Friday, April 19, 2013

The Kande Beach Boys

Leaving Chitimba we headed to Kande Beach, another stop on Lake Malawi. On the way we stopped at a coffee shop selling fair trade Malawi coffee. The smallest bag they had was half a kilo so we couldn't get any unfortunately.

At the beach we upgraded to a bungalow with an en suite bathroom for the 2 nights - a little bit of luxury for $40 a night. We took a tour of the local village, which seemed like mostly an opportunity to fleece the tourists. They took us to a school and a hospital that were both highly suspect. The school had notes from a meeting held 8 years ago on the wall and the hospital had no patients. Both had directors who were the sharpest dressed men I have seen in Africa so far. They both wanted