_zpsu5r2z5mm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1618%20Medium_zpslwix5lxf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1618%20Medium_zpslwix5lxf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1619%20Medium_zpserxw7yvq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1619%20Medium_zpserxw7yvq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1620%20Medium_zpsj1fpp8sc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1620%20Medium_zpsj1fpp8sc.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/edited-image_zpsbjwlzxji.png) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/edited-image_zpsbjwlzxji.png.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1009_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsvj3is4qm.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1009_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsvj3is4qm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1009_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsfs7kttgy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1009_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsfs7kttgy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1010_Moment%20Medium_zpsitr8lnmk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1010_Moment%20Medium_zpsitr8lnmk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1621%20Medium_zpsaewwtupt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1621%20Medium_zpsaewwtupt.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1622%20Medium_zpsaz7t5f4k.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1622%20Medium_zpsaz7t5f4k.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1623%20Medium_zpslbmhdwqk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1623%20Medium_zpslbmhdwqk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1626%20Medium_zpspgcjsovn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1626%20Medium_zpspgcjsovn.jpg.html)
This feathered friend was one of the passengers ...one can only imagine what his destination is on this Christmas day.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1625%20Medium_zpshjyaxgfe.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1625%20Medium_zpshjyaxgfe.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1627%20Medium_zpsuimeojnc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1627%20Medium_zpsuimeojnc.jpg.html)
Finally all off loaded

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1629%20Medium_zpsohcltzrt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1629%20Medium_zpsohcltzrt.jpg.html)
Preparing to depart.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1630%20Medium_zpspsy9ammo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1630%20Medium_zpspsy9ammo.jpg.html)
A last look back.

Once our bikes were safely on shore the men came for their payment. Fortunately we had made arrangements at Mbamba Bay that the payment covered the offload as well. The skipper calmed them down and made arrangements with them.  Our new friend kindly made arrangements for a pikki pikki driver, who was transporting one of the other passengers to Cobue, to show us the route out of the village to Cobue. They were in a hurry so we quickly got ourselves organised. Oh my word...these bikes were amazing... with one push of the button they all came back to life with enthusiasm.

We carefully worked our way through the little narrow walkways within the village, avoiding kids running out the huts curious about the noise, goats, bicycles, and chickens. We were soon on this narrow muddy little road that we should have originally used had we traveled south from the Matchedje Border Post and down past Lupilichi and over the mountains. We were finally back on track!

Whist mulling over things on the ferry we started doubting our decision about avoiding the roads but after riding a few kilometres we realised that the ferry was actually a perfect alternative. With all the rains there was a lot of runoff from the mountains and little stretches of road washed away. It was necessary to stop and walk across some fast flowing streams and only then would we take the bikes across. The two guys on the pikki pikki were amazing. They would zoot across easily, park their bike and then come back to help us maneuver our heavy bikes over the rocks and through the gushing water.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1631%20Medium_zpsdpwldv0k.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1631%20Medium_zpsdpwldv0k.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1012_Moment%20Medium_zpseajllcpb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1012_Moment%20Medium_zpseajllcpb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1633%20Medium_zpsaljpl2t8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1633%20Medium_zpsaljpl2t8.jpg.html)

Whilst helping us to cross over one of the streams on Roxy’s bike he clipped a rock which slipped the chain throwing him off balance...fortunately damaging no more than his pride.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%20Medium_zpsybp6tels.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%20Medium_zpsybp6tels.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszqbjmxfm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%201%20Medium_zpszqbjmxfm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%202%20Medium_zps6hpmxo0b.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%202%20Medium_zps6hpmxo0b.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsoptwbmap.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsoptwbmap.jpg.html)
No good deed goes unpunished.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%205%20Medium_zpscldlidkz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment%205%20Medium_zpscldlidkz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment.%204jpg%20Medium_zpsfs4txynx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1013_Moment.%204jpg%20Medium_zpsfs4txynx.jpg.html)
Ol' Santa having one hell of a ride.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1634%20Medium_zps9pagmvkv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1634%20Medium_zps9pagmvkv.jpg.html)


We found this extra work quite tiring but couldn’t just park off and rest as these guys were always rushing. We needed to keep up with them in case we came across more hassles and they certainly knew how to negotiate the messy roads on their humble little bike

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1635%20Medium_zpsbgtk0fuz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1635%20Medium_zpsbgtk0fuz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1636%20Medium_zpselj5ucgf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1636%20Medium_zpselj5ucgf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1637%20Medium_zpsqg9lssgv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1637%20Medium_zpsqg9lssgv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1638%20Medium_zpsgz9jetvc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1638%20Medium_zpsgz9jetvc.jpg.html)


Eventually we all managed to get across and by this time had attracted quite a crowd.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1639%20Medium_zpskb596wdx.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1639%20Medium_zpskb596wdx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1640%20Medium_zpsyacdyrcp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1640%20Medium_zpsyacdyrcp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1643%20Medium_zpshdavfseb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1643%20Medium_zpshdavfseb.jpg.html)


Despite all these delays, pushing, pulling, revving, falling and lifting it was actually good to be back on our bikes. We were all so comfortable and confident on our bikes by now and could deal with the curved balls Africa tossed us. At least we were in control of our day and time.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1644%20Medium_zpscawdmkoy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1644%20Medium_zpscawdmkoy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1015_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9woizmw8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1015_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9woizmw8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1015_Moment%20Medium_zpslxzw96zi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1015_Moment%20Medium_zpslxzw96zi.jpg.html)

Everybody needs a helping hand :love3:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1645%20Medium_zpsmncmhur9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1645%20Medium_zpsmncmhur9.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1018_Moment%20Medium_zps2gfvj0w5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1018_Moment%20Medium_zps2gfvj0w5.jpg.html)

......and just a little more wetness  >:D
(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1646%20Medium_zpsmeferx39.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1646%20Medium_zpsmeferx39.jpg.html)







Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on February 18, 2019, 11:28:57 pm
It has been many months here since I have seen such quantities of water on an RR ... well done to all of you!!

 :o
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 18, 2019, 11:36:09 pm
If I recall correctly this short stretch of road to Cobue took us at least 2.5 hours. Now we were chuffed we didn’t attempt the other route...but I’m sure we would have had a lot more exciting stories to tell.
It was a relief arriving in the tiny village of Cobue which was really off the beaten track. We said our thank you’s and good byes to our helpers as they were rushing off again for Metangula, another 100 km’s away. We were now at the main intersection of Cobue and I spotted the ruins of the old Catholic Church further up the road. Other than the lakeside setting, the ruins of an old school, used as a wartime base by the Frelimo, its close proximity to Likoma Island  and it being the ‘gateway to Mozambique’ when travelling from Malawi via ferry thus the need for an immigration post, Cobue actually had very little to attract the adventure traveler.   

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1647%20Medium_zps6ghvgvnt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1647%20Medium_zps6ghvgvnt.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1649%20Medium_zps9twkzh40.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1649%20Medium_zps9twkzh40.jpg.html)

Soon a smartly dressed and arrogant officer approached us and demanded we follow him to the immigrations office, which we did and got our passports stamped. We found something cold to drink and enquired about accommodation. We were aware of a hotel and backpackers and were directed to the scruffiest building on the corner. Roxy kept cavey with the bikes while we checked it out. We were taken to the back rooms. It actually wasn’t too bad as it appeared clean and okayish...we’ve stayed in worse accommodation on previous trips, so we went back to the bikes to discuss the possibility of staying there. A scruffy dressed chap with a big smile came up to us and introduced himself as ‘James’ and informed us that his father was known as ‘Bond’ .....hahahaha...this guy was so cool dressed in his fluffy blue tracky pants. He offered to walk with us to the impressive and highly recommended Nkwichi Lodge, 7km further south. This place was way out of our budget so had to decline the offer. About 5km further south of this is Mchenga Wede, which offers camping but from what we could gather it was also necessary to walk or take a local dhow.

