almost there

March 19, 2014, Zanzibar – Dar-es-Salaam

 

Our pre-breakfast bath in the sea is cut short by mildly stinging jellyfish that are too numerous to ignore. The ferry brings us back to Dar, where we move back into “our” apartment and then go for Italian gelato by tuk-tuk.

 

Later, we dine Ethiopian style – a country we would love to visit – maybe in a few years time? Slowly but surely, melancholia is creeping into our hearts – even though we are looking forward to going home, it makes us sad to see Africa moving into our past. We look forward to the day when it will once more be present in our future!

 

Kathrin

 

 

pooped

pooped

preparing for our next trip...

preparing for our next trip…maybe

to Ethiopia?

to Ethiopia?

 

March 20. 2014, Dar-es-Salaam

 

We had a lazy morning and then went to the hear dresser. After the hear dresser we decided to go to the cinemax at 3 pm. Between now and then we went to the pool. Then we went to the cinemax. My mother and Nina almost got lost. Then we found them and went to watch Lego Movi. At night we went to eat supper with Steve, dad’s friend.

 

Moritz

 

 

fans of tuk-tuk

fans of tuk-tuk

new look

new look

 

March 21, 2014, Dar-es-Salaam

 

After breakfast, we (my parents) repacked our things, so they were each under 23 kg, while we (my brothers and I) had to wait outside. Then we went to Waterworld. This time ther was another class there with us, so we didn’t have to scream every time we wanted to go on a slide. After lunch, the class left, but we still had fun. We went to a nice new restaurant to have an extra early meal, so we wouldn’t have to eat at the airport. When we got back to the apartment, we all showered and changed. Then we drove to the airport. We all had to get used to wearing shoes again. My brothers and me taught my mom a bit of “Rat on skateboard”. The arport was normal and quick, we’re on our way home!

 

Nina

 

 

 

Thank you Zanzibar, for your white sands, turquoise tides, coral reefs and cheeky fish; your sun and moon and carefree times;

 

Thank you Tanzania, for your waterslides, your palm trees and coconuts; your friendly immigration service and Swahili cuisine;

 

Thank you Mozambique, for the Unity Bridge, but not the road that leads to it; for your bread and piri-piri and the mangos; your crumbling cultural heritage and fancy seashells;

 

Thank you Malawi, for your chilly mountaintops and the island in the sky; the grandeur of your lake and the escarpment; your strong women, the mushrooms and the avos,  and all the blessings you gave us on our way;

 

Thank you Zambia, for the leopard; your remoteness; your positive attitude towards life and your worldly capital;

 

Thank you Zimbabwe, for your parks and your ruins; for your pardons for inexistent traffic violations and the spray at Victoria Falls;

 

Thank you Namibia, for the good road around the swamp and the first roof over our heads;

 

Thank you Botswana, for your emerald season and all of nature’s babies; your baobabs, your star-spangled skies and for the Kalahari;

 

Thank you South Africa, for your beautiful people – our friends; for the Karoo, the Cederberg and the cold water around the Cape; for your whales, the flowering fynbos and Madiba; for Bethesda, the culture of braai and for being the hub of a lifetime experience. Enkosi kakhulu and dankie!

 

 

 

Special thanks for keeping us company during our travels to Peter, Fudge and Tootsie; Maik and Tschik; Louis, the trumpeter swan; The Rolling Stones; Wolfgang Herrndorf; Laurel; White Fang; Professor Liedenbrock; Sheila, Marcel Proust; Liverpool FC; Parzival; Blubber; das Unwissen; Brian; NZZ; Anne Frank; William Stoner; Asterix and Obelix; Mary Lennox; Herr Schramm, Frau Schwermuth and the dead ferryman; Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; Harry Belafonte; Tintin; Baby Jail, Stuart Little; Robinson Crusoe; Die Toten Hosen; the tree people of Botswana; Gwendolyn; Gru and the Minions; Marlow; Sindbad; and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow.

 

 

The Schlup Five

Veröffentlicht unter Traveling in Africa | Verschlagwortet mit , , | 5 Kommentare

Happy Holidays

March 13, 2014, Dar – Stone Town (Zanzibar)

First we stood up very early, so early that we were too early for the ferry. On the ferry we could buy sweets from a Chinese man. Then we came to Zanzibar which is actually another land than Tanzania. At the hotel we brought everything to our room and then  we went for a walk in Stone Town. There were very nice wooden doors.

In the evening we went to the night market. There was very nice food like chapatti, meat and Zanzibar pizza with nutella. A thief stole our money (only the change) and a man came and said: ”We know where the man is; do you want to catch him?” We said no because we didn’t want a hammer on the head. And then we went to bed.

Matti

Karibu to Zanzibar

Karibu to Zanzibar

sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon

sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon

night market deli

night market deli

March 14, 2014; Stone Town

In the morning we ate a nice breakfast (if you compere it with the price). Then we went snorkeling. The water was very clear and a lot of fish. Saddly there were also a lot of jelifish. When we went to the second place we saw dolphins. At the second place there weren’t any jelifish (at first!). Then my mother got stung realy badly (she was almost dead when she got out of the water) (editor’s note: now who is the drama queen?). When we got back we had an afternoon sleep. In the evening we went to the night market. We did not see the theef again.

Moritz

Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew

Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew

a boy's dream

young boys and the sea

Stone town alleys

Stone Town alleys

March 15, 2014, Stone Town

Zanzibar is also known as the Spice Islands – so we decide on a cooking class for today. We are picked up at the hotel by Sharah, together we shop for fish, vegetables, rice and spices at the local market, and then we go to her daughters house in a dala-dala – a pick-up truck with benches for the passengers in the back.

We like the airy house with almost no furniture very much; we sit on the floor and cook on a charcoal and a kerosene stove, also on the floor. Only the sink and two cupboards are “normal” standing-up height. Our menu: local tuna fried in spices, pilau rice, spicy potatoes, plantane pudding. Yum!

On our way home, we get lost in the alleys of Stone Town for the umpteenth time – but as usual we find ourselves quite close to the hotel when the narrow streets spit us out. A shoemaker fixed my flip-flop on the way – feels like new!

Kathrin

ingredients

ingredients

Dala-dala - before the crowds

Dala-dala – before the crowds

kitchen crew

kitchen crew

plantane pudding

plantane pudding

coconut shredder seat

coconut shredder seat

March 16, 2014, Stone Town – Bejuu

After another, compared to the price, good breakfast, we packed our things, or at least the things we’d taken to Zanzibar. We had to get our fairei-tickets in advance, befor we went to the Beach resort. While we waited for my parents to get the tickets and during the drive, we played games. What I saw of the drive, was sometimes a beautiful forest, which I likes, and sometimes fynbos, which disappointed me.

