Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.


Author: Ted Magnum

Christmas Eve…..The border crossing from Tanzania to Malawi was straight forward as most of Africa is. We were in and out within an hour which was just as well in this new tropical heat.  What was different was the tenacity of the money changers. We were literally mobbed by 30 guys all waving money in our faces.. I was almost pulled off my bikes by these guys desperate to make a little commission.

When you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands in local currency with people throwing numbers and cash in your face it soon becomes very confusing ! Even me with my shrewd cash handling skills usually gets talked out of a few quid… You are just so keen to get rid of them, you lose your cool head.

Alas, we were in Malawi and finally heading to the lake !!  The scenery is lush, green and tropical. I have to constantly remind myself how lucky I am to be riding through such fantastic landscapes.  I guess I’m just used to it now. I don’t know anything different. It’s going to be a depressing shock to be back on the grey, dull, wet roads of the U.K.

We picked a campsite recommended to me by a guy I met in Egypt, Andre !! Barely 100 miles down the highway and a few miles down a sandy , rocky dirt path and we were at Singilo Sanctuary lodge, right on the lakeside…..  WOW!!!!

Lake Malawi was not what I expected. Beautiful, clear, still water and white clean beaches.  Little wooden lodges, candle lights and palm trees.  We were the only guests and had the place to ourselves. Mark, the Brit owner chatted to us and told us how Ewan and Charlie had stayed there on their “Long way down”… The stories he told us were quite amusing but hardly surprising… That’s another story though.

Anyway, we couldn’t hang around as we were looking for a cool place for Christmas.  In our minds was Nhkata Bay… An American girl on a bike that we met in Mbyer told that if there was a party on the lake, it would be there and she wasn’t wrong.

DSC03178 (Large).JPG
DSC03180 (Large).JPG
DSC03182 (Large).JPG
DSC03186 (Large).JPG
DSC03191 (Large).JPG

60 miles south on the lake and we cruised into Nhkata bay and into really cool hostel spread over the lake front. Full of travellers, peace core volunteers and ex pats, it was really a great mixing pot. The next few days were spent drinking, eating, lounging about on the beach, swimming in the lake and hanging out with the local beach boys. Malawians are just SOOO friendly; anyone could be a friend for life.

DSC03196 (Large).JPG
DSC03197 (Large).JPG
DSC03199 (Large).JPG
DSC03200 (Large).JPG
DSC03202 (Large).JPG
DSC03205 (Large).JPG

Christmas dinner was steak and chips in the Mzungu (white folk) bar in the town and plenty of cocktails followed by a Hawaiian fancy  dress party and lots of local cane spirit back at the hostel. As usual I got rather drunk and had a great time partying with people from all over the world… Boxing day (after the hangover had subsided) involved slaughtering a pig and hog roasting it over a fire pit ! And of course, a fair few more beers. (when in Rome)..

ta bay, we headed for another must stop spot called “kande beach”.  Being on the beach, we fumbled our way down the sand road but were rewarded with a fabulous camping site and bar literally on the beach…

So what have I been doing. Well, just cruising my way down Lake Malawi staying at beautiful beach side lodges.  Swimming in the warm, still waters, working on my tan and drinking cheap beer. It has been such a fantastic experience. The scenery is all gorgeous, green tropics, Mountains, lakes etc etc.

DSC03209 (Large).JPG
DSC03216 (Large).JPG
DSC03219 (Large).JPG

For new years eve we ended up in “Cool Runnings” lake side lodge. Hosted by the WONDERFUL Samantha, we relaxed even further and partied with the local ex pats and worldly travellers. I even came second place in the Hippie fancy dress party and won a boat trip out to one of the lake Islands for Scuba diving and other frolics…Fabulous !!

DSC_0057 (Large).JPG
DSCN0235 (Large).JPG

Next stop is Blantyre and Mozambique… South Africa is getting closer !

Leave a Reply