He then indicated for us to follow him down a little track towards the beach. Here stood the left overs of what could have once been an awesome little resort. The room he showed us contained a queen size bed with a dusty mosquito net and mould had worked its way up from the floor into the walls. Mosquito mesh plugged with dead and decaying insects was a poor excuse for a window.  Off the bedroom was another small room which served as a bathroom. There was a hole in the floor for squatting purposes and a drain for showering over.  Two big buckets of water and a small jug served as water for the loo, the shower and for consumption.  Later in the day we were supplied with a bucket of hot water for showering purposes.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181225_135555%20Medium_zpsqrlcinu3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181225_135555%20Medium_zpsqrlcinu3.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181225_135605%20Medium_zpsw0vbdwqn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181225_135605%20Medium_zpsw0vbdwqn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181225_135611%20Medium_zps8b1s8443.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181225_135611%20Medium_zps8b1s8443.jpg.html)

We pushed aside all negative thoughts and decided that this would be just great. We were only charged R100 for the night ...so no complaints! Soon we were all washed up and clean and Kingsley very kindly offered to do all our laundry.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1650%20Medium_zpsa7mgyguy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1650%20Medium_zpsa7mgyguy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1022_Moment%20Medium_zpswmtgthlg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1022_Moment%20Medium_zpswmtgthlg.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1023_Moment%20Medium_zps9nhvi2c3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1023_Moment%20Medium_zps9nhvi2c3.jpg.html)

Roxy and I went back up into the market with James and bought eggs, onions, garlic and bread rolls as well as some of the fabric that the ladies wrap around themselves. This was used along with our sarongs to cover the bed.
Once we were relaxing with Kingsley cooking up a storm we thanked our lucky stars that we found this unique little spot on the beach.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181225_135533%20Medium_zpstf7qdjc6.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181225_135533%20Medium_zpstf7qdjc6.jpg.html)
Our kitchen bitch :pot:

We had soon spread ourselves out, hung up our laundry, started to chill and take in our surroundings. Mama hen and her chickies navigated their way through the grass in front of us trying desperately to avoid the hungry hawk that kept trying to steal her babies, goats bleated loudly from under a paw-paw tree, dogs playfully pounced on each other while the kids kept their distance and played games amongst themselves. It was actually a tranquil setting. We had been dirty, hungry and uncomfortable for a couple of days and for us this was a perfect spot to end off our Christmas day.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1023_Moment%201%20Medium_zps6vjsgmm1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1023_Moment%201%20Medium_zps6vjsgmm1.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_052132%20Medium_zpsrmsq0psn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_052132%20Medium_zpsrmsq0psn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1657%20Medium_zpspw5fk5yv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1657%20Medium_zpspw5fk5yv.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1656%20Medium_zpszzvzi47f.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1656%20Medium_zpszzvzi47f.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1652%20Medium_zpspijn8zml.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1652%20Medium_zpspijn8zml.jpg.html)







Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on February 20, 2019, 09:01:18 pm
Someone should buy the rights from you and make a movie about this. I really get excited reading ride reports like this. The way you always keep the smiles up
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on February 20, 2019, 09:05:51 pm
Why can i not find your riding the rift report. Put it in the search function but nothing :'( :'(
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 20, 2019, 10:17:59 pm
Why can i not find your riding the rift report. Put it in the search function but nothing :'( :'(

Thanks so much for your positive feedback. Glad to see someone is enjoying my story. ;)

Below is the link to Riding the Rift. (Well I hope it's the right one.) Enjoy....was such an awesome experience as well.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=90093.msg1774124#msg1774124
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: LRFan on February 21, 2019, 10:50:33 am
Enjoy your trip and photos very much my wife and I would like to do something like this in the future.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on February 21, 2019, 12:38:11 pm
I really appreciate all your effort in sharing your experiences with us! :thumleft:
Some of those places I only heard from my parents when they travelled there and now could see the pictures.
You have got a good wife and daughter there!
Ok, you also look after them well! :peepwall:
Thanks
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: windswept on February 21, 2019, 12:45:45 pm
I really appreciate all your effort in sharing your experiences with us! :thumleft:
Some of those places I only heard from my parents when they travelled there and now could see the pictures.
You have got a good wife and daughter there!
Ok, you also look after them well! :peepwall:
Thanks

I think wildside is a woman, therefore the wife with a good husband and daughter. :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on February 21, 2019, 12:48:57 pm
Sorry my apologies, you are right :peepwall:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 24, 2019, 01:18:37 pm

DAY 11:  WEDNESDAY – 26 DECEMBER 2018
COBUE to  LICHINGA
8.30am  -  3.30 pm     =    265 km



“ Day after day I’m more confused,
Yet I look for the light in the pouring rain,
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose.
I’m Feeling the strain, ain’t it a shame.”                                       Doby Gray



(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route26_zpsrkpx7ssu.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route26_zpsrkpx7ssu.jpg.html)

Now that was the best night’s sleep I’ve had on this trip. Three of us on one bed, no aircon, no fan, just an insect infested mosquito screen on a windowless frame. We woke up ready to take on a new day.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1654%20Medium_zpstmgrri2p.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1654%20Medium_zpstmgrri2p.jpg.html)
Likoma Island can be seen in the distance on the right

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1655%20Medium_zpsdmi816vq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1655%20Medium_zpsdmi816vq.jpg.html)

We knew we were in for a long day as we were not going to Metangula as originally planned, which was only about 100 km further south. At this stage we were now getting over this trip and had enough of the rain and mud. Metangula had nothing special to offer us other than touching base with the eastern shores.

In hindsight this was a foolish decision. We should have just stuck to our plan and persevered. When I look back now we actually enjoyed the basicness of what the eastern shores offered us. If you’re prepared to pay big bucks then you will find the upmarket accommodation with the swimming pools and cocktails.  But as I mentioned earlier, we now smelt home and were keen to get back to Cape Maclear. We were now going to head for Lichinga.

After packing up we went into the village to look for fuel. There was a friendly elderly lady who was fascinated by Roxy (now Wildsides Offspring on the forum) and wanted to hold her hand. She also passed on some wise words to Roxy which really touched all of us. “The road is very bad, you might not do it, but you will try your best and help each other.” Wow...such motherly words. What were we in for now?

Someone mentioned no water but lots of mud. While we were discussing the road a truck drove in down the ‘main’ street and we were told it took him 4 days to get to Cobue. I’m not sure how true this was ... but oh well...we were in for a long day I think.
So with nervous anticipation we started our journey after making a brief stop to check out the church ruins and all its little visitors.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_072032%20Medium_zps12noxjij.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_072032%20Medium_zps12noxjij.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_072107%20Medium_zpsfpqdprqo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_072107%20Medium_zpsfpqdprqo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_081532%20Medium_zps8ms2h5tw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_081532%20Medium_zps8ms2h5tw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_081547%20Medium_zpsj9vqnf0u.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_081547%20Medium_zpsj9vqnf0u.jpg.html)

 Despite the heavy rains we had during the night the dirt roads were quite acceptable and riding was actually a breeze despite the rocks, ditches, sand and a few wet patches. So the going was good. And we made good time. Now what was this ‘aunty’ talking about and why was she trying to

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3823%20Medium_zpsu9szwznj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3823%20Medium_zpsu9szwznj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3825%20Medium_zps8bjwfknw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3825%20Medium_zps8bjwfknw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMGP3826%20Medium_zpsctyrpjlm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMGP3826%20Medium_zpsctyrpjlm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1028_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstkcat9pj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1028_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstkcat9pj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1028_Moment%20Medium_zps3316scpd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1028_Moment%20Medium_zps3316scpd.jpg.html)
The villages were always so clean and tidy.


Well, it was about 40kms into the ride when we were presented with long stretches of slippery muddy patches challenging us. This continued for most of the way to the first Metangula turnoff. Somehow we managed to hang onto our sense of humour and we all coped well in the mud and took the opportunity to take lots of photos....as you will see. Roxy was such a sport and was actually enjoying herself....I know I was. I just felt at ease on my bike and knew I could rely on it to get through this mess. So the wise old lady knew what she was talking about.  We passed through only a few villages along this remote stretch of road.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083231%20Medium_zpsvpbjhu8h.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083231%20Medium_zpsvpbjhu8h.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083235%20Medium_zps2ymkcigb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083235%20Medium_zps2ymkcigb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083246%20Medium_zpspdcvd9hy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083246%20Medium_zpspdcvd9hy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083904%20Medium_zps0mataylp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083904%20Medium_zps0mataylp.jpg.html)

MORE MUD.....

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1029_Moment%20Medium_zpsnmifr5ig.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1029_Moment%20Medium_zpsnmifr5ig.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_102633%20Medium_zpsq05pijbq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_102633%20Medium_zpsq05pijbq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_102625%20Medium_zpswvcqkcfu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_102625%20Medium_zpswvcqkcfu.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_102648%20Medium_zpsmj4nkgfc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_102648%20Medium_zpsmj4nkgfc.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_102701%20Medium_zpshwpga0zy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_102701%20Medium_zpshwpga0zy.jpg.html)

....JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE MUD !!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%20Medium_zpsrwxxom3c.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%20Medium_zpsrwxxom3c.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgwexdaxx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsgwexdaxx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsiv6fpxoq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3579_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsiv6fpxoq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3580_Moment%20Medium_zpsi2dysbeu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3580_Moment%20Medium_zpsi2dysbeu.jpg.html)

......AND MORE MUD!!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3581_Moment%20Medium_zpsv1nsx9t9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3581_Moment%20Medium_zpsv1nsx9t9.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3581_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsoilu2lzn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3581_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsoilu2lzn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_103435%20Medium_zpsst8cygjb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_103435%20Medium_zpsst8cygjb.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%20Medium_zpsiwzu3ym1.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%20Medium_zpsiwzu3ym1.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstyik0boh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%201%20Medium_zpstyik0boh.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsulharead.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1032_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsulharead.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1033_Moment%20Medium_zpsa1vzpirb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1033_Moment%20Medium_zpsa1vzpirb.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_103700%20Medium_zpsund0odvl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_103700%20Medium_zpsund0odvl.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_103718%20Medium_zpsdqmiqyqd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_103718%20Medium_zpsdqmiqyqd.jpg.html)