When we got there it was low tide, but the beach seemd beautiful, with white sand and palms. WE all relaxed, my parents walked out on the beach, my brothers played, and I read. After lunch we did the same things, minus the walking, then we went swimming. The water was so hot it was like a huge bath with waves. After playing around on the beach and several rounds of bao, we ordered supper. My brother started building sand lands.

The night got disturbed by moving the ventilator and people talking right outside our bungalow. The “talkers” got my dad annoyed. In the end we got through the night, even though we got sweaty.

Nina

Beachtime

Beachtime

35°C - water temperature

35°C – water temperature

sand world

sand world

March 17, 2014, Upepo Bungalows – Dongwe Ocean View

First we took bicycles and rode along the beach. It was very hot nd difficult, because it was my first bike ride in 3 months. We rode to a special boat that brought us where we went snorkeling. The fish there were very nice and we saw a fish kindergarten in an anemone. We could sail back to the shore later. And then we saw a very nice hotel where we stayed for lunch. It was so nice that we wanted to move there. We had to take the road back because the beach was flooded. That was far and also difficult. Then we moved and felt like kings because we got two rooms and a pool. I feel that adventurers are like kings but I don’t know what you feel like, whoever you are.

Matti

cheeky fish

cheeky fish

another vessel for our captain

another vessel for our captain

leg cooler

leg cooler

beach bikers

beach bikers

kings and queens

kings and queens

little pool - big pool

little pool – big pool

moonrise

moonrise

March 18, 2014, Dongwe Ocean View

Today, we were determined to relax and enjoy a classic day on the beach. This is very easy at a beach like this, and we can report 100% success…

We repeated the snorkeling from yesterday, minus the boat – walking there and climbing over some sea urchins saved us USD 70. OK, we almost washed out into the open ocean crossing the Dongwe pass with the tide rushing out like a river…

Then: reading, dozing sand castle building, football on the beach, excessive use of the pool and awed admiration of the beach scenery in front of us.

It is the life of a resort tourist, perfect for us after our adventures but I am sure, one more day of the same and we would feel the itch for more action.

Bur for now we are thrilled by the prospect of a Swahili buffet dinner and an A/C cooled night in a good bed.

Michael

afternoon tea in style

afternoon tea

good book

good book

evening shade

evening shade

Veröffentlicht unter Traveling in Africa | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , ,

Reaching our Darget

March 7, 2014, Mikindani – Kilwa Masoko

First we took the wet laundry and then we drove and drove and drove. For lunch we had a picnic, it was very hot. And then we drove and drove and drove to Kilwa Masoko. We found a bungalow and also found out that we didn’t have enough money to go to Kilwa Kisivani, an island with a ruin city on it. Their bank didn’t take our credit cards and the next bank is very far away in Dar-es-Salaam (300km). So we had supper and went to bed. The soup was very good.

Matti

Kilwa Bay

Kilwa Bay

Yebo! Dry Clothes!

Yebo! Dry Clothes!

March 8, 2014, Kilwa Masoko – Dar-es-Salaam

“Name?”

“Kathrin.”

“Age?”

“39.”

“Tribe?”

“Hm. Switzerland.”

“???”

“Europe.”

“Ok. Urop.”

(Police interrogation after speeding in one of the uncountable villages that seam the road to Dar.)

For a cheap USD 15 and some jokes at the village prison, we may proceed. I admit, I was speeding – Dar, the endpoint of our journey, has a strong gravitational pull and there is not much to see on our way there.

Just South of Dar, the tourism industry has us again and we spend the night in a resort – noisy sound system and all. Generally, we are surprised at how expensive everything in Tanzania is. We were not the first to miss out on Kilwa, and as we proceed, every tourist attraction is incredibly expensive – with no better (if any) service provided than in the countries we have visited previously. National parks at USD 500 per night (camping & entry fee) are off limits for us.

Kathrin

Chillwa

Chillwa

Only 10 km of tar to go...next year the road to Dar will be great.

Only 10 km of tarring to go…next year the road to Dar will be great.

arriving

take what you can, give nothing back – we made it!

March 9, 2014, Dar-es-Salaam – Bagamoyo

In the morning we ate breakfast and then hedad onto the road. We drove for a bit and then took a fairy (editor’s note: hello Waldorf! J) over a little bay in the center of Daressalamm. There we looked for a place to stay when we would stay in Daressalamm. Then we went to Bagamoio and looked for a lodg. We went camping for the last time in Travellers Lodg. There we went to the beach and when I went into the water I cut my foot. At night it was very very hot.

Moritz

Team Tanzania get's ferried into Dar

Team Tanzania get’s ferried into Dar

in that case, we'll just have some ice...

in that case, we’ll just have some ice…

March 10, 2014, Bagamoyo

After breakfast we decided to go to an old slave market and see the Kaole ruins. The prices were very high, but we managed to talk our way out of one by sponsoring. After the slave market, which wasn’t great, we bought some weird things at a bakery. The ruins kost a lot more, and they were really just ruins. We had lunch at a logde with a nice beach, so we could swimm there afterwards. After a drink at our logde, my mom tried to make Lebkuchen, but it didn’t work. We had supper at our lodge. The night was also hot, but not as hot as the last one.

Nina

 

Kaole ruins - 850 years of history

Kaole ruins – 850 years of history

...just another paradise

…just another paradise

March 11, 2014, Bagamoyo – Dar-es-Salaam

Then goodbyes have begun. We get an early start because we don’t have to pack the tent – it’s one gardener’s lucky day in Bagamoyo. On our way to Dar, we stop at Wet’n’Wild and have a water amusement park all to ourselves. In true African fashion, only half the slides are working – but we climb that tower at least 20 times and now feel that we could break any speed record there.

Arriving in Dar, we unpack the car for the first time in three months – Michael nearly suffering a heart attack from just looking at the accumulation of souvenirs…and yes, lot’s of fabrics as well!

Kathrin

Kilwa-Dar11

color? who cares!

ours for the day

kings of the slides

March 12, 2014, Dar-es-Salaam

After giving away more things – some of it well worn, some never used and therfore deemed utterly useless – the remainder of our things starts to look packable. Two piles are emerging: “going to Zanzibar with us” (not much), and  “in storage with our kind landlady”.

The we head to town (in a taxi) with new courage to satisfy Kathrin and Nina’s fabric fetish. Now we know how much space there is, and we load up in the street dedicated to the fabric trade. Then we buy tickets for Zanzibar. Lunch is in the chaotic fish market, where we buy an assortment of fresh fish and seafood, have it gutted and grilled at different stations before we eat it on the spot. Wading through fish guts and ankle deep scales, with octopus ink squirting and a thick smell wafting over everything is not for the faint hearted, but we all enjoy the tasty food. We also see what must be the forecourt to hell, the open-air commercial fish-fry station, where piles of fish and seafood are fried over open fires, naked upper bodies of the men dripping from fishy oil. From there, trays of fried seafood radiate out accross town, on the heads of fish-sellers for bite-sized consumption. We have had quite enough hectic and head home for pool and some work. Dinner is in an Italian ex-pat restaurant, and late at night our next goodbye: the car is picked up after 12’217 km, 140 km a day on average. It’s sad to see our protective capsule of the last three months go….not a single serious mechanical problem!

