Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World!!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Mugwest, sorry about that, at that stage we figured out that it was the waterprump gears that gave up the ghost. Metaljockey was at Malawi at the time with his family on holiday and we were n our way there to meet them for new year and a big party.

    He borrowed a van form one of the campers at the lodge and drove the 1000km to come and fetch us and the bike.

    Katoom119. it is fairly safe to wild camp in Africa. Not near towns are a safe bet, not that people will harm you, but for a bit of safety and not having to worry about petty theft.
    There are still many places you can ride where there are wild animals, Uganda Murchison's falls, Zambia Lake kariba in Kenya at lake Turkana as examples. We did some of those places and it is amazing to ride where there's still buffalo's, rhino's and hippos's and Elephants meters away from you.

    But, as sad as it is, wild animals are losing the battle with humans for space.

    I will post those pictures later. :wink:

    BikeFx, I thought people were not really interested in this report so I stop posting. I will update this one in the next few days. :D
    #41
  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    MALAWI'S "NEVER LEAVE DISEASE CALLED BONGI FEVER" part1

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    In short, Malawi turned out to be this warm exotic paradise people told us about. Golden sandy beaches with clean water, super friendly people, cheap beer and food, and the best snorkelling. It's easy to understand why so many people get such a serious infection of Bongi fever. The local term when referring to over landers or travellers that get stuck in Malawi and just never leave.

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    FAT MONKEYS, MONKEY BAY

    Lake Malawi is not your average dirty smelly dam, the water is crystal clear, it's clean and the most beautiful coloured tropical fish swim around the rocks in the shallow water. Why Lake Malawi is this way I don't know. It's not a typical lake *as with Kariba for example.

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    It's a small country with not much industry other than tourism, and some tobacco exports. Their money is not worth much and you look like a drug dealing gangster with all the cash you have to draw at ATM's. Driving around Malawi is slow as most people live next to the road nothing more than 80 is about the max for safe driving.

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    DRYING RACKS FOR KAPENTA FISH

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    DUGOUTS, BOAT CAN LAST FOR AROUND 10 YEARS.

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    The land is cultivated and worked by old people the hard way. For the rest it's a dirt poor place. South Africans have made this a popular holiday destination and some locals can utter a few funny sounding Afrikaans words.

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    ANY TOY WILL DO

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    THEY ARE WORKING COPIES, THE DETAIL IS AWESOME. ROAD SIDE SHOP IS CALLED TOYS'R'US

    As we drove into Fat Monkeys in Monkey Bay Cape Mclear, Plottie as appointed head of the local welcoming committee promptly shoved some beers into our hands as we climbed out of the Kombi. Elsebie rode her bike from Zambia as the Kombi could only take the one Dakar. Unceremoniously we parked the broken Dakar under the Mango tree to be fix after the new year and we wasted no time setting up camp. Linda and Harold have decided to stay over in Lilongwe for a few days before meeting up with us again.

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    DRUG DEALER AMOUNT OF PAPER ONLY PAID FOR FEW BURGERS

    There is no other place near the Southern side of Malawi with the same island style feeling. Loads of young people from all over the world frolic around on the beach with golden brown tanned bodies. It's hot and humid, even at night it's hot and the mosquito's are the kind that can drag a small kid out of it's bed by the legs.

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    FAT MONKEYS BAR, GIN AND TONIC'S AND BEERS, FOR THE REST READ THE DAYS AWAY.

    The water is a comfortable 25"degrees and perfect for sitting around at the shore with friends consuming copious amounts of beers. The clean water had the kids spend their days in the lake. It's a very cheap holiday, camping cost around R50 per stand per day. Breakfast at the lodge cost around R80 for two people. Beers go for R8 and soft drink cost cheaper. *

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    SHA NANA
    The first thing the next day was to go swim at a secluded beach not far from the lodge. The boat's name is Sha nana and it's skipper is Jumbo, a super friendly chap with a huge white smile. The man and his crew got this cool laid back attitude to them. Noooothing is a problem.

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    Just after Christmas many of the South Africans that holidayed their left to spend New Year in South Africa. The next day the camp was empty and only Metaljokey and family stayed over to enjoy the New Years party. Around the same time two bikers riding from the UK to CP arrived.