FUN IN THE MUD!
(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083835%20Medium_zpsx2c6e8vc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083835%20Medium_zpsx2c6e8vc.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083847%20Medium_zpsftyxxkxs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083847%20Medium_zpsftyxxkxs.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_083855%20Medium_zpsbhe4akfm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_083855%20Medium_zpsbhe4akfm.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3583_Moment%20Medium_zpsazwwhtcg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3583_Moment%20Medium_zpsazwwhtcg.jpg.html)



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 24, 2019, 01:56:14 pm

Our day wouldn't be complete without one of these off moments.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_104911%20Medium_zpsxvabypky.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_104911%20Medium_zpsxvabypky.jpg.html)


Shortly before we reached Metangula there was a turn off to the left that led us onto a narrow  road which cuts through the bush to the tar road that would take us to Lichinga. At this point I was keen to go via Metangula but the other two wanted to get a move on and get to Lichinga via this shorter route.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3584_Moment%20Medium_zpsklx3wfvw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3584_Moment%20Medium_zpsklx3wfvw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_114508%20Medium_zps38njyzpz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_114508%20Medium_zps38njyzpz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_114721%20Medium_zpspj8hzlvd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_114721%20Medium_zpspj8hzlvd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_114838%20Medium_zpsnaea1chc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_114838%20Medium_zpsnaea1chc.jpg.html)


On taking this route we realised it was a road less traveled. But despite this we actually enjoyed it...there was nothing tricky about it and eventually found a nice shady spot for a break and a snack. We saw no vehicles, villages or people along this track and it was nice and quiet.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1661%20Medium_zpsujmp645j.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1661%20Medium_zpsujmp645j.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3598_Moment%20Medium_zpsnpjnr9jb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3598_Moment%20Medium_zpsnpjnr9jb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3598_Moment%201%20Medium_zpscndfxlnp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3598_Moment%201%20Medium_zpscndfxlnp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1037_Moment%20Medium_zpsozycxaqf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1037_Moment%20Medium_zpsozycxaqf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1036_Moment%20Medium_zpsgouiob7d.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1036_Moment%20Medium_zpsgouiob7d.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1036_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9t1uqthc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1036_Moment%201%20Medium_zps9t1uqthc.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_120651%20Medium_zpszulqovbb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_120651%20Medium_zpszulqovbb.jpg.html)


After about 4 hrs we popped out onto the much desired tar road. We couldn’t resist opening up the throttle and accelerating towards the distance. The freedom of speed felt good....It was like a horse smelling home. From here it was another 165 kms to Lichinga. This was going to be a breeze...all on tar and a quick ride despite the occasional potholes.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1039_Moment%20Medium_zpsy10whbus.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1039_Moment%20Medium_zpsy10whbus.jpg.html)


We made such good time during the first 100 km or so. Then the heavens opened, dumping buckets of rain over us. Water gushed down the roads and visibility was poor, slowing us down considerably.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3623_Moment%20Medium_zpscpmdthdo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3623_Moment%20Medium_zpscpmdthdo.jpg.html)

The rest of the rainy ride to Lichinga took forever. As we had not originally planned on stopping in this town we had no idea of accommodation availability. We sort shelter at a fuel station and Roxy found the Lichinga Hotel on Google. We punched it into the GPS and carefully following Kingsley we negotiated the traffic, pouring rain and huge puddles.  When the security guard saw us approach the front door he was rather hesitant in opening up for us.  Two extremely cold and saturated girls squelched their way through the clean tiled foyer leaving huge puddles of water prints marking our pathway to reception. I don’t think they were too impressed with these messy, dirty, wet and unattractive travelers. Roxy kindly sponsored our nights accommodation. We had planned to do so much more camping but due to circumstances it wasn’t always possible. While Roxy finished up at reception we took the bikes around to the back of the hotel.  Leaving our luggage strapped to the bikes and lugging only our sopping backpacks we found our way up to our very spacious and comfortable room.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_160544%20Medium_zps0gubsfli.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_160544%20Medium_zps0gubsfli.jpg.html)

We hung up clothes in the empty cupboard, draped some over the windows, spread them out over the furniture and hoped that by some miracle they would be dry in the morning. Our room or place of rest always looked like a bomb had hit it....there was always stuff all over.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_160511%20Medium_zpsxekwvp0r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_160511%20Medium_zpsxekwvp0r.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_160526%20Medium_zpss6ftdvpm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_160526%20Medium_zpss6ftdvpm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181226_160632%20Medium_zpsykf2ikep.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181226_160632%20Medium_zpsykf2ikep.jpg.html)


It was hot showers, dry clothes with toasted sarmies and chips in bed.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1663%20Medium_zpsyl654bsj.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1663%20Medium_zpsyl654bsj.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: husky on February 24, 2019, 03:37:23 pm
Great adventure - thanks for writing it up and particularly well done navigating through the mud; never a favourite and, seemingly, retaining your senses of humour.  Excellent.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Goingnowherekwickly on February 24, 2019, 07:44:15 pm
Wow, what an adventure... been checking every day for updates :) Well done!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: WILDSIDES offspring on February 26, 2019, 08:41:35 pm
best memories. seeing these photos just take me back to those wet and muddy roads. would do it all again with you guys... well.... maybe not
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Crossed-up on February 26, 2019, 09:08:18 pm
I am so enjoying this RR!  In absolute admiration of your spirit of adventure and your fantastic attitude.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 26, 2019, 10:15:22 pm

DAY 12 :   THURSDAY  -  27 DECEMBER 2018
LICHINGA to MANDIMA BORDER POST (Moz/Malawi)   155 km
    SKINNY HIPPO (MALAWI)  --- 65 km  [Total 220 km]
TIME :   9.00am  -  8.00 pm



“Roll on thunder shine on lightnin’
The days are long and the nights are frightnin’
Nothing matters and that’s the hell of it.”       Paul Williams


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route27%20Medium_zps4fved7si.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route27%20Medium_zps4fved7si.jpg.html)

We woke up to a beautiful sunny day, dry clothes and in good spirits.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/VID-20181227-WA0039_Moment3_zpsqvdvvoz5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/VID-20181227-WA0039_Moment3_zpsqvdvvoz5.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/VID-20181227-WA0039_Moment4_zpsbyayg9rz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/VID-20181227-WA0039_Moment4_zpsbyayg9rz.jpg.html)

Soon after breakfast we set off once again on a beautiful newly tarred road. The map indicated a  main road heading south to the border post and once again we gobbled up the miles. Now this was more like it...yup we were heading towards Malawi. Once again we were meant to be heading west to Meponda on the eastern shores of the lake, but Cape Maclear was calling...so we gave it a miss.

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_083153%20Medium_zpsk6eikajy.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_083153%20Medium_zpsk6eikajy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3624_Moment%20Medium_zpskdcsggdh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3624_Moment%20Medium_zpskdcsggdh.jpg.html)

It was fun watching Roxy and Kingsley up front. The little 200 took a bit of strain up the hills and we often rode alongside each other encouraging the little bike to make more of an effort. From experience we knew that this easy riding on lovely roads would be short lived and sure enough after about 25 km the wonderful road came to an end and we were dealt a new set of cards. The road surface changed and once again under construction...which always spelt M.E.S.S!! We were now required to weave through the many detours crossing over the unusable road that was under construction. We often came across a trucker, tanker or taxi firmly embedded in mud unable to move any further for perhaps a day or two. It was necessary for us to find a little gap to squeeze through or another muddy, squelchy exit to negotiate our way out. Despite the mess we all managed to manouver our way through without any mishaps. [ Roxy’s comment for the day was... “Oh , it was f*^#~king horrible – such an awful day.” ]   Hahahaha...we can laugh about it now.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_095048%20Medium_zpsjdy2n09h.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_095048%20Medium_zpsjdy2n09h.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_095037%20Medium_zpsmffnhvca.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_095037%20Medium_zpsmffnhvca.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_095056%20Medium_zpsdsguvthu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_095056%20Medium_zpsdsguvthu.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_100353%20Medium_zpsfsnn5n8c.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_100353%20Medium_zpsfsnn5n8c.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_100450%20Medium_zpsfoy041sx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_100450%20Medium_zpsfoy041sx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_090505%20Medium_zpsxmfnufwn.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_090505%20Medium_zpsxmfnufwn.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1040_Moment%20Medium_zpsftvjfffd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1040_Moment%20Medium_zpsftvjfffd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1040_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmdertgvb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1040_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmdertgvb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_091718%20Medium_zpstqo875lr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_091718%20Medium_zpstqo875lr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_105146%20Medium_zpsyieupyir.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_105146%20Medium_zpsyieupyir.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_095516%20Medium_zpsuynt5l8e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_095516%20Medium_zpsuynt5l8e.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_094655%20Medium_zpsjbpjt6sq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_094655%20Medium_zpsjbpjt6sq.jpg.html)
One dirty girl.