Michael

hell's kitchen

hell’s kitchen

fry away

fry away

our lunch

our share

Veröffentlicht unter Traveling in Africa | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , | 1 Kommentar

Frontier

March 2, 2014, Ibo-Quionga
The hottest night ever, and not a hint of a breeze. It must be 35°C when we get up before sunrise to make the high tide boat to the mainland. By the time we have lugged our excessive baggage through an awakening Ibo we are truly desperate for the soft seats and the A/C of our car. Before we can leave with the tide rushing out there is a bit of a commotion and confusion, we were told there is no regular service that early and so we booked a boat for ourselves – but now a good dozen villagers would like to board, too – much against the will of our captain, who I plead in my desperately lacking Portuguese to let them join. He refuses – it’s not his day, and we’re probably overpaying him already.
Through the sunrise and early morning calm, including some far-away dolphins, we have a suitably magical boatride back to the mainland, where the car is quickly packed and we depart for a much enjoyed A/C cooled but otherwise uneventful drive North to the border.
The road, once on the main highway, is great or will be great soon, but a lot of construction means that in the end, about 180 km of the 350 km are on dusty, bumpy dirt. We arrive in the border village of Quionga where we camp on the community campsite under the curious eyes of the assembled children of the village. We enjoy our first camp since Lake Malawi and we realize how much airier and less confining camping is. Next to the campsite team Quionga 1 plays team Quionga 2. The whole village is watching and we join the crowd, quickly becoming a secondary attraction. Rarely have we been so openly gazed at, with fingers pointed and mouths gaping. It’s a bit tiring, most so for Matti and the female part of the family. We retreat to an early (though somewhat repetitious) meal of pasta with tomato sauce (not much else to buy), and by 19.15 it is lights out for the kids, with us grown-ups joining them not much after.
Michael

Let the sunshine in

Let the sunshine in

March 3, 2014, Quionga – Mueda
Our first night in the tent for along time is unpleasantly eventful: Kathrin comes down with an ear infection, and we have some of the hardest rain ever. We are thus very proud to rock up ath the 25 km away border for the ferry both dried and early. We are not rewarded: the ferry is not operating, understandably the river is in flood and has been for the past two weeks…
So we start on a slight detour of 1000 km over the Unity Bridge deep inland, not recommended by anyone because when the bridge was built by presidential fiat from Mozambique and Tanzania, no plans were made for access roads…
The first leg of our last option to drive to Dar takes us to the grubby, mountain town of Mueda, back through the now soaked, soapy-slippery construction sites where we power along in low-range for hours.
We move into a dubious room in a dubious pension – the only one – have lunch, are greeted by the resident kitchen rats and while Kathrin rests and the kids entertain themselves in tense edginess coming from too much time in the car I deploy my rudimentary Portuguese across town to find out more about what lies ahead. The police say there is no passing, the fuel station attendant has heard of people passing and knows it is 170 km on a very, very, very bad road. The only encouragement comes from the bush taxi driver who drives the route to the bridge with his landcruiser. He says he will go tomorrow, leaving at 7 am, and depending on the weather it will take 5-10 hours (it will take us 7 to the border and 4 more to the next town, and yes, we will make it, just…). So I make the decision to leave before the taxi tomorrow, to know a savior behind us in case we get stuck.
Then I organize chicken and chips in a backyard restaurant – no one feels like rat-infested goat and rice anymore – and we finish off the day watching Pirates of the Carribean (sunshine ahoi!) for the umpteenth time while outside descending fog and darkness with consistent rain promise a real frontier experience for tomorrow.
Michael

Mueda

Müed (tired) in Mueda

March 4, 2014, Mueda – Masasi
In the morning once on the road it was not as bad (at first). But once we got stuck, luckally we could drive out of the mud by ourselves again.
Then it started to rain, there were thousands of tsetse-flies and we were almost always slipping. Once we almost fell on our side trying to miss a tree trunk. Also once we had to do a river-crossing. Then came the tar road. On the tar road we drove to the border. There we spent 2 hours trying to get through, once in Tansania we drove for a bit (editor’s note: that little bit was over 4 hours!). Then stayed in Holiday Motel Masasi for the night – rice and goat again.
Moritz

170 km - 170 Mio Tsetse-Flies

170 km – 170 Mio Tsetse-Flies

500 m before the bridge, they actually built a road - we had to go see where it ended

500 m before the bridge, they actually built a road – we had to go see where it ended

Congrats to the Presidents - great bridge!

Congrats to the Presidents – great bridge!

March 5, 2014, Masasi-Mikindani
After a breakfast serfed bay someone who never ate it befor, we loaded the car. Then we drove two houers to Mikandini, or so, it seemed a short drive. We arrived there befor lunch, and after a quick shower against the heat, we had a nice chapatti-lunch. After school, we went for a walk in town, and we relaised that we’d have to think about were to do our shopping!
Nina

March 6, 2014, Mikindani
Yes, we finally managed to experience a rather bland and boring day! It was much needed, though… The healthy ones (all except Kathrin, still the ear) wanted to go snorkeling, but it turned out that this is rather expensive here and when it started to rain no choices needed to be made. So we had lunch in Mtwara, a non-descript sprawling town. Then we tried to buy some essentials, with moderate success. One Indian shop was actually of the walk-in-supermarket-kind, with two tiny shelves to circle around! The others were all still of the old-fashioned sort, where you stand at a counter, squint into the darkness and guess what products from the rear wall you could possibly need. This is the district capital.
Probably charming, if the downpour would stop. But to be honest – we are actually enjoying doing nothing! ☺
Kathrin

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Coastal Exploration

February 22, 2014, Ilha de Moçambique – Chocas del Mar

Suitably, for the day of our departure from Ilha, it is raining when we get up. I had felt the cold at night, and much to the amusement of the rest of the family, I war a pullover during the latter part of the night.

On the road to our next stop we realize that we at once feel ready to move but at the same time also are a bit worn. The unanimously shared opinion is that three months is long enough for us to be on the road. Correspondingly, looking forward to Switzerland in many ways occupies us more and more.

We arrive at the pitch-perfect beach – turquoise water, white sand, coconut trees – after a 80 km bumpy ride, around the bay near Ilha – with the island itself just a short distance away over the water.

