The real October 11th – Day Seventeen

With an 8am departure time everyone was up for breakfast at 7am. A few more hardy souls got up even earlier to do things like take photos of the sunrise over Lake Malawi. I was sitting on a lounger at the beach end of the bar waiting for the sun to appear and counting the mosquitoes above me before 5.30am. Thankfully the mosquitoes were content to simply fly around and not bite. I was also joined by one of the camp dogs who decided I needed company, he sat down next to the lounger and proceeded to bite at whatever was biting him. Swallows flew past and every now and again a group of locals would wander down the beach going wherever it was they needed to be. Eventually the sun appeared as a red ball just above the clouds that I had assumed were an extension of the horizon, invisible until cut by the sun. The sun was well into the sky before the light actually appeared across the lake and in the surrounding vegetation and buildings. I got up and moved to the lake shore shortly after Roger appeared to also photograph the sunrise, his timing much better than mine. We both meandered across the beach catching shots and finding new subjects. Running out of inspiration we made our way back to our accommodation to get ready for breakfast.

After eating a few of us watched another truck attempt to depart and then get stuck in the sand. They dug in front of the rear tires and placed down metal tracks in front inside the shallow trench before getting back in the truck and firing up the engines. With a roar the power came on and the truck lurched forward to a cheer from those seated inside. That was about as exciting as the morning got. We were shortly departed on our way to Lilongwe, hoping to arrive around lunchtime. For me the trip involved listening to music from my ipod and taking photos ever time the truck stopped for people to go to the loo. I wasn’t taking photos of people going to the loo, more the lovely mountain silhouette or at the second stop the young guy chasing his goats over the adjacent hill.

We arrived in Lilongwe in time for lunch but first stop was at a dentist for Jacques. We found a Seventh Day Adventist sponsored hospital that did dental work and parked up outside while Jacques went in for a check-up. Lunch was had just outside the gates of the complex, possibly the first truck to have lunch in that particular position. Jacques was out again shortly after we had finished packing everything away, turns out the tooth had become infected so the dentist had removed the faulty filling, cleaned out the infection and put in place a temporary filling to cover until we could return to Lilongwe in a few days time. Next stop in town was a local Shop Rite Supermarket complex where everyone was able to stock up on food and drink (things like soft drink, beer and biscuits), access the Internet where we got to upload our photos at last and also visit the pharmacy to buy anti bilargiou tablets (a nasty worm found in Lake Malawi – chances are we didn’t catch it but it costs very little to make sure). The crew was shopping during this time. As the sunset came down we were all back in the truck taking the short trip from the Shop Rite to our campsite for the night, Kibhoko Campsite (Kibhoko is Hippopotamus in Swahili).

The Kibhoko site was nice with warm showers and a peaceful atmosphere, or as peaceful as can be expected for a site with a busy road on one side. The usual events took place, tents were erected, those helping out with cooking chipped in and those with access to the computer for the day found a power point in the reception area and downloaded photos. The site also had a youth hostel and the reception doubled as the bar and confectionery repository. With nothing much better to do we sat and talked with others, our conversation stopped at one point by a rather large mosquito with white stripes on its abdomen. We decided in the end it was a zebra mosquito which is the variety that carries the malaria virus so the deet was applied and a wary eye kept on the flight path of our new favourite insect. I tried a Carlsberg Stout and decided it didn’t taste like a stout but was better than normal Carlsberg. And then we had dinner and as you’d expect it was very nice. I’ve been spelling Joe’s name without an ‘e’ which Keryn tells me is wrong so I’ll now say that Joe cooks the finest meals and this was another in the long line of satisfying meals so far.

After dinner we had a visual design workshop with Jacques. He went over everything so far for Ann’s sake and then expanded into area such as how a different lens will effect depth of field. Once the talk was over it was, unsurprisingly for those reading from the start, off to bed for us early night kiwis.

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