We stopped on the edge of a little village to confirm with the GPS we were on the correct route and a bunch of little kiddies came to check us out. In Tanzania they kept their distance, but in Mozambique they were curious and friendly. We took some photos of them and to their amusement and amazement we showed them what they looked like on screen. This would always elicit much laughter.
As we were getting ready to leave one youngster came up to me and handed me a mango with a huge smile on his face....well this small but kind gesture nearly brought me to tears as he moved over to Kingsley and Roxy offering them one as well. It’s moments like this that really touches the heart and makes up for all the discomforts we’ve been experiencing. These guys are living such simple lives yet have feelings of compassion towards strangers. This took me back to our previous East Africa trip when on returning through Malawi we stopped on the side of the road for a rest, when some locals, busy with ’agricultural activities’ alongside the road  walked up to us with  peeled mangos and a bucket lid full of water for us to rinse our hands. Wow...this was truly generous and polite offerings!!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_112136%20Medium_zpsflcyct4v.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_112136%20Medium_zpsflcyct4v.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_112348%20Medium_zpsww3mc3fv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_112348%20Medium_zpsww3mc3fv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_112257%20Medium_zpsth5tjndt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_112257%20Medium_zpsth5tjndt.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_112405%20Medium_zps7kxsc0yk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_112405%20Medium_zps7kxsc0yk.jpg.html)



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 26, 2019, 11:10:42 pm

We were aware of a storm brewing over to the west. The grey clouds hung low and heavy and were  split by the occasional flash of lightening while the thunder rumbled towards us. Keeping a beady eye on the distant we picked up our pace as best we could on these troubled roads. Over some time and distance the storm slowly worked its wet way in front of us and it looked like we were heading straight towards it.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1041_Moment%20Medium_zpsewijgy7x.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1041_Moment%20Medium_zpsewijgy7x.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1041_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmrbcqsfw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1041_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmrbcqsfw.jpg.html)

Kingsley decided now would be an excellent time to stop, have some lunch and wait out the storm. Well...who were we to argue...what did we know about the weather? So out came the provitos, cheese and chocolates which we had unexpectedly found at a little shop at the fuel station on leaving Lichinga – a bit of civilization!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_105819%20Medium_zpsmar8l8ho.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_105819%20Medium_zpsmar8l8ho.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_105831%20Medium_zpslrp8rn3g.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_105831%20Medium_zpslrp8rn3g.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_105911%20Medium_zpsygp0vmaq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_105911%20Medium_zpsygp0vmaq.jpg.html)


While munching away we could hear the sound of gushing water. Puzzled, we followed the sound up the road and noticed volumes of water running down the ditch to right of the road. We looked further up the hill and a deluge of rain water was heading our way. Without hesitation we packed our food away as quickly as possible, got on our bikes and within seconds we were caught up in one almighty storm with nowhere to seek shelter.

Zeus, ‘God of the Sky’, ‘Ruler of the heavens’, had decided he was not finished with us yet and needed to know what he was really made of.  We had no option but to slowly continue on our way through the down pour with thunder rumbling over head. We were now riding through so many puddles, rain filled ditches, streams of water and poor visibility. Poor Kingsley and Rox didn’t have visors to keep the stinging rain off their faces which made riding even more difficult. But, as on all my adventure rides, I have always convinced myself that as long as the wheels are turning all was well.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1045_Moment%20Medium_zpsb1l4yvd8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1045_Moment%20Medium_zpsb1l4yvd8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1047_Moment%20Medium_zpsbrarm0iu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1047_Moment%20Medium_zpsbrarm0iu.jpg.html)

All was well until we rode through deep water over a cause way and Roxy’s bike decided that enough was enough. Her bike lost power.  We limped into the outskirts of a little deserted village where eventually her bike spluttered to a hault. The wheels had stopped turning!
Good old Offside brought out his tool bag and took up his now familiar post once again alongside the bike. In the pouring rain he tried to find and fix the problem. Eventually off came the seat and the tank.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123539%20Medium_zpsn0fdfgkc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123539%20Medium_zpsn0fdfgkc.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123602%20Medium_zps31z4gyte.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123602%20Medium_zps31z4gyte.jpg.html)
Kingsley at his familiar post

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123621%20Medium_zpssa1mlyjl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123621%20Medium_zpssa1mlyjl.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123630%20Medium_zpsyddkus75.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123630%20Medium_zpsyddkus75.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1675%20Medium_zpsfdsntlny.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1675%20Medium_zpsfdsntlny.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1679%20Medium_zpsz9u1tayc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1679%20Medium_zpsz9u1tayc.jpg.html)

In the mean time the little river running through the village and alongside the road was getting higher and flowing stronger.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123555%20Medium_zpsia0j0qla.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123555%20Medium_zpsia0j0qla.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123610%20Medium_zpsmyaako4f.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123610%20Medium_zpsmyaako4f.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%20Medium_zpsrlc0m65v.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%20Medium_zpsrlc0m65v.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsbs3vzy4e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%202%20Medium_zpsbs3vzy4e.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsm49ubqgz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsm49ubqgz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsfknjxx2p.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1053_Moment%203%20Medium_zpsfknjxx2p.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1665%20Medium_zpsrnusrso8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1665%20Medium_zpsrnusrso8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1673%20Medium_zpskxhqylhz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1673%20Medium_zpskxhqylhz.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1672%20Medium_zpstoxydvmu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1672%20Medium_zpstoxydvmu.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1669%20Medium_zps2iwczrga.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1669%20Medium_zps2iwczrga.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1670%20Medium_zps8kf1zpke.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1670%20Medium_zps8kf1zpke.jpg.html)



(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123652%20Medium_zpspoupo4tz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123652%20Medium_zpspoupo4tz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123657%20Medium_zpskguvitwv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123657%20Medium_zpskguvitwv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123742%20Medium_zpsplyav8rk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123742%20Medium_zpsplyav8rk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1678%20Medium_zps9ouiy4mj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1678%20Medium_zps9ouiy4mj.jpg.html)
A sopping Santa.

 Kingsley tried for about 45 minutes to solve the problem and started talking about having to now tow the bike back to Malawi. Well for me this wasn’t even an option...it was simply too dangerous.
As the rain started to subside so the locals started appearing from their homes and shops. It resembled ants crawling out from the woodwork.  Of course we were now the center of attention and had attracted a huge inquisitive crowd. Fortunately, there’s always one saviour in the crowd!!

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_130108%20Medium_zpsbdjj9udt.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_130108%20Medium_zpsbdjj9udt.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123821%20Medium_zpswi2pqfuw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123821%20Medium_zpswi2pqfuw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_123757%20Medium_zpsev1gbbrx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_123757%20Medium_zpsev1gbbrx.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1054_Moment%20Medium_zpsoildhwpk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1054_Moment%20Medium_zpsoildhwpk.jpg.html)

This particular guy could speak a smattering of English and he came forward to assist Kingsley and mentioned that there was a bike mechanic further on up the road.
In the meantime, there was also a broken down truck in front of us and another truck tried to drag it and turn it around but only managed to get it firmly stuck across the road with its front in the torrent of water. Laughter erupted from within the spectators, losing interest in us and running across to witness more excitement at the new source of entertainment. There was also a loud crashing noise as the walls of a nearby building succumbed to the downpour. Once again much cheering and clapping of hands. This was like something from a bad movie.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_130702%20Medium_zps1ne3d2qv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_130702%20Medium_zps1ne3d2qv.jpg.html)


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on February 26, 2019, 11:50:03 pm

We proceeded, along with the youngsters help, to push Roxy’s bike to the mechanic further on up the road. He knew exactly what to look for as he was familiar with this type of bike. Within half an hour he had cleared the jets in the carb. As he started the bike there was a loud cheer of relief from us and the gathering crowds.  We promptly paid the guy (R200) and said our farewells and were eager to get on the road again as we were a bit concerned now about this unexpected delay as we needed to get to the border post before they closed at 6 pm.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_131605%20Medium_zpssyg2lx2o.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_131605%20Medium_zpssyg2lx2o.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_131618%20Medium_zpswttxa2ti.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_131618%20Medium_zpswttxa2ti.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_124238%20Medium_zpswhtatjmb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_124238%20Medium_zpswhtatjmb.jpg.html)
Shelter from the pouring rain

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_125122%20Medium_zps22wv3kx3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_125122%20Medium_zps22wv3kx3.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_125044%20Medium_zpsf9lcrnmo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_125044%20Medium_zpsf9lcrnmo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1055_Moment%20Medium_zpsmuotb4cl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1055_Moment%20Medium_zpsmuotb4cl.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1055_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsv4ehyjpa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1055_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsv4ehyjpa.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_124746_Moment%20Medium_zpsbqghnztb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_124746_Moment%20Medium_zpsbqghnztb.jpg.html)
We got life  :ricky:

Once on our way again the weather improved but not the roads.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1042_Moment%20Medium_zpsfovjjurv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1042_Moment%20Medium_zpsfovjjurv.jpg.html)

 We came across another construction area where we were instructed to stop. One of the excavating machines was being used to rescue a taxi that had slipped off the road and become embedded in a muddy ditch. Once it was recovered we cautiously followed another huge, heavy vehicle which slowly led the way down this messy area and half way up the other side it also proceeded to get stuck. Often on our trips we were grateful for being on motorbikes, as mentioned before we could negotiate a way around these tricky spots and pop out the other side without a hassle. So once again we slipped and slid our way across to the other side of the road and hurried on our way once again.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_144844%20Medium_zpsuyxhrfdr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_144844%20Medium_zpsuyxhrfdr.jpg.html)
There she goes again :lol8:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_150609%20Medium_zpsk2t6fu9s.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_150609%20Medium_zpsk2t6fu9s.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_150615%20Medium_zpshsollnvu.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_150615%20Medium_zpshsollnvu.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_151732%20Medium_zpscglhpglp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_151732%20Medium_zpscglhpglp.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_151625%20Medium_zpsvcuzvya9.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_151625%20Medium_zpsvcuzvya9.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_151621%20Medium_zpsc26tdre8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_151621%20Medium_zpsc26tdre8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1059_Moment%20Medium_zpsbdwmksi2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1059_Moment%20Medium_zpsbdwmksi2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_151902_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsjurfmj6x.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_151902_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsjurfmj6x.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_151902_Moment%20Medium_zpsjemuxyeo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_151902_Moment%20Medium_zpsjemuxyeo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1059_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmlekmsex.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1059_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsmlekmsex.jpg.html)

It was with great relief when we finally arrived at the insignificant little border post late in the afternoon. It only took a few minutes, a look of disinterest, a stamp and we departed Mozambique.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_162449%20Medium_zpsqcr1wffw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_162449%20Medium_zpsqcr1wffw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_162459%20Medium_zpsccg2nmht.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_162459%20Medium_zpsccg2nmht.jpg.html)

We had already prepared ourselves for our entry into Malawi. We had allocated funds for our TIP’s and road tax. We now knew how to do it and were ready for a quick entry into Malawi as we were now running so late and still had another 65 km’s of riding to do to reach our overnight stop. But....it wasn’t to be!!

We promptly filled in the forms and went to the cashier to pay. I had $20 for one TIP and the equivalent in Malawi kwacha (MWK) for the other two TIP’s as well as the 30 000 MWK for the 3x road tax. But now they wanted only dollars, no MWK for the TIP’s. Now we had to find someone to exchange the MWK’s for dollars. They wanted a lot more MWK in exchange but we didn’t have any and after a lot of haggling and begging we managed to find some Mozambique Metical (MT). When the one guy saw our 1000MT his eyes lit up and he tried to snatch it from us. With Roxy’s and Googles assistance we made up the balance of funds and eventually got our damn $40. This bartering and time restraints at border posts was getting too stressful for my liking and there and then decided East Africa on motorbikes was over for me. No longer could I handle all this hassle!!

Eventually our paperwork was over and we entered the busy and dirty village of Chiponde. There was very little riding space making progress slow. We were now really pressed for time as the sun was dipping low creating the dreaded long shadows. Once again we were doing what we had promised ourselves NEVER to do again – riding in the dark!!

To make things worse Roxy’s bike had no headlights..somewhere along the trip, unbeknown to us,  they had failed. While we could we made good headway. We were heading to Skinny Hippo on the southern tip of Lake Malawi, shortly after Mangochi.  As darkness descended Roxy put on her right indicator, stuck close to dads tail light with mum close up behind her and just to the right trying to shine some sort of light in front of her. We all needed to really concentrate and we worked well together. There was just enough light for us to get an idea of what would have been beautiful view of the southern part of the lake as we carefully worked our way down to the bottom of the pass by which time it was now pitch black. The traffic was now quite hectic as we neared the next town and the going slow.
Eventually we arrived in Mangochi. Without the GPS we would never have navigated our way through it. Again we had to be careful not to get parted from each other.  This part of the trip seemed never ending but as we moved away from the town the traffic was less but by now we were exhausted, neck and shoulders tense and eyes battling to focus in the dim headlight. But we had to look on the bright side...we finally had a day that ended with no rain.
We eventually saw the Skinny Hippo sign and followed it for another few kilometers and to our surprise and relief they were still open and had accommodation for us. An added bonus was the open kitchen and much needed pub.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_193241%20Medium_zpskhxem0qr.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_193241%20Medium_zpskhxem0qr.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_193251%20Medium_zpssoilbt7m.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_193251%20Medium_zpssoilbt7m.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181227_194416%20Medium_zpszukxtood.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181227_194416%20Medium_zpszukxtood.jpg.html)
A ride ahead and a bath behind. ::)

It didn’t take long for us to shed our dirty clothes, admire the rarely seen star studded sky and order our well deserved G & T’s whilst overlooking the 'lake of stars'. It was a relief to be back in Malawi unharmed, safe, still friends and happy!  :3some:

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on February 28, 2019, 04:56:27 pm
All I can say is "Wow!"

 8)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Amsterdam on February 28, 2019, 06:01:48 pm
I am probably not the only one who dislikes riding in the mud when on holiday.  Well done for having stayed so cheerful for the duration.  This certainly made for great reading.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wilfwalk on March 01, 2019, 10:22:10 am
Real tough stuff folks, well done for getting through all that and managing to look cheerful for the photos ! I'm not sure I'd have been that willing to pose for photos having been through the washer the way you guys did. Utmost respect. This was a family adventure that few others will ever match. You can be very proud of yourselves.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: weskus on March 02, 2019, 08:09:27 am
Respect, well done and with that attitude life can only be good..one day when I'm big :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: CUZZY on March 02, 2019, 12:33:29 pm
Hardcore family! Well done Karen and thanks for the superb ride report.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: daveh on March 02, 2019, 01:02:59 pm
Really enjoying this report. Thanks for your efforts on "taking us along for the ride"
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:22:38 pm
All I can say is "Wow!"

 8)

So encouraging to know you are enjoying the RR. Thanks for following :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:24:59 pm
I am probably not the only one who dislikes riding in the mud when on holiday.  Well done for having stayed so cheerful for the duration.  This certainly made for great reading.

That mud just became part of our every day routine and we kind of accepted it. Glad you're enjoying it.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:33:35 pm
Real tough stuff folks, well done for getting through all that and managing to look cheerful for the photos ! I'm not sure I'd have been that willing to pose for photos having been through the washer the way you guys did. Utmost respect. This was a family adventure that few others will ever match. You can be very proud of yourselves.

Thanks Wilfwalk...somehow we managed to keep up our spirits and make the most of whatever situation we were in. Having Roxy with us also encouraged us to stay positive and make sure that she also had a good time and enjoyed it. Hahaha...going back now and watching all her gopro footage I came across a lot of cursing though!!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:35:21 pm
Respect, well done and with that attitude life can only be good..one day when I'm big :thumleft:

Thank you....and never give up thinking about it and hoping for it.  ;)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:37:01 pm
Hardcore family! Well done Karen and thanks for the superb ride report.

Thanks Cuzzy...glad to hear you are enjoying it and thanks for following it.....nearly finished ;)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 04:38:59 pm
Really enjoying this report. Thanks for your efforts on "taking us along for the ride"

Thanks for taking the time to follow this RR and for the positive feedback.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 05:28:29 pm

DAY 13 :  FRIDAY  -  28 DECEMBER 2018
SKINNY HIPPO  to FAT MONKEYS
Distance :   65 km



“Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line.”      Traveling Wilbury’s


(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/Route28%20Medium_zpsa91vqcd3.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/Route28%20Medium_zpsa91vqcd3.jpg.html)

There was only a short ride ahead of us today, with all being on tar, so we decided not to rush our departure. I also wanted to slow things down as this was our last day and despite all the hard work and distance we had covered I was still quite saddened by the fact that it was our last days ride and that our adventure was almost over. Today we would be closing the circle.
This resort didn’t accept cards so Kingsley needed to go the 20 km back to Mangochi to withdraw cash from the ATM. Roxy and I started to pack up for our departure and in doing so  had a bit of fun photo time with our buffs. There was never a dull moment on this trip.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1063_Moment%20Medium%202_zpsnamzwoor.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1063_Moment%20Medium%202_zpsnamzwoor.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/VID-20181228-WA0008_Moment%20Medium_zpsdbiqat6r.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/VID-20181228-WA0008_Moment%20Medium_zpsdbiqat6r.jpg.html)