Offered a choice between shadeless camping in the mosquito-infested swamps behind the dunes and an airy cottage with sea views under the palm trees we of course opt for the more expensive option… To make up for it we decide to cook ourselves rather than eat in the restaurant and we shop for dinner right on the beach. Our spaghetti will be of the “frutti di mare”-type with colorful fish, langoustines, clams and crabs – a nice representation of the local biodiversity. To wet the appetite we hit the beach despite a continued drizzle and growing darkness, and we all enjoy the fine sand and the lukewarm water of the Indian Ocean. It’s the perfect beach, even Matti get’s to enjoy the waves in the shallow water. Swimming in the sea under grey clouds and a darkening sky without one shiver is quite magical for us all.

It’s a bit of an exercise to get our seafood bounty cooked, but well worth it – apart maybe from getting sprayed with scales. Eating, crunching and tearing through the crabs turns into an biology lesson with lots of fun, after which we all are ready for bed.

Michael

Creepy crawly supper

Creepy crawly supper

Cozy kitchen

Cozy kitchen

curious eaters

curious eaters

crunchy meal

crunchy meal

February 23, 2014, Chocas del Mar

After getting up I remembered a nightmare I had with a murderer in it. The we took the Iphone and recorded stories about Star Wars and soccer. Later at the beach we had lots of fun in the water that was nearly as warm as in a bathtub. We collected shells and then we had lunch. In the afternoon we saw a crab at low tide that gave us all a fright. First he jumped up, and then he ran into a pool and dug himself into the sand.

We had dinner at the restaurant. When it got dark we collected many crabs that were running around in their shells. I was the first in bed so my mom only read “White Fang” to me.

Matti

Pirate of the Indian Ocean

Pirate of the Indian Ocean

Goalkeeper of the Indian Ocean

Goalkeeper of the Indian Ocean

Sunset on the Indian Ocean

Sunset on the Indian Ocean

February 24, Chocas – Pemba

In the morning we went away from Chocas early. We ate breakfast in the car, becus we hadto drive 409 km until Pemba. We also ate lunch in the car and not much happened. When we arrived in Pemba we saw that everything was flooded. We drove arrowned a long time looking for a lodge. (We had to drive through a lot of puddles.) Finaly we went to Pemba Magic Lodge (PML). I and my dad played soccer and then we all went into the pool. There we played waterball. During supper we watched music videos. Then we went to bed.

Moritz

(Pemba is not worth a picture.)

February 25, Pemba

This is our “organization and administration day” – we need to go shopping, pay our bills in Switzerland and get organized for our trip to Ibo, and island that can only be reache by d’hau.

The weather is not too great, and the floods of the last few days and weeks have brought out a lot of rubbish, so we don’t really miss going to the beach. Coming back from town, we pull another vehicle out of a puddle the size (and almost the depth) of a communal swimming pool. Everybody assures us that the rains of this year have been the heaviest ever…

Pemba is a small town (and district capital) that lies close to one of Mozambiques oil fields that were only discovered recently. Oil riggers have brought money and the English language to town in the last year. We realize that our guidebooks are rather outdated and our expectations probably too. And also, how little we are used to sharing this part of the world with other foreigners.

Kathrin

(Pemba’s still not worth a picture.)

 February 26, 2014, Pemba – Ibo

After an early start, and an only half ready breakfast, we started on our way to Ibo. Four hours later, we arrived at the “water-taxi-station”. Another hour of packing, and then we managed to get out of the mosquitos and the heat onto a hot, full boat, where we shared the space with people, fish and luggage. When we arrived on the island, there was a huge fishswarm under the dock.

After lunch, which was at the hotel, we made up for having to get up early. When we went looking at a star-formed fort, we talked to the history-man of the town: the oldest man. He liked to show pictures of himself in magazines and books.

Nina

On our way to Ibo

On our way to Ibo

Water taxi

Water taxi

Fishermen

Trade Winds

Welcome to Ibo

Welcome to Ibo

His picture is also in our blog

His picture is also in our blog

Subject to the Tides

Subject to the Tides

February 27, 2014, Ibo

First we stood up very early to go find crabs in the mangroves with a fisherman. For me, it wasn’t much fun because the mangroves had lots of branches, mosquitos and we had to walk in the water all the time. At lunch, we ate the crabs. There were four crabs and we had potato salad.

After that, we went kayaking and we played hide-and-seek in the mangroves. There weren’t many mosquitos there this time but it was very hot. When we were back we played in the pool for a long time and then we ate in a restaurant with a loud TV. After a bit of “White Fang” we slept quickly.

Matti

5.00 am

5.00 am

hello lunch!

hello lunch!

Greetings from Papillon

Greetings from Papillon

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Gotcha again!

Gotcha again!

High tide fun

High tide fun

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

 February 28, 2014, Ibo

In the morning we went snorkeling at a shipwreck. There were a lot of difrent fish, I saw one that was 50 cm long. After snorkeling we went to a sandbank, ate lunch and stayed there until the hie-tide came… (We had to swim to the boat.) on Ibo we went to a starshaped fort. There we bought silver neklesses, rings and ear-rings. We ate a perfect supper and once in bed we slept quickly.

Moritz

Ghost Crab (before it bit Moritz' finger!)

Ghost Crab (before it bit Moritz’ finger!)

high noon in the shade

high noon in the shade

losing our island to the tide

losing our island to the tide

disappearance

disappearance

Nina - Range ta chambre!

Nina – Range ta chambre!

View from the past

View from the past

Evening stroll

Evening stroll

Nightfall

Nightfall

March 1, 2014, Ibo

Because yesterday was perfect, we simply repeated it. Snorkeling by the shipwreck, later watching the sandbank disappear beneath our feet – activities one could enjoy every day.

It seems strange that we will be flying home in only three weeks – the duration of our longest holiday before this trip.

Kathrin

Indian Ocean

Indian Ocean encounters

upper heat full on

upper heat full on

d'hau ahoi

d’hau ahoi

this shell is taken

this shell is taken

Kings of the Island

Kings of the Island

wash away, sweet megalomania!

wash away, sweet megalomania!

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Of Pirates and Portuguese

February 18, 2014, Nampula – Ilha de Moçambique

First we made school while my father worked with Sinezia. After that we went shopping. My dad had to stay in the car so that nothing got stolen. At the place we went shopping there were many people who asked us for money.

After that we were very hungry and we bought some yummie bread at a small shop 8it wasn’t as good as my dad’s bread, though). Then we drove until we came to a bridge which didn’t have a lot of road on it. It was very long and when another car came we had to go on the side when there was a bay. We drove on an island and searched for a hotel that we liked and we went to the first one after we had looked at many rooms. In the restaurant we saw the stars for the first time in a long while. But in the night it rained again.

Matti

"a bridge with not a lot of road..."

