so up early and after consuming a couple of Immodiums (mmm unripe peaches) I got a minibus to a little town then another to Monkey Bay onthe shore of Lake Malawi…long trip and though I left at 6am, I didnt get to Monkey Bay till 3pm…then I had to wait for 2 hours for a Matola (flat bed truck that carries absolutely anything including the locals around the area) then the Matola took 1 hour just to leave Monkey bay (which is only about 200m long!!!) so it was gone 6 and dark when I arrived at Gecko Lounge
……to be told that they dint have a place for me!!! aaaaarrrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!
so, I had to stay in Chembe Eagles Nest…which is nice: private beach on the lake, grass thatched cottage with ’4 poster’ to myself…sadly its also $50 a night!!! which is a WHOLE lot more than I wanted to pay…and theres just about no-one else here to play with :^(
it also meant that I had to go back to Mangochi (60km) to get to the bank to pay for the place!…yet another day in a ‘private Matola’…and a quick stop in a ‘squat’ toilet behind a shop, as me stomach still aint right (waddayamean you didnt need to hear that?!)
next day I hired a dug-out canoe (yes, that STILL is the mode of transport for the locals here in the fishing village next to the Lodge) and paddled over to a nearby island …very nice except either the locals have very narrow arses or I need to go on a diet: the sharp edges of the dug-out just about cut me to the bone!
next day was a motor boat trip to the same island to do some snorkelling (organised by Westcott – as most things seem to be here!) nice place to snorkel but after a few hours a storm appeared so we were rushed off the island and then almost sank in the mahoosive waves that suddenly appeared (good job I wasnt in the dug-out today, eh?)
spent Christmas more or less by meself (and a couple of giant rock monitors) had a couple of beers and was in bed by 8pm I think…hey ho. But I did manage to get some buffet lunch, including sweet mince pies with CUSTARD!!!!….WOOHOO!!!!!
Boxing day was yet another trip to Mangochi for money, but his time it was a bit quicker (walking some of the way, hitched some of the way and got a ride on a bicycle taxi for some of the way (poor fella!)
28th of Dec and I’m at the Ilala ferry terminal at Monkey Bay for the trip up to Likoma island. the ferry EVENTUALLY left port and blasted off at a stately 8 knotts (VERY slow for you non-nautical types) I travelled first class dontchaknow, which means I get the pleasure of lying on the top deck to sleep (out in the open) happily I was the only one who chose a dry place, cos it didnt half rain that night….ended up with about 20 people sleeping in an area of about 2 sq meteres! met an israeli guy (David) and a finnish girl and her mum and had brekkie with them, which was nice -plus an english couple from Denmark (wot?) Neil and Christine…nice couple.