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Safari Sisters “I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” — Diane Ackerman

Safari sisters 2 - week 3

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 19 October 2018 | Views [103]

Safari sisters - week 3 

So now begins the mad dash across Tanzania and to the bottom of Malawi in time to attend the Lake of Stars music festival - the biggest music festival in Africa and one of the top ten in the world apparently. Although the headline act is Major Laser which is not what we were expecting nor the main attraction for any of us. We are more excited about experiencing some traditional Africa music, dancing and colour. So after packing up our lovely campsite in Lake Eyasi we headed off to drive as far as we can towards Malawi. As always we were over ambitious as to how far we could get in so many hours and after falling well short of our target landed in the very heavily Muslim influences town of Kondoa. After checking out the only two hotel options available we decided to stay at Abasa’s place (not the name of the hotel, the owners name) who quickly made our acquaintance, sussed our which of us was his potential new wife and also recommended Kondoa’s finest restaurant (which we later found out he also managed). So after getting all cleaned up and even slightly dressed up - for our standards - we made the short walk to the restaurant where we were greeted not so warmly by the staff who informed us we had two choices for dinner, chicken and chips or beef stew - we ordered one of each! Feeling very hungry after a day of driving and nothing but car nuts and chips we eagerly awaited the arrival of our food. Disappointed is an understatement! What arrived at the table was a leg of chips charcoaled to absolute death and offal (awful) stew. Meki managed to force down a little bit of dry chicken, having to have a mouthful of water between each piece and a few cold chips, Kepi devoured the offal stew, much to Meki and Lala’s relief, and Lala decide that a homemade cheese sandwich from the fridge back in the car was the only safe option for her. What was interesting though was that the locals at the restaurant seemed to be given a completely different menu selection to us...one that looked much more appealing but clearly not for Muzungu’s! After making the disappointed stroll back to the hotel and Lala having an equally disappointed stale cheese and vegimite sandwich, we headed to bed. The next day was another long drive to Kisilanza farm were Kepi and Lala shared a room in the stables and Meki got the princess suite all to herself. Dinner tonight made up for the previous night with a magnificent steak and vegetable dinner, enjoyed with some wine. We were then joined by another guest ‘RJ’ who lives in Dar Es Salaam now but is originally from the states. Conversation was good until he started recommending a private game park we should go to where you can hunt wild animals...there was no coming back from that no matter how much he tried to convince us that they use 98% of the kill and they only kill the older animals who would die anyway! After a good nights sleep we headed off again hoping to make it to the border crossing into Malawi. After a very long drive we made it to our border crossing on dusk hoping for a quick processing and then getting to some hotel before dark. Once again we were over ambitious and the border crossing took 2 and a half hours which invoked lots of different lines and a multitude of stamping of many many forms and documents! By this time it was pitch black and we had no idea of where we were going! Excited by the challenge we headed off in search of Karonga, which was the only town we knew that was possibly habitable and possible had accommodation. After an exciting (nerve racking) drive which included multiple obstacles including trucks, bikes, people - one particular very very drunk gentleman - goats, cows, dogs and every single vehicle flashing their high beam at us, we made it to Karonga and finally found a place to stay at about 8.45pm. After a dinner of dry crackers and cheese, we headed to bed hoping for a more scenic drive and place to stay along the coast of Malawi. While the drive was not as scenic as expected, with the costal road ‘broke’ (according to the locals) we decided to make a stop at Nkahata bay. The accommodation was basic but the food was good and the coastal scene was lovely, although Lala’s orange juice that included cells didn’t sit too well! Another day and another long drive this time to our pre arranged accommodation at Monkey bay. It is becoming a theme but once again what was meant to be a 5hr drive turned in to a 9 hr drive for us but after second guessing ourselves on where our accomodation was...seeing we were driving through a naval base, we arrived at beautiful Monkey bay to be greeted by our South African hosts - Frankie and Lukey - and regular drunk Jimbo! It was an awesome place to stay and we had a bit of a party night with good food, music and a number of drinks. The next day we discovered they had a washing machine so with much excitement we packed up all our very dirty washing and sent it off for a good clean. After chillin at the resort in the morning we decided to head out in the afternoon to check out the neighbouring resort which was meant to be owned and run by an Australian. After much searching it appeared the Australian was a myth and the resort was no where near as nice as ours. After returning to our place we saiid our goodbyes to Frankie and Lukey who were also headed off to the music festival but one day ahead of us. Tonight’s experience was much more chilled without Frankie and Lukey there to entertain us so we had an early low key night pumped for the music festival tomorrow. After a bit of a drive and our usual occurrence of getting lost we arrived at Leopard bay where the music festival was well and truly underway. Most of the crowd were well and truly into party mode and we had a lot of catching up to do! The campsite was a bit of a mess and the wind was out of control. Lala’s tent broke apart as we were putting it up and we had little faith that the other two would withstand the night either. Putting that aside we headed out to enjoy the music. Most of it was more modern techno music but we did find the traditional African stage and settled in for the afternoon and evening. The music, dancing, colour and celebration was fantastic! We also proved very popular with the locals, all receiving many offers of various levels of commitment from the local men. It also appears age is not important to most Africans! In varying degrees of intoxication, one by one we made our way back to our campsite where we were hit with the most awful sand storm. The wind must have been 50-60 klms, it was excruciating! We had sand in places sand should never be. No sleep was had by anyone and we were all feeling a bit worse for wear in the morning. So that brings us to the end of week three...half way through our adventure...week four (and hopefully some pictures coming soon).

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