“a bridge with not a lot of road…”

February 19, 2014, Ilha de Moçambique

Today in the morning we searched for a place to eat breakfast, somebody wanted to show us a place to eat breakfast but it did not work (he did not even speak Portugese) sp we sent him away and went to Villa Sands. There we ate a little breakfast. After breakfast we swam in the pool (I learned salto( and then we had siesta. After siesta we walked throu town and bought a ginormous crab (we named it Kurt). Then we brought Kurt to a resurant and let him be cooked there. We also ate him there, he was delicious. Then we went to bed.

Moritz

spotting our laundry on a roof

spotting our laundry on a roof

Ilha

Ilha light

the charm of decay

the charm of decay

the fort

the fort

SUNset - not a drop of rain

SUNset – not a drop of rain

Meet Kurt

Meet Kurt

Promenading with Kurt

Promenading with Kurt

Kurt's last evening with us

Kurt’s last evening with us

February 20, 2014 Ilha

After getting up early, we got on a D’hau, which is a ship without keel and not the best sailsistem and sailed to an island called Goa. There we all got sunburned, got kilos and kilos of shells and enjoyed the sea. There were little bays full of crabs, but they all ran away from us. For lunch we had what was left of th 20 breads we’d bought in the morning for breakfast. When we sailed back to Ilhia, we all had to sit on one side of the boat. After having gone in the pool again, I washed my shells and we did school.

When we went eating that day, my mom discovered a worm in her elbow. We all had to take gross pills because Matti was scared of it. I really don’t like pills!

Nina

Boarding the Titanic (true!)

Boarding the Titanic (true!)

It's a d'hau day

It’s a d’hau day

Matti Crusoe

Matti Crusoe

Great place to be stranded

Great place to be stranded

tropical sun

upper heat

sunburn ahoi!

sunburn ahoi!

Matti Jackie-boy Sparrow

Matti Jackie-boy Sparrow

evening breeze

evening breeze

February 21, 2014, Ilha

Our air-conditioned room let us sleep in wonderfully, and we all got a lazy start into the day. Again we bought loads of rolls in the morning – something we really missed during our time away from Europe. The bread, but also other things bring us closer to home: Ilha is a safe place, with adults and children alike enjoying the cool breeze after sunset; playing, chatting and promenading in the dark streets. Moust houses are in ruins, but inhabited, which gives the island an ancient but also timeless aura.

We had a guided tour of the Governor’s palace and the fort today – once again, we were the only visitors present. We saw many treasures and artefacts from China, India and Portugal, which brought to mind the vast empire that once ruled the seas. The fort had never been taken by the Arabs or the Dutch, even though the latter brought 340 canons at their last attempt. Inside the fort we visited a chapel – the oldest building constructed by Europeans in the southern hemisphere, over 450 years old. The historic setting adds a great new twist to our adventures, even though we can’t ignore the gruesome facts: Portugal exported slaves taken in Malawi from these ports as late as 1910, they were mostly destined to work on French sugar plantations to their deaths.

We are glad to meet so many positive-thinking contemporary Mozambiquans – even though their country is once again lead into troubles by politicians and warlords.

Kathrin

The Governors

The Governors

fishermen at work

fishermen at work

Gateway to the fort

Gateway to the fort

The Bullwarks

The Bullwarks

Matti Münchhausen

Matti Münchhausen

Water for 2000 soldiers

Water for 2000 soldiers

still standing

still standing

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Rain Art – Windshield Impressionism

February 12, 2014, Mulanje

In the morning, after breakfast, my dad went to work at a office with Internet and we did school. In maths I did views of blocks (mom’s title) and in french I finished my exercise book. Well not quite, I pulled out the last exercise. When my dad came back we had soup for lunch.

In the afternoon we went looking at groups who made stoves from clay. There was one organized group and one not so organized group. On our way there we got a great view of the mountain, which had up til now been covered in fog.

For supper we went eating in the best pizzeria in Malawi. We enjoyed being with other people again a lot. On the way back I started making a business plan, which I enjoy.

Nina

Learning about clay ovens

Learning about clay ovens

beautiful stock

beautiful stock

signing the visitor's book like a vip

signing the visitor’s book like a vip

Island in the Sky

Island in the Sky

February 13, 2014, Mulanje

In the morning, we went to somebody who sells stoves and my dad spoke with him. My brother and I looked at piles of tea leaves which were green. Then I climbed on top of a pillar and stayed there for half an hour.

We drove a bit more and hiked on a wall that was part of a canal. About 150 kids walked with us after they had followed our car up the mountain. We walked to where the canal took the water out of the river. By the river we had a picnic. Then we went to the house where electricity is made and a man told us all about it. But it was broken which meant that I could climb into the turbine.

We went back home to do school and I learned that if you want to do things, they are more fun. For dinner we went to the golf club with my dad’s friend. There, we played on sports machines and played bee doctors, but I got stung by one. At home, my mom told a story when we went to bed.

Matti

green harvest for black tea

green harvest for black tea

white people also have kids!

white people also have kids!

strolling through the bananas

strolling through the bananas

Canal Walk

Canal Walk

Rock hugger

Rock hugger

In the tea

In the tea

Turbine discoveries

Turbine discoveries

Fellow discoverers

Fellow discoverers

February 14, 2014, Mulanje

The morning saw us back at the golf club, trying to meet the bartender’s uncle who is one of the most renowned wood carvers of Mulanje. Eventually, we met the woodcarver’s son in town, loaded his bicycle on the back of the car and drove with him into the rice fields of Malawi. During the one hour drive, we managed not to get stuck, and we did meet the man. He showed us how he carves wood – but our question if we could buy any of his work was sadly declined: one of the lodges had just bough a few of his carved boxed, and he will only get back to work once they are sold. So on our way back, we only got lost once and then stopped at Likhubula to meet the other craftsmen who were very happy to sell.

At Lihkubula, we also met Joe and Jody again, two Michiganites who are managing the set-up of a new lodge on the slopes of Mount Mulanje. They have been in Malawi since December, so we have many experiences to share. Together, we visited the pools of Likhubula River, which reminded us once ore of the Ticino, or Corsica, or New Zealand, or…any other beautiful mountain massif. Whenever the clouds parted, rainbows appeared and 100 silver streams ran down the island in the sky.

This interesting day ended perfectly at Carl’s house, Peterson supplying us with yummie Mexican food, Carl supplying the kids with “Pirates of the Carribean 4”…

Kathrin

Ladies may wear skirts

Ladies may wear skirts

there's always space for more...

there’s always space for more…

feel's like Waldorf

looks like Waldorf

again: beautiful stock

again: beautiful stock

February 15, 2014, Mulanje – Mocuba (Mozambique)

After a night of pounding rain, another day of pounding rain starts. It is therefore hard to leave our temporary tea-estate-mansion-home, and we get a late starte after a lazy breakfast. The Mozambican border awaits us after a short drive and formalities are taken care of smoothly and with a good dose of fun. Only, US dollars are not accepted for visa payments, because “the exchange rate fluctuates so wildly…” So, leaving Kathrin as a deposit, I head to town to fetch some Meticais.