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    HAROLD AND LINDA TRYING TO GET RID OF BONGI FEWER WITH WATER MEDITATION THERAPY

    It's really great meeting up with people doing the same kind of trips, exchange ideas, news, places to stay and avoid. We still had the difficult part in front of us and they are on the holiday side of things going down to SA.

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    *SUN DOWNERS AND SUNSETS *


    #42
  3. BOBaloo22

    BOBaloo22 RIP Baby Girl

    Joined:
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    WOW! What a great ride report! I just found it this morning and the pics and commentary are great. Riding on your side of the world is a dream of mine that's on my bucket list.
    Thanks,
    Bob<SCRIPT type=text/javascript> vbmenu_register("postmenu_18568803", true); </SCRIPT>
    #43
  4. aDave

    aDave Lovin' Life!

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    I really enjoy seeing and reading about parts of the world that I have never traveled. Thanks for the time and investment in sharing with us.

    Continue please...:ear

    Dave
    #44
  5. jbcaddy

    jbcaddy Long timer

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    thanks for taking us along :clap
    #45
  6. tenderfoot

    tenderfoot PRJ

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    Thanks for the report.
    I hope to at least make Kenya at some stage.
    #46
  7. KingKong_500

    KingKong_500 big size ding dong

    Joined:
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    Great RR. Am hooked. Will hopefully get to ride Africa in a few years and remember your journey. :freakyand the beer.
    #47
  8. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Keep posting!!! There's probably a lot of people reading your blog and we want more. Did you ever get the bike fixed?
    #48
  9. Vinbowie

    Vinbowie Been here awhile

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    I am loving this.
    Thank you for this report.
    Seeing Africa this way is real.
    Better than National Geographic. :clap:clap:clap
    #49
  10. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    YOU'RE BACK!!!! :clap:clap:clap

    Keep it coming.
    #50
  11. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    The blog entires is shorter as I update it \while travelling. I try and add more pictures and info on ADV making it more comprehensive. Hopefully making it more informative for you guys following the report :D

    As for the damn bike, keep reading :wink:
    #51
  12. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

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    St Petesburg, FL
    What a lekker ride report!

    Waiting for the rest of trip:freaky
    #52
  13. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    :huh
    Mama mia ! Madre de dios ! Holly Ghost !
    Are you crazy ? :D
    We, the people, are extremely interested by your report !
    please, please, keeeeeeeeeeep it going, my friend !
    :clap
    #53
  14. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    cool man good to hear from you again :freaky
    #54
  15. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    BOAT RIDE AROUND THE CORNER FROM FAT MONKEY'S WE SPEND A DAY SNORKELING AND HANGING AROUND THE ROCKY OUTCROPS WITH SMALL COLOURFUL TROPICAL FISH NIBBLING AT YOUR FEET.

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    SOME OF THE BEST SUN-DOWNERS YOU WILL EVER ENJOY IN YOUR LIFE

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    METALJOCKEY AND HIS DAUGHTER SNORKEL

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    MAGIC OF LAKE MALAWI, TROPICAL FISH AND CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER.

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    HOME BASE FOR NEARLY 18DAYS, BOUGHT BEERS AND SODA'S IN CASE LOAD AS IT'S MUCH CHEAPER

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    BEERS ARE CHEAP AND BREAKFAST AROUND 2USD

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    PLENTY OF YOUNG BACKPACKERS

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    CAPENTA'S FOR LUNCH, NOT BAD WITH COOKED PUMPING LEAFS

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    LIFE IS TOUGH, THIS IS A LOCAL TRAVELLING SALESMAN WITH HIS HOMEMADE DISPLAY CARTON BOX, SKIPPER OF THE BOAT GAVE HIM A LIFT BACK HOME

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    Parties all behind us it was time to tackle the broken Dakar. The bike was standing beneath the big old Mango tree since we arrived and we decided to conduct the repairs there as it offered the most shade.

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    METALJOCKEY AND HAROLD CHOONING THE BIKE ;-)

    The parts for the bike took longer than expected and I still had to get the bolt that broke off in the water pump casing fixed. That in itself is a problem sitting at Monkey Bay. It is not the kind of town that offers engineering services or anything more than what you would get in, some other small place around the North Pole.

