06-08-2012, 07:58 AM
Vagabond, yes I try!
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
The ghost of Ewan and Charlie
Tanzania was calling.............
Tanzania was calling and we had to get our asses off the beach and leave the paradise feeling behind. Us all were fighting Bongi fever. Eventually we had to concede the only way to get rid of Bongi fever was to get on the bikes and get outta paradise, the place was fast consuming our lust for travel.
REMEMBER THE FIRST RULE OF MUD, MUD MUST NEVER KNOW YOU ACTUALLY RIDING ON IT.
We got on the road with heavy rains predicted for our entire journey up to Tanzania. In the first town the GPS routed us through a market and the road suddenly ended in a muddy track that route through a busy wood market. Harold got out too late and dumped the bike into a ditch. The eager helpers broke off more stuff on his bike trying to get it out of the ditch than what the fall did in the first place.
The poor man was now without a rain suite, yes he lost it on his way to Myoka, and now his screen is in three pieces. Well at least half his face will be out off the wind.
ALWAYS SOME FRIENDLY PEOPLE AROUND TO HELP A MAN OUT OF TROUBLE, PAYMENT TALK LATER.
Halfway between Nkatha bay and the Tanzania border we came across this place where, they proclaim to have the only and oldest natural tree branch hang bridge in Africa, the bridge apparently date back to early days of evolution. They say at one stage a hippo tried to cross but got stuck halfway through. This is also currently the only way across the river for the locals, so everything they buy have to go across this bridge.
MALAWI HANG BRIDGE
At the same place they have a small stuffy dirty smelling dung hut of a museum with only the front door offering light into the place of worship. The story goes that they had two gods, the one for a man and the other for a woman. The one looked like the devil that's depicted in children's bibles and the other one like some ugly thing with horse tail for nose hairs. Donno why they show the woman statue with the nose hair, and if woman ever did grow nose hair that long? Maybe it was a sexual thing in the past, who knows?!
These were the gods they prayed to and worshiped for rain and good fortune. On a question what happened to the gods why are they not praying for them anymore? Well, the man said, the Christians came to Malawi and taught us that these gods are no good, they are just statues. We must change to worship the Christian God and so we changed, but now the Muslims are also wanting us to change again. Go figure! As with Uganda it seems the biggest growing faith is Jehovah witnesses in Malawi.
We had to sleep over at Sangilo lodge just before the Malawi border with Tanzania and is owned by Mike an old pommy with the usual faded "I love me mom" and anchor tattoo's on the forearms. We were sitting having a beer when I noticed a sticker on the fridge with Ewan and Charley on it. The owner immediately said that they stayed over at his lodge when they did their Long Way down trip. So where did they sleep, I asked? *
EWAN AND CHARLIE LEFT THEIR MARK
The last two bungalows next to yours was the answer from Mike the owner of the lodge. I had to go look, I could not miss the opportunity to stand at the same place legends walked and slept, and as I stood on the deck of the bungalow I could feel their presence, itís a hair raising experience, seriously it's spiritual! I felt my skill level increase just standing there, it was stronger than religion! And then I heard it, a soft voice said, "may the force be with you" The others said I was just drunk, but I know better.
THE BUNGALLOW CHARLIE AND EWAN STAYED IN WHILE TRAVELLING DOWN AFRICA. GO THERE IF YOU NEED THEIR SPIRITS TO GLOW UPON YOU FOR MORE SKILLS
THEY LIKE THEIR VIEWS OF THE LAKE EVEN WHILE THEY DOING THE LOO THING, BUILD THE LOO HIGHER.
The place is a bit expensive but the food is good and the service you would expect from such an pricey establishment. I had to repair yet another puncture and Mike even offered to help. It seems quite a few bikers stay over with him.
FIXING PUNCTURES AGAIN, TUBELESS, FFS, TUBELESS!!
THIS IS MY LAKE, I AM THE BOSS, LIFE IS GOOD, NOW LEAVE ME!!
The next day on our way to the border we came across the birth place of a dugout. As fascinating as it may seen a boat carved and chiseled out of an entire tree. The sad part of this is the fact that's another old tree falling and currently Malawi is running out of old trees as most are being used for dugouts.
MALAWI LAKE DUGOUT
The prices of dugouts are also on the increase. I had a chat with some of the locals and asked whether we can help them look for better priced boats they can use that is cheaper to run and maintain and is environmentally friendly than the current option, as its unsustainable. It takes them around 2 months to complete a dugout and will according to type of wood sell from 250USD to 500USD per boat.