At the advice of Carl, we’re not heading directly to Gurue. But even the main road connecting the border with the rest of Mozambique makes for a gruesome 6 hour drive through mud, streams and past lanes of trucks that have been stuck in ditches for days. Our average speed is around 20 km/h. After 120 km, we hit the brand new tarmac road that takes us to our overnight stop at Mocuba quickly, despite rain and darkness.

We check into a pensao and enjoy the familiar continental cuisine. The by now seemingly mandatory sound of rain never ceases during the night.

Michael

Rain Art I

Rain Art I

Rain Art II

Rain Art II

Rain Art III

Rain Art III

Rain Art IV

Rain Art IV

Rain Art V

Rain Art V

the spectators

the spectators

the tarmac has us again

the tarmac has us again

Rain Art VI

Rain Art VI

February 16, 2014, Mocuba – Gurue

Today in the morning we went to eat a lovley breakfast with all sorts of stuf. Then we drove from Mocuba to Gurue and we saw the highest mountain in Mozambique (acshaly we did not see it but we saw a cloud with waterfalls coming down out of it so we new there was a mountain there). In Gurue we waited for my dads friend. While we were waiting I and my brother traded soccer cards. When my dad’s friend came he told us the way to the mission station where we were going to sleep tonight. We searched and searched and asked a lot of people where it was. At last after a lot of searching and asking we found it. It was a silent place (until we came). That evening we went to eat at a place that I forgot what it was called (actually I don’t care what it was called) and ate supper there. Then we went to bed.

Moritz

all kinds of stuff

all kinds of stuff

the padre's place

the padre’s place

February 17, 2014, Gurue – Nampula

In the morning we went to eat breakfast where we had eaten supper the day befor, but there was no bread so we bought some bread afterwards. Before we left my dad had to take pictures of a mill then we drove the longest distance we had driven so far. At lunchtime we ate in a restaurant and looked at two places for a mill to be built. I rained very hard. We did school in the car, and after we arrived at a nice backpackers lodge, we went eating with my dad’s friend, Sinezia. I practically rained the whole day.

Nina

mill

this is a mill

this is rain

this is rain

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Mountains make us feel at home

February 6, 2014, Nkhotakhota – Chembe

Today in the morning I played smurfs with my brother. Then we ate brekfast. After that we drove to Cape Maclear. On the way we bought two mats made out of reeds. We saw a woman fall from a bicycle. She had some woonds that were so bad that we had to bring her to the hospital. At Cape Maclear we went to a villag called Chembe. There we went to stay at a lodge called Chembe Eagles Nest. There we stayed for the night.

Moritz

fish for sale

dry fish

February 7, 2014, Cape Maclear

Getting up after one of the hottest, windstill nights was an achievement in itself, but we were all glad to wake up in the tent. We have come to prefer good camping facilities to cheap accommodation in chalets: less mosquitos, fewer grimy surfaces and more air to breath…

The next wet weather system has caught up with us; yet we welcome the cool winds and settle into a quiet day with only two sessions of school planned. For lunch, we walk through the village, encircled by kids who playfully hold our hands, tug our clothes, clearly accustomed to tourist.

About 10 lodges are strewn along the bay, with the village huts in between, all around and everywhere. Fish are laid out to dry on tables along the beach, tomatos and eggs are sold at little stalls. We enjoy crepes and tasty fish prepared by a French chef at one of the lodges, knowing that our diet will soon consist of rice, nsima or pasta again.

We realize that our travels through Malawi make us a bit weary. On the one hand, we have been traveling for some time and still have a lot ahead of us. But we also feel a great divide between us and the Malawians we meet. Greetings are friendly and frequent and sometimes almost comical at how stereotype they are conducted. But we hardly get past the formalities, not always out of lack of language skills; far more it seems that we cannot shake off the “boss & madam” image, even though we feel genuinely uncomfortable in that role. Not much of our life connects with Malawi – exchanging recipes has proven to be the most successful approach in connecting with locals so far. I’m still looking forward to chatting with a Malawian woman; the men are all around us, evidently with a different understanding of privacy; the women just smile and wave.

Kathrin

lazy fish

lazy fish

February 8, 2014, Cape Maclear

It’s rain at night, and grey in the morning, but undeterred we decide on a half-day cruise around the hilly island of Cape Maclear. Our vessel of choice is the catamaran Mama Afrika, and we’re rewarded with some actual sailing. How nice to explore the islands this way!

The snorkeling in a bay of one of the islands is exquisite – more and more colorful fish than in the previous places, the five of us circle them like clumsy spaceships and it takes a full hour until we’re out of the water again. Fish eagles and cormorants pick off a few of the fish, but that only adds to the aquarium-like feeling, with crystal clear waters.

After a few legs of sailing around the granite lumps of Otter Point and along the strip of lodges and fish markets at the beach of Chembe, we land in our lodge again, for a quiet afternoon of drawing, reading, shadow-fighting and some real and TV football. The biggest effort is to bake bread and cook some spaghetti while it rains…

We enjoy doing nothing, a lazy Saturday, topped off with a family movie from DVD; while outside the shelter of the lodge another rainstorm is pounding – Malawi is getting some of the worst (or best, depending on perspective) rains in years. Maybe we should open a rain-making business…

Michael

skinny fish

skinny fish

happy fish

happy fish

worried fish

worried fish

February 9, 2014m – Cape Maclear – Zomba plateau

In the morning we packed the tent, had PANCAKES for breakfast and showered. That progress was only interrupted by my dad, being very annoyed that it rained, again! The rest of the morning I read, while we drove to Mangochi. There we drove through the town once, and then stopped by the first restaurant we saw. When we first got there it didn’t look bad, although the waitress did not speak much English. But when we got our drinks after about 20 min, we started building houses with Moritz’ soccer cards. We got some of our food about one hour after ordering, and after ten minutes in which Mattis PANCAKES cooled down in the kitchen, and we still didn’t have them, we didn’t want it eny more. And my dad got loud again, after my mom had jeld at them. Then we drove on to Zomba. After having a nice time with the locals, in a store with wooden boxes, they sent us to a bookstore, then we went strait to the cabin we wanted to go to. It was very beautiful on the mountain and we all liked it. In the evening we made a cosi fire.