    The only other town capable of drilling and tapping a screw is Lilongwe and that is a full day’s excursion getting there and back. It is slow going in Malawi the roads are narrow and there’s always people on the road, the average speed is less than 70km/h.

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    HIGH-TECH WELDING SHOP

    There is a port at Monkey Bay that also repairs ferries and cargo ships that cruise Lake Nyasa. With nothing to lose I took Elsebie’s bike and head off for the works hoping that they would be able to repair the casing for me.

    When talking to people and they seem confident enough making a repair but the first thing they want to do is weld, I get a bit worried and I had to explain to these artist that if they fuck-up this casing I will have to get a new one from SA and that is another week and 800USD down the drain.

    Yes, yes we understand came the answer with a broad smile on the face, and no, it still does bugger all to my confidence meter. They then proceed to weld an extra piece on the stud with a welder that draw enough power that will dim all of Japan's nuclear facility’s lights for a few seconds. *The works was taken over by a new company and the equipment is not in the best shape


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    RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB? NO....IT'S THE ONLY TOOL FOR THE JOB

    When that did not work they clamped the casing on to the biggest and oldest drill press they had and with old drill bits the one technician had to fetch at his home, started drilling into the casing. The drill bit was also bent but that did not deter them on their quest to show this pale face that they can fix this small problem. *Well two hours later and 7USD poorer I set off with a skew drilled casing that I was hope would work.

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    BIKES GOT THEIR NEW PAINTINGS

    The hole drilled and tapped as scew as a cork screw pig's penis and tapped with two or three threads able to pull the bolt I got the thing back. Kurt was on speed dial in South Africa and had to help out with information. I could not buy radiator fluid and used the lake water instead. I did not think it was such an issue and will replace the water in Tanzania once we get there.

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    BUSH MECHANIC EXTRAORDINAIRE

    Jenson Button, aka the Neill helped me fit everything together and I must say I felt a bit red faced that a man travelling on an a bike the same age as Jan van Riebeeck’s boat, 6Volt Yamaha is helping me to fix the supposed to be best bike for this kind of trip. All in good spirit and teasing from Neill while fixing the bike we set off North to Nkhata Bay and Mayoka Village.

    Stupid bloody mistake with the radiator fluid that would come back to haunt me!

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    JAMBO THE SKIPPER FROM SHA-NANA COOKED US SOME FISH AND RICE

    Fat Monkey's is a popular place for overlanders to chill and enjoy the local beers. While there we met up with Thomas and Ruth. He is a Optometrist that bought this 30 year old truck in East Germany, load his bike and set off straight through Africa and the Sahara desert to SA. Eventually after 2years he stopped in Malawi on hs way up again and got Bongi fewer.
    It' now 3 years later and they are still there. He married Ruth, she did a solo trip on a Transalp around Aus, Tanzania, New Zealand, and then the East. She also ended her trip in Malawi and the Transalp are still her only bike.

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    HIPSTER HIPPIE INTERIOR OF THE EAST GERMAN ARMY TRUCK

    Then these two mad Brits pulled in, both on their way to SA.
    James came down the East side of Africa with his normal 2001 GS heading towards SA. He strarted last year August.

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    JAMES AND HIS TRUSTY 650GS


    Ted also came down the East Coast and also quit his job to do this trip. He did South America and Europe before trying Africa. He insisted a DRZ is the bike to do this trip and it is still going strong. Some of us disagree but with the Dakar breaking all over the show we can’t argue. All with soft luggage.

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    TED AND HIS DRZ400

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    As things go, we scribbled on each others bikes for good luck.

    Malawi really crept deep into our hearts, it’s a wonderful country with equal measures of friendly faces and colourful people, Malawi people are a laid back bunch there’s not much that upset them. *It is different to a sea vacation the water is clean and makes for easy swimming compared to sea swimming, no tides or currents when snorkelling and we spend more time swimming than normally when having a holiday at the coast.

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    kIDS DO THE DARNEST THINGS

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    EXCHANGE ROUTE INFORMATION AND DRINKING BEERS....WHAT A LIFE


    It was time to get going, we have spend a good 3 weeks hanging around there, the fewer was getting to us.