We then made ourselves comfortable around the pool and enjoyed relaxing until Kingsley returned ...without any cash.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_131448%20Medium_zpsjdxt6mds.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_131448%20Medium_zpsjdxt6mds.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_080609%20Medium_zpspmncyfgb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_080609%20Medium_zpspmncyfgb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_084347%20Medium_zpstc9fhwcp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_084347%20Medium_zpstc9fhwcp.jpg.html)
Nicely swept beach

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_082115%20Medium_zpsemxlnqzv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_082115%20Medium_zpsemxlnqzv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_070748%20Medium_zpsmutrcsqd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_070748%20Medium_zpsmutrcsqd.jpg.html)
The Mozambique mountains in the distance.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_155541%20Medium_zps3i6qyzq8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_155541%20Medium_zps3i6qyzq8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_094903%20Medium_zpsykeazezz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_094903%20Medium_zpsykeazezz.jpg.html)
Catching a relaxing moment.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_155629%20Medium_zpsoxd3hkyf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_155629%20Medium_zpsoxd3hkyf.jpg.html)

 Once again the mastercards wouldn’t work. Fortunately Roxy had an American Visa card which was readily accepted at most places. On returning to Mangochi,  Kingsley was successful in getting some cash.  By noon we were eventually on our way and enjoying the last leg of our adventure that would finally complete our loop around the lake.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_134428%20Medium_zpsz6z1vdyg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_134428%20Medium_zpsz6z1vdyg.jpg.html)
Both a little tired of photo shoots  ::)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3626_Moment%20Medium_zpscmhdhyfl.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3626_Moment%20Medium_zpscmhdhyfl.jpg.html)

One more stop for photos  ;D

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%202%20Medium_zpscuc7yps5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%202%20Medium_zpscuc7yps5.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%20Medium_zpsxoqepraj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%20Medium_zpsxoqepraj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsvlwzd5kd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1068_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsvlwzd5kd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1684%20Medium_zpse8oqbtyk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1684%20Medium_zpse8oqbtyk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_140342%20Medium_zpsernlsoub.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_140342%20Medium_zpsernlsoub.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_140316%20Medium_zpsrep9q7fv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_140316%20Medium_zpsrep9q7fv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_130737%20Medium_zpsctiwfj94.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_130737%20Medium_zpsctiwfj94.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_130300%20Medium_zpsu2zquiz2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_130300%20Medium_zpsu2zquiz2.jpg.html)

We stopped for some final photos and went to check out the curios under the massive baobab tree where we turned off the main road to ride the final stretch to Cape Maclear.



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 06:03:39 pm

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_131921%20Medium_zpseiru5xvs.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_131921%20Medium_zpseiru5xvs.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_155311%20Medium_zpsnqi2qq7w.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_155311%20Medium_zpsnqi2qq7w.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1069_Moment%20Medium%202_zpsqyvk8edz.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1069_Moment%20Medium%202_zpsqyvk8edz.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_141907%20Medium_zpshzgzl4gb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_141907%20Medium_zpshzgzl4gb.jpg.html)

This was the last leg of the journey.
(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1071_Moment%20Medium_zps9izmpafa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1071_Moment%20Medium_zps9izmpafa.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1070_Moment%20Medium_zps2ntsu3t4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1070_Moment%20Medium_zps2ntsu3t4.jpg.html)
We all decided to swop bikes. :ricky:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_144406%20Medium_zpsg9cawbfb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_144406%20Medium_zpsg9cawbfb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1072_Moment%20Medium_zps1qwic9cd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1072_Moment%20Medium_zps1qwic9cd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3633_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsjmhpqlox.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3633_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsjmhpqlox.jpg.html)
The final count down :-\

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%20Medium_zpspzut51j0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%20Medium_zpspzut51j0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsbqdjhar8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%201%20Medium_zpsbqdjhar8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%202%20Medium_zps3zvhahw0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1074_Moment%202%20Medium_zps3zvhahw0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1075_Moment%20Medium_zpsqshgaceg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1075_Moment%20Medium_zpsqshgaceg.jpg.html)

It was a proud moment for me and one of relief for the other two as we approached the comfortable Fat Monkeys Lodge.  We had completed what we had set out to do... achieved our goal...despite avoiding one section of road due to advice, bad weather and troubled roads.

 Roxy had displayed amazing strength of character and had taken the good with the bad, popped out at the end still smiling and, believe it or not, scheming about our next trip.  It was a tremendous relief for Kingsley as he had returned us girls safely back home after maintaining and repairing the bikes, navigating us through rain, mist, mud and water, cooking for us, doing the occasional laundry and just always making sure we were happy and safe.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_145919%20Medium_zpsflk0h248.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_145919%20Medium_zpsflk0h248.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%20Medium_zpsk5n8zec5.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%20Medium_zpsk5n8zec5.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%202%20Medium_zps9ztcp4f1.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%202%20Medium_zps9ztcp4f1.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%203%20Medium_zps4v5gtlvc.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR1076_Moment%203%20Medium_zps4v5gtlvc.jpg.html)
HIGH FIVE ALL !!   :hello2:

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/GOPR3634_Moment%20Medium_zpsvweuyodj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/GOPR3634_Moment%20Medium_zpsvweuyodj.jpg.html)

Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 03, 2019, 06:44:10 pm

We had been so fortunate to still be able to participate in these adventures as a family and these memories will always treasured.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_132210%20Medium_zpsqyzr85fi.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_132210%20Medium_zpsqyzr85fi.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_132547%20Medium_zpsn7r6my4e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_132547%20Medium_zpsn7r6my4e.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/20181229_144001_Moment%20Medium_zpsvvmgevst.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/20181229_144001_Moment%20Medium_zpsvvmgevst.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_144040%20Medium_zpsdquiqlqa.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_144040%20Medium_zpsdquiqlqa.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1699%20Medium_zpslireb3rp.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1699%20Medium_zpslireb3rp.jpg.html)

We chilled for two nights at Fat Monkeys before loading up our tired bikes and heading back home.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_172809%20Medium_zpsiopjue6d.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_172809%20Medium_zpsiopjue6d.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_135515%20Medium_zpswigqwtqy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_135515%20Medium_zpswigqwtqy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_175112%20Medium_zpscvxdfhyo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_175112%20Medium_zpscvxdfhyo.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_175315%20Medium_zpsew5dkjtd.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_175315%20Medium_zpsew5dkjtd.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_175557%20Medium_zpscs7qnsrv.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_175557%20Medium_zpscs7qnsrv.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_182307%20Medium_zpsumnbihg8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_182307%20Medium_zpsumnbihg8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_112112%20Medium_zpshnsv8vjx.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_112112%20Medium_zpshnsv8vjx.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181229_175125%20Medium_zpskvjcbf2w.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181229_175125%20Medium_zpskvjcbf2w.jpg.html)

(https://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1703%20Medium_zpstf5pufng.jpg) (https://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1703%20Medium_zpstf5pufng.jpg.html)


                                                MORE TO FOLLOW SHORTLY   :rolleyes:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wilfwalk on March 04, 2019, 11:43:23 am
Sincere congratulations on your achievement, all of you. AND a massive thanks for sharing the experience with all the photo stops - appreciated.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: chicco on March 04, 2019, 11:59:49 am
Great report...thanks for sharing :thumleft:

Will we see you guys at theKZN Bash?
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Knucklhead on March 04, 2019, 12:24:06 pm
great report  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: RobLH on March 04, 2019, 12:40:17 pm
Amazing, thank you.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: punisher on March 05, 2019, 12:05:58 pm
again i say .......... you guys are amazing

thank you for the RR
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: windswept on March 05, 2019, 01:01:38 pm
Good stuff. I reckon a report like this would be a temporary sticky on advrider, it is so good.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 05, 2019, 07:24:04 pm

RETURN TRIP HOME :     30 DECEMBER 2018 – 03 JANUARY 2019  (+/-2600 km)


“A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end...but not necessarily in that order.”                 
                                                                                                              Jean-Lue Godard     

                   
It was with a heavy heart that we turned our backs on the lake for the last time. We had got so much pleasure from ‘the lake of stars’. This would probably be the last time we would see this place.
We departed through a different border post as we were told it’s not as stressful as the one we entered through. It was a beautiful drive on the S127 as we wound our way up into the mountains which offered some stunning views as we looked back down the valley.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1714%20Medium_zps7hf56wuf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1714%20Medium_zps7hf56wuf.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1719%20Medium_zps34llaej3.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1719%20Medium_zps34llaej3.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1723%20Medium_zps5tmnuibk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1723%20Medium_zps5tmnuibk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1736%20Medium_zpsig3cdq8l.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1736%20Medium_zpsig3cdq8l.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/IMG_1748%20Medium_zpspfc3l1e6.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/IMG_1748%20Medium_zpspfc3l1e6.jpg.html)


This pretty drive took us to Dedza and it was quick and easy getting out of Malawi and entering Mozambique. The 223 was a fairly good road and after a few hours we turned right on to the EN103 again making good time to Tete.  It was already dark when we arrived in Chimoio just south-west of Gorongosa National Park. We found the Pink Papaye Backpackers which was fully booked but they gave us permission to squeeze into the tiny garden, use their facilities but sleep in our vehicle accompanied by a squadron of mosquitos. Needless to say we didn’t have a peaceful night.