Nina

Mount Card

Mount Card

Mountain Cottage

Mountain Cottage

February 10, 2014, Zomba Plateau

First I and my brother made breakfast. We made toasted bread, corn flakes, fruit salad and we set the table. After Breakfast we brushed our teeth and then we moved to another cottage because somebody else wanted to sleep in the first one. I liked the first oe better but the others liked the second one better. After school we had a picnic at Williams Falls. We saw a gigantic black and blue butterfly there. Two men with huge wood bundles on their heads crossed the river while we watched.

When we went shopping we gave the caretaker a lift to town because otherwise he would have had to walk for 3.5 hours. At the market we bought bananas, pineapples and for me we found a donut, mushrooms, oranges and chili. When we got back to the car somebody was watching it so it didn’t get stolen. Before we went home we went to a little shop with things made of wood. At home we cooked, baked bread and Lebkuchen. Before bed my brother and I wrestled and we called it Nishinga-Karate.

Matti

Mount Mulanje

Mount Mulanje

Zomba09Zomba10

keeping things simple

keeping things simple

February 11, 2014, Zomba Plateau – Mulanje

Today in the morning my sister made breakfast. After that we brushed our teeth and did some school work. (I learnt to use the scale.) When we left the cottag it was almost noon. First we drove to Blantyre and went shopping. My dad bought me a Liverpool bag and for my brother he bought a minion book. Also my mom bought my sister a new dress. Then we drove to Mulanje. ( Saddly we didn’t see Mount Mulanje beacus he was in clouds.) We went to the house of a friend of my dad (but we had never met him) to stay there for the night. The house was in a tea plantation and had a beautiful garden. At dinner the food was very good. After dinner we went to bed.

Moritz

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Easy days

January 30, 2014, Lilongwe

 

In the morning we stood up and had breakfast. I had hot milk and rice crispies from the buffet. The weather was bad.

 

After school we went to town. There were many people asking for money. We didn’t like that. We did a long search for a restaurant and everybody was angry. We had a mango smoothie, which was good. After buying groceries we had supper and then we watched a movie about Nelson Mandela and the Springbok captain. I liked to see Cape Town in the movie.

 

In the night, we heard the muezzin call because it was Friday. I was afraid a bit because I was somewhere new and it was a strange sound.

 

Matti

 

 

Here is the poem from the movie:

 

Invictus (William Earnest Henley)

Out of the night that covers me

Black as a pit from pole to pole

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul

 -

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody but unbowed.

 -

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the horror of the shade

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

 -

It matters not how straight the gate

How charged with punishment the scrolls

I am the master of my fate

I am the captain of my soul.

January 31, 2014, Lilongwe – Nkhotakhota

 

We are quite happy to leave Lilongwe today. We have not found a key to Malawi here – only the oversized landcruisers of foreign aid organizations, their numerous expat employees, Malawians who ask us to take them to South Africa and locals who don’t seem eager or competent to do their jobs. It makes us sad and takes us by surprise after our experiences in Zambia, where everyone seemed proud of their nation.

 

We drive southeast to Dedza, a mountain village with a sawmill where we visit a pottery and enjoy their apple pie and custard tarts – a great change from the three standard meals we have either been cooking ourselves or been served the last few weeks. It is cool up here, and as the drizzling rain starts again, we decide to change our plans and drive north to Nkhotakhota. We feel adventurous and can’t imagine snorkeling in this weather anyway.

 

The winding road down the escarpment is one of the most beautiful drives we have experienced on our trip. Villages dot the landscape, between them, maize, cassava and bananas grow on every available square meter. People are working everywhere, plowing by hand or carrying heavy loads of wood and water. We are shy in taking pictures, but the images rest in our memories.

 

One thousand meters lower, we head north again, the lake only a few kilometers away. Few cars find their way here, even though the road is in excellent condition. People on foot or bicycles form a steady procession along the road, may carrying 50 kg bags of maize on their heads. The harvest is 1-2 months away, and there is not enough local food left to feed the 16 million Malawians, so maize is distributed by the UN food program.

 

We push on because it is late, and finally arrive in Nkhotakhota worn out and hungry. The constant drizzle makes us feel gloomy and uninspired – the beach, the lake, the sky are grey.

 

Only when the kids are in bed, a cup of wine in one hand, chocolate and a cigarette within good reach, do we see some stars shining faintly through the clouds – giving us hope that easier days are to come again.

 

Kathrin

 

February 1, 2014, Nkhotakhota Safari Lodge

 

On the day that marks half-time of our trip – 48 days – we wake to the cheerful chatter of local fishermen, pulling in the net right in front of our cottage. The sun is out, the lake a sparkling blue, with towering white clouds over the distant Mozambiquan coast.Soon, the boys join the fishermen and pull in the net, standing waist-deep in the lukewarm water.

 

We bask in the sun, and swim and snorkel all morning. It is a fun and friendly exchange between us, the only tourists wide and far, and the locals. We feel very welcome.

 

Through the day, we try and establish what boats circulate on the lake, to potentially take us to Likhoma, an island far away from the mainland. There are essentially but two options, and our hopeful spotting of diesel smoke turns out to be clouds of insects dancing over the lake – like the fish and the crops part of the local diet. We make no heading in finding out whether Likhoma is an option, and in the afternoon we go for a pottery class in a nearby training center – one of the most fun things we have done on our trip so far. We all make several items on the pottery wheel – I am particularly proud when my attempt for a cup turns into a beautifully shaped bowl.

 

We’re all exhausted from the work and the heat, so we have dinner in the restaurant – one of the best ones of the trip so far, too. The cook shares local recipes, and it is interesting and moving to hear about the constant struggle of the largest part of the population to have food on the plate in the evening. We fall asleep with the fan at full blast, and distant lightning – but no rain. We can feel how the laid back atmosphere of the lake catches up with us, a welcome change from the hectic days to, in and from Lilongwe.

 

Michael

 

Early morning visitors

Early morning visitors

Helping hands

Helping hands

pause

pause

play

play

Hogwarts' school for potters

Hogwarts’ school for potters

Determination - concentration - focus

Determination – concentration – focus

...and sweaty joy

…and sweaty joy

Day's end

Day’s end

 

February 2, 2014, Nkhotakhota

 

Today in the morning we went snorkeling. We saw a lot of grey fish and when I was going back to the shore there was always a line of fish undernith me. After lunch we went to paint our pots from yesterday. While we were painting a tick came out of Matti’s ear. It was this big: 0. After that I went to watch Liverpool vs West Brom (It was 1:1). Then we had another quick swim and had a kwaiet evening.

 

Moritz

 

siblings in paradise

siblings in paradise

baby elephant

baby elephant

concentration II

concentration II

busy beach

busy beach

another day's end

another day’s end

 

February 3, 2014, Nkhotakhota – Bavanga Point

 

After packing up we had a quick swim in the lake. When we left and were on the proper road again, we realized that we forgot to give the keys back, so we had to drive there and back again. In Nkhotakhota we bought some drinks and a Malawian soccer shirt. I finished mine in about 5 minutes. When we finilly arrived in Dwangwe we bought some baisick stock, like water and matches. Matti also bought some fresh bread and I bought some maize. My mom bought some fabrics, too.