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    TIME TO GET OUT OF THE WATER AND GET GOING
    #55
  16. BcDano

    BcDano One Lucky Dude

    Joined:
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    329
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    Rolling on the RTW
    Brilliant RR :clap
    #56
  17. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,401
    Location:
    South Africa
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    MALAWI PART 2

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    It was time to move on, the fewer in Malawi is bogging us down. The bikes was fixed and looked after as good as we could, and with some sad faces we rode out of Monkey bay on our way north to Nkatha bay, our next stop. We were bit behind on time for our 6 month planning but thought we would be able to make it up once out of Malawi as there's parts in Tanzania that we can skip.

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    INFRASTRUCTURE NOT IN GOOD SHAPE

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    KIDS ARE ALWAYS FAST TO GET SOME CAMERA ACTION

    We hugged the coast line of the lake. It's a old narrow road with derelict bridges. For the first time we also saw the famous lake flies of Lake Malawi. Apparently they are so small they can fly through a mosquito net, the larvae at the same time shed their eggs and then get blown up by the wind in their billions to life for a day.

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    WE SAID GOOD BYE TO JENSON BUTTON AND HIS OLD XT AND BRANDED HIS HOME MADE PANNIERS AS TRAX

    We heard some say they do not even have stomachs. It&#8217;s mind blowing to see these clouds of flies sweeping across the lake. We also wanted to try them as the locals make small cakes from them, but in the end we could not find any. People told us the flies stink of fish for some reason. It's unbelievable that such small creatures can make up such huge clouds. They are visible over vast distances on the horizon of the lake.

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    LIFE IS TOUGH IN AFRICA

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    MYOKA VILLAGE IN NKATHA BAY

    Mayoka village in Nkatha bay is a must stay, it&#8217;s not really geared for kids as there&#8217;s no beach. For adults and young travellers its paradise! The lodge hangs on a cliff it was started 13 years ago. From the shower or rooms you can look down into the lake and see the small blue fishes play between the rocks. They offered some of the cheapest rates for their rooms and their food was the best we had in Malawi.
    For the time stayed there our bikes were left at the gate with all our kit and they had a guard 24hours a day looking after our stuff.

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    ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOILETS AND OUTSIDE SHOWERS ARE ALL PART OF THIS COOL LODGE

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    FOOD AS ALWAYS ARE GREAT AND THE PARTIES NON STOP.

    We went on a free boat trip they offer once a week for cliff diving, Fish Eagle feeding and beach games. The most amazing experience is seeing a Fish Eagle take a fish out of the water right in front of you! I don&#8217;t think anywhere else in the world will you see something like this.

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    FISH EAGLE DOING WHAT IT DOES BEST, CATCH FISH, AND HE NEVER MISSED

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    CLIFF DIVING

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    We end up spending another 5 days at Myoka, the Bongi fewer was seriously getting to us. We were behind on time and had to make up skipping other parts of Malawi but it was worth it.

    The small town of Nkatha bay is a busy little place with it's own prison and harbour. It's great walking around there exploring the small shops and talking shit with the locals. Some straight out ask for money while others will at least say hello first.

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    A TRUE WTF MOMENT?

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    WELL JA, WHAT CAN I SAY, THEY ENFORCE THE LAW

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    THIS MAN WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS AND BUILDERS OF THE LODGE 13 YEARS AGO, HE EARNED HIMSELF THE NAME CHOCOLATE MAN. HE HAS BEEN SELLING CHOCOLATES EVERY NIGHT AT THE LODGE SINCE IT OPENED. THE LODGE IS A COMMUNITY OWNED PLACE.


    #57
  18. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Mate, you're selling it well. You should ask for a job on their tourism board. :evil
    #58
  19. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    I try my very best:D
    #59
  20. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?!

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    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.

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    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? *

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    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, it&#8217;s 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.

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    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

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    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.

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    FIXING PUNCTURES AGAIN, TUBELESS, FFS, TUBELESS!!

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    THIS IS MY LAKE, I AM THE BOSS, LIFE IS GOOD, NOW LEAVE ME!!

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    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.

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    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.
    #60