We left early the following morning and once again punched in our destination on Google Maps. For some strange reason it was keeping us off the EN1 and taking us on the 216. Even when we missed our turn off to the 216 it kept redirecting us onto the 216 and wouldn’t acknowledge the main road south to Vilankulos...not even showing it as a second option. My gut feeling was not happy about this but we knew the EN1 was a shocking road so assumed this to be the reason. So we took Google Maps advice and turned south onto the 216. Within a few kilometres I just knew that this was not a good idea but I didn’t want to sound like the nagging mom....and so we continued down a narrow gravel road. The passing traffic thinned out and the villages slowly disappeared. The road became narrower, and appeared to be less travelled and in bad condition. We bumped and bounced our way slowly along this route for about 2.5 hours covering about 40km. But then Google Maps said 10 km more to the EN1 and within minutes our ‘road’ turned into a single pathway. Surely this was not possible!!

We now had to reverse out some distance with the trailer till we found a suitable place to turn around.  Slowly we headed back the way we came and stopped to ask directions at a stationary vehicle. He directed us to Dombe and we were to take the next left turn. Well the roads just got progressively worse and we were crawling along carefully at a snail’s pace. It was too late to turn around so we forged ahead. The next minute we broke out of the bush and crossed over a lovely bridge that led onto a tar road.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1754%20Medium_zpsri8ijp08.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1754%20Medium_zpsri8ijp08.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1755%20Medium_zpsud1niish.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1755%20Medium_zpsud1niish.jpg.html)

We were so chuffed until we drove into a hydro-electrical power station and were instructed to turn around and go back to the next turning, which we did and once again it was on a horrific ‘road’.  We bounced around these muddy roads in a shocked state not quite believing what we had got ourselves into. We were still on the correct route though. We were in the middle of thick bush and there were no villages that we could see with only the occasional person on a bicycle. 

We had been travelling for about 5 hours when suddenly Kingsley stopped the bakkie, exclaiming ‘For f***k sake!!’ as his glance darted to the mirror.  The trailer drawbar had snapped mid way, ploughed into the road and managed to cartwheel the trailer. We were all so fed up with this blasted road already and now this...!!!  There was our trailer and bikes upside down...it was a sickening sight.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_104107%20Medium_zps5tt2s9f8.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_104107%20Medium_zps5tt2s9f8.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_104118%20Medium_zps5urkqdds.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_104118%20Medium_zps5urkqdds.jpg.html)


We stood there and stared in a shocked state not quite believing our bad luck...surely this couldn’t be happening again. Our last Botswana trip ended like this as well. What the heck do we do now? It took another few minutes to sink in that we were now unable to recover this trailer as the hitch had completely snapped off.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_104053%20Medium_zpstbf9yvda.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_104053%20Medium_zpstbf9yvda.jpg.html)

 Eventually we started to think clearly and tried to turn the trailer over. We only managed to get it onto its side. Kingsley suddenly made the decision that we had to ride the bikes out of here. We actually got a bit nervous being in the middle of the unknown. We couldn’t afford for anything else to go wrong so we had to move quickly. Hurriedly we cut all the straps off the bikes and with some difficulty managed to drag them off each other onto the road and assess the damage. Roxy’s bike was leaking oil and too damaged to ride, the bigger bikes had lost some mirrors and my clutch and brake lever was broken off, handle bars bent and gauges broken off... other than that quite useable.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_105100%20Medium_zpsujjageau.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_105100%20Medium_zpsujjageau.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_105130%20Medium_zpsaruros1e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_105130%20Medium_zpsaruros1e.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_105121%20Medium_zpsaon37qxm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_105121%20Medium_zpsaon37qxm.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_101617_Moment%20Medium_zpsrofwgwph.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_101617_Moment%20Medium_zpsrofwgwph.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_101617_Moment%201%20Medium_zps19xyadtf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_101617_Moment%201%20Medium_zps19xyadtf.jpg.html)

 The other problem was that we had used up most of our fuel. While Kingsley salvaged whatever spares he could from Roxy’s bike to make the 650’s rideable, she drained the fuel from hers and shared it between our two bikes while I cleared out the back of the canopy and repacked everything onto the backseat. Roxy preferred to ride rather than drive so I got all their smelly and dirty riding gear out for them and things just happened smoothly with no complaining or fussing. We just kind of knew what we each had to do. The front wheel, mud guard and shocks were removed from the 200 and with all our strength we somehow managed to lift and load up the remains and shoved it into the back of the canopy. It was a sorry sight.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_102048%20Medium_zpsjp00tiez.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_102048%20Medium_zpsjp00tiez.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_102106%20Medium_zpsgwfwocyk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_102106%20Medium_zpsgwfwocyk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_102120_Moment%20Medium_zpse9e37kc4.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_102120_Moment%20Medium_zpse9e37kc4.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_102704%20Medium_zpsn3iwzi8e.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_102704%20Medium_zpsn3iwzi8e.jpg.html)



Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: demonoid on March 05, 2019, 07:34:23 pm
Oh no ..... did not see that one coming
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on March 05, 2019, 07:44:48 pm
Eish, not good. :dousing:
And there I thought it is going to be a boring end to your trip.
You lot have the right attitude! :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Phillip Flap on March 05, 2019, 07:55:21 pm
Sjoe, The END is not the end after all!
sad to see the bikes and trailer bottoms up!
Fantastic report!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: BMWPE on March 05, 2019, 07:59:07 pm
 :'( :'(
definitely not a nice ending
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 05, 2019, 08:36:10 pm

In this space of time we only saw one chap on a bicycle and he just sped past us in a nervous hurry. About an hour later and with much surprise our 650’s spluttered back to life. I couldn’t believe it! I just loved this bike of mine even more...it just never let me down!
It was a relief to be mobile once again. Roxy and Kingsley led the way with me following close behind. I couldn’t believe it when we had a few river crossings to make. I was now so angry with Google Maps and myself for not following my gut feeling but we were now committed and just had to continue. Thank goodness this vehicle was a 4x4 as we needed it to get us out of a few problematic areas.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_111340%20Medium_zpspzewwt1m.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_111340%20Medium_zpspzewwt1m.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181231_1117260%20Medium_zpsyzxckysh.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181231_1117260%20Medium_zpsyzxckysh.jpg.html)


After about another 1.5 hours we popped out onto a tar road...such a relief. We found some fuel and headed off to Dombe where we turned left onto a good gravel road that would take us back onto the EN1. We needed to get to Vilankulos, and still had one hell of a long way to go. I was now concerned about Roxy getting tired as we had all had a very bad night’s sleep. There was still about another 300 km to go. We had frequent smoke breaks along the way as the road was in a shocking state up until Inhassoro. On a bike the going was faster so they often had to wait for me to catch up as the potholes were a nightmare in the darkness, making travelling slow and stressful.

 It was about 9.30 pm when we reached the busy turn off to Vilankulos and as expected Kingsley missed the turn off, which Roxy was aware of, so she promptly followed her dad to warn him. I immediately stopped at the turn off, put on my hazards as there was so much traffic around and waited for their return.  Roxy thought she was chasing her father but when she caught up it wasn’t him. Somehow she had lost him in the mess of taillights and the New Years Eve busyness. Fortunately she had the sense to continue for another 7 km or so till she reached a fuel station and there she found a bewildered Dad who had lost both of us. After about 20 minutes they both arrived back at the turn off. These two were now so exhausted and battled with the last 19 kms to town. Fortunately, being New Years Eve, Baobab Backpackers was in full swing and very much awake. We were fortunate to get something to eat before heading off to pitch our tents shortly before midnight.  It was such a relief to end this last day of 2018.

We spent a day and another night enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and beach of this great place and recovering.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1772%20Medium_zpsw9eof5f0.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1772%20Medium_zpsw9eof5f0.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_084607%20Medium_zpsprukeizk.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_084607%20Medium_zpsprukeizk.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_141906%20Medium_zpsm1ohyfxq.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_141906%20Medium_zpsm1ohyfxq.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_145232%20Medium_zpst0o2bedg.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_145232%20Medium_zpst0o2bedg.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1769%20Medium_zpsipj1wd5j.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1769%20Medium_zpsipj1wd5j.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_102054%20Medium_zpsc7isaygf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_102054%20Medium_zpsc7isaygf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_093018%20Medium_zps3e8vhzfy.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_093018%20Medium_zps3e8vhzfy.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_092959%20Medium_zps0wimfoot.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_092959%20Medium_zps0wimfoot.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_104042%20Medium_zpscwqgimti.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_104042%20Medium_zpscwqgimti.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_102909%20Medium_zpswn7oemof.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_102909%20Medium_zpswn7oemof.jpg.html)
Our new buddy

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_102947%20Medium_zpsj09idcm2.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_102947%20Medium_zpsj09idcm2.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_103046%20Medium_zps2x9ga1no.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_103046%20Medium_zps2x9ga1no.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190101_092940%20Medium_zpspzs8rxzb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190101_092940%20Medium_zpspzs8rxzb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190102_051738%20Medium_zpsjcjawq5o.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190102_051738%20Medium_zpsjcjawq5o.jpg.html)
Thinking about the long haul home!  :P

02 January 2019

 We set of for Maputo, which was another long haul of 715 km for Roxy and Kingsley, and required an early start. These bikes work hard when travelling at 110km/hour so frequent stops were needed and fortunately the roads were good. It took us ages to get through Xai Xai and cross over the bridge but late that afternoon  we worked our way to the our accommodation which was close to the beach front of Maputo. Again Google Maps was taking us on all the narrow back roads of Maputo. These two were amazing and managed to keep up their spirits.

03 January 2019

We were planning on crossing over the new bridge that had recently been completed.  In order to get to the Kosi Bay border at 8 am., when it opened, we needed to depart at 6 am. The wind was howling and it was raining once again. It felt good to be warm and dry inside the bakkie as we worked our way along the Maputo promenade but I felt so sorry for the two in front of me as the rain lashed out at them and the wind blowing off the ocean buffeted them continuously.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_0553050%20Medium_zpshyfuhg41.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_0553050%20Medium_zpshyfuhg41.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_060320%20Medium_zpso33yvsng.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_060320%20Medium_zpso33yvsng.jpg.html)
If you look carefully you can see the new bridge in the distance.


Finding the entrance to the new bridge, built by the Chinese and officially opened on 10 November 2018,  proved to be a bit tricky as there was no signage leading up to it. We battled our way around asking directions and eventually found the start where we saw the first and only sign indicating the new bridge connecting Maputo, on the northern bank to Katemba, on the southern bank. It is the longest suspension bridge on the African continent, with the main span measuring 680m but in total 3 km long. With the new road leading south towards Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, travelling time is reduced a great deal, now taking only 90 minutes as opposed to 6 hours via Swaziland. It was a great feeling being able to drive over this amazing engineering feat.


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_062856%20Medium_zps94fpaxbj.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_062856%20Medium_zps94fpaxbj.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_062953%20Medium_zpsixw5weon.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_062953%20Medium_zpsixw5weon.jpg.html)


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_063008%20Medium_zpszyovkxeb.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_063008%20Medium_zpszyovkxeb.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_063020%20Medium_zpsfgnyrnkf.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_063020%20Medium_zpsfgnyrnkf.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_063053%20Medium_zpsr99b54ph.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_063053%20Medium_zpsr99b54ph.jpg.html)

There are two tolls on this wonderful stretch of road which totals about R40 in fees as well as a fuel station.  We were treated to some lovely sightings of giraffe as we drove through the Maputo Elephant Game Reserve, but sadly no ellies. Definitely a recommended route.

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20190103_073525%20Medium_zpsocjqegcw.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20190103_073525%20Medium_zpsocjqegcw.jpg.html)

(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/IMG_1774%20Medium_zps9a3upamo.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/IMG_1774%20Medium_zps9a3upamo.jpg.html)

It rained intermittently up to the border and on arrival here there was just rain and chaos as all the holiday makers from the various Pontes gathered to depart Mozambique. Vehicles parked anywhere and everywhere, people running in all directions from vehicles to get a good position in the queue, hoodies over heads, brollies covering several bodies dodging in and out of stationary vehicles and excitement oozing all over as we all got soaked standing in outside queues.

We were now a bit concerned about our paperwork as we no longer had a trailer but I think the rain and chaos was in our favour and at the customs office there was a bit of mayhem as  rain soaked people crowed round declaring good. While Kingsley and Roxy waited in the rain I handed over all the paperwork and was asked if all was in order which I answered ‘all was fine’ and rushed into the rain again and crossed through the boom. No one questioned the motorbike hanging out of the canopy and they waved us through.

The two on motorbikes now had another 530 km ride to get home.  The roads were extremely busy and slow until we reached the N2. Once again rain lashed out occasionally but they continued on taking regular breaks. With the rain came the cold and a few times Kingsley wanted to just dump the bikes somewhere safe and get into the vehicle but somehow they bravely persevered. As we passed Durban the mist tumbled in making it even more stressful. We stuck close together and looked after each other as best we could in the busy traffic. Heading up Town Hill and Hilton was like driving through pea soup, slow going and very stressful.  It was awesome arriving back at home all in one piece albeit cold, wet and miserable. I only have admiration for these two who rode back all that distance in such awful weather conditions just to get our precious bikes back safely.

Thank you, Kingsley and Roxy, for the wonderful opportunity to experience such an awesome holiday. Roxy, you brought so much pleasure and fun into this trip and I shall cherish every moment spent with you.  :love5:

“We‘ve been through some things together,
with trunks of memories still to come.
We found things to do in stormy weather.
Long may you run.” 
                                                                               Neil Young


(http://i869.photobucket.com/albums/ab252/karenkrog/Malawi/20181228_155423%20Medium%202_zpshe1lhaxm.jpg) (http://s869.photobucket.com/user/karenkrog/media/Malawi/20181228_155423%20Medium%202_zpshe1lhaxm.jpg.html)

                                        Now that is the end of one amazing adventure!!
:thumleft:


Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Crossed-up on March 05, 2019, 08:49:36 pm
Such bad luck about the trailer! But like all the problems you chaps encountered you just forged ahead, not letting it bog you down. Well done!

Thank you for taking us along on this amazing, epic, beautiful, exciting trip.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: demonoid on March 05, 2019, 09:18:33 pm
Awesome ..... just bloody awesome.
May you cherish those memories for ever.

Thank you wildside for this fantastic ride report. I'm sure you've reignited the passion in many.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 05, 2019, 09:18:57 pm
Such bad luck about the trailer! But like all the problems you chaps encountered you just forged ahead, not letting it bog you down. Well done!

Thank you for taking us along on this amazing, epic, beautiful, exciting trip.

Thanks for taking the time to follow the story and giving encouraging feedback. Somehow we rose above all it all, stuck together and popped out at the end happy to have fulfilled a dream. Glad you enjoyed it. ;)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 05, 2019, 09:31:08 pm

For any one who is interested, Roxy (WILDSIDES Offspring) will be posting a video of our adventure sometime soon.   :happy1:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: MRK Miller on March 05, 2019, 09:56:37 pm
I can feel a tear happening. You all are a inspiration, hats of to all of you. Finished your rift ride report while waiting for this part and it was worth the wait. I have never had a better ending to any book or movie. Ok maybe a couple which also brought a tear, but this was awesome stuff. Eagerly awaiting your rr on your next trip. A inspiration for me to really put efford into my photo's and rr for our trips. Thank you so much
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: zacapa on March 05, 2019, 10:26:16 pm
Your story read like the classical outcome of what happens to people with good parenting skills - and enough bikes in the family  :thumleft:

Awesome story and enjoyed reading it much.
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Oubones on March 06, 2019, 07:33:44 am
Thank you for taking us with, thoroughly enjoyed it!
More families can learn from you how to have quality time together!
Respect for the ladies who handled it so well. :thumleft:
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on March 06, 2019, 06:56:22 pm
Without a doubt THE RR of the last 12 months ... I am absolutely amazed at the conditions this has thrown at the 3 of you, well done indeed!

Thanks for sharing this stunning ride!

 8)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Three Dawg on March 07, 2019, 12:56:24 am
You crazy kids! 
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: demonoid on March 07, 2019, 10:13:20 am
Without a doubt THE RR of the last 12 months ... I am absolutely amazed at the conditions this has thrown at the 3 of you, well done indeed!

Thanks for sharing this stunning ride!

 8)

... well then I am so glad I did not post a RR in the last 12 months
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on March 07, 2019, 03:51:17 pm
Without a doubt THE RR of the last 12 months ... I am absolutely amazed at the conditions this has thrown at the 3 of you, well done indeed!

Thanks for sharing this stunning ride!

 8)

... well then I am so glad I did not post a RR in the last 12 months

Ja but I read very slowly and am known to change my mind every week... 8)
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: the ruffian on March 08, 2019, 09:43:13 am
A stupendous effort  - not only by the 3 of you in embracing the vicissitudes of the journey itself, but in the commitment, by you, Wildside, in documenting it in such  a positive tone. Reading it from a drought-ravaged eastern cape, seeing that amount of run-off and mud is a kind of cognitive dissonance.

‘Enkosi kakhulu!
Title: Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
Post by: wildside on March 10, 2019, 07:48:20 pm
A very big Thank You to all the readers who have taken the time to follow this RR and made the effort to respond. I have really enjoyed capturing all these memories and your feedback has been most encouraging and makes posting a pleasure. Hopefully I don't have to wait too long till my next adventure. Take care.
REMINDER .. a video to follow sometime soon.   ;)