 

When we arrived at the lodge it was a beautiful beach and we immediately went swimming. Afterwarts, when we did school, our parents set the tent up. After supper, when we were showering, my brogher got sick. That night he vomited on my bed. In the end I had to sleep on a sleeping bag.

 

Nina

 

soaring

soaring

change of weather

change of weather

 

February 4, 2014, Makuzi Beach, Bavanga Point

 

First we made school and then we went on a boat to go on an island to look at fish, The water was very warm but then it started to rain. We could even hear the thunder under water. When we went back on the land again we took a hot shower until it stopped raining. Then we ate some soup.

 

Then we made school in the bar and I made a piece of art with my crayons. Later we went snorkeling again but we couldn’t see anything. I took the kayak and went to look for crocodiles because yesterday I saw one. It was lots of fun to ride the waves on my own. Then my mom made supper and we all went to bed where we giggled for a long time.

 

Matti

 

Mr. Kayak

Mr. Kayak

 

February 5, 2014, Makuzi – Nkhotakhota

 

When we woke up it was already hot, so we went for a swim and played in the waves. After breakfast, we did some school, Maths and German for me. When we were done with school (woohoo!), me and my brothers went kanuing. Then the boat came to pick us up for snorkeling again, this time we were able to snorkel around the whole island and the fish had some more colours in the sunlight. In the end my Mom, my Dad and Moritz jumped from a high rock.

 

When we got back, we went kanuing again. This time we went to a small island near the coast, and Matti cheated in the race we were having. Then we drove to Nkhotakhota to fetch our pots. Unfortunately, some were broken and the oven was broken too so we hope they will send them to Mulanje.

 

Nina

...in another paradise

…in another paradise

cychlids beware

cychlids beware

bombs away

bombs away

corn flakes

corn flakes

Go, Malawi, go!

Go, Malawi, go!

 

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Leopards at last!

January 25, 2014, Lusaka – Luangwa Boma

It’s not that easy, after 5 days in a perfect lodge (and in my case, a couple nights in a 4-star hotel in Maputo), to load the car and go. But we are keen for adventure again, and once we manage to stuff the car with all our newly acquired shopping we’re on the road again, eastwards on the Great East Road, that soon after Lusaka becomes a narrow strip of tar winding through a hilly, increasingly bushy landsape. People are wide and far in between, and once again we marvel at the vastness of Africa, where cities like Lusaka contrast with subsistence farming that shows little evidence of having changed since centuries. Guidebooks typically write that there is „nothing“ to see there, but for us, what we see ist he heart and soul and predominant reality of Zambia, from up close but yet very far, zipping past it seems impossible to understand how the daily reality would be living here.We opt for a simple chalet to overnight about halfway tot he next bigger town, which is 550 km from Lusaka. It is raining all evening – the rainy season is definitely in full swing here.

Michael

Roadside freaks

Roadside freaks

January 26, 2014, Luangwa Boma – Chipata

We continue our way east early, under threateningly gray, drizzling skies. Shortly after crossing the mighty Luangwa the bush and subsistence farming landscape gives way to bigger villages, with bigger fields, but all still very basic and we admire the neatly and formally dressed churchgoers.

There is more traffic now, mostly bikes loaded with everything from pigs, goats tot he ubiquitous charcoal, sometimes five men-sized bags at a time. We realize how important charcoal is as a product for the local economy.

Our journey is far, so we drive for hours, not very fast but content to be in the travelling rythm again. We buy egg-sized sweet mangoes, and can hardly fend off the dozens of sellers of finger-long bananas that taste sweet too, leaving sticky fingerpringts over the eternal chaos that is the inside of our car.

When we stop at the roadside for lunch we are THE attraction, and two grannies stopping take a keen interest in the various types of food. They go as far as tasting some of the leftover Korean bean curd, and their conclusion addressed to Nina comes fast: „So that’s why you are so fat!“. Giggling, they continue their journey.

Ours ends in the thriving farming town of Chipata (cotton and maize), where we stop early at a lodge, play football in our new Zambian kits and let off some steam in the pool.

We coule have driven further, but we now prefer a slightly more relaxed pace, realising that we had roughed it at high speed for some weeks.

Michael

synchrone climbing

synchrone climbing

Team Zambia

Team Zambia

glow-worms galore

glow-in-the-dark worms

January 27, 2014, Chipata – South Luangwa

After breakfast we bought some presents for my cousins, but I won’t say what they are. Then we came to the new park which is called South Luangwa. First we put up the tent under the lapa which is a thatched roof. Hippos are swimming right in front of our tent and there is also a crocodile. It was so hot that we had to go for a swim. Then we had a little bit of school and then we went on a night drive. I fell asleep during the drive but I saw the leopard eating a baboon and elephants. The others also saw a hyena and 3 genets. When we were almost back at the camp one of the wheels had a flat tyre. We all had to get out and the guides fixed it. By the way it was raining really hard, thundering really loud and there was lots of lightning.

Matti

a little bit of school

a little bit of school

ground hornbill

ground hornbill

glow-in-the-dark eyes

glow-in-the-dark eyes

smile for the camera

smile for the camera

my favorite - baboon for supper

my favorite – baboon for supper

fixing a flat

fixing a flat

January 28, 2014, South Luangwa

Today in the morning we had school. At midday we went to swim and play in the pool, we played waterball. After swimming we got ready for the game drive tonight. First the game drive was pretty boring because we only saw bushbucks, waterbucks, impalas, pukus and bufulos. After we had a sundownr it got dark and we saw lots of hippos. When the game drive was almost over we saw a leopard and a larg spotted Genet. When we were at home we went to bed. In the night it raind very hard.

Moritz

wild skies

wild skies

South Luangwa14

how are you today?

how are you today?

sundowner

sundowner

January 29, 2014, South Luangwa – Lilongwe (Malawi)

After packing a very wet tent and having fund doing the dishes in the rain, or form e holding the umbrellas, we got in the car and drove to CHipata. To get rid of our Zambien Kwatcha we tried to get some ice cream which aparently was too soft, so we got water instead, but when they gave us the water they also gave us two ice creams! We also got maize and petrol. At the boarder we saw the people we’d been on the night drive the evening befor.

In Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, we first went to an Korean Log

e and because we didn’t like them, to about four others, but in the end we still went to the Korean Loge.

That evening we were all very tierd, my dad fell asleep while we were brushing our teeth!

Nina

Team Zambia meets Malawi

Team Zambia meets Malawi

relaxed border business

relaxed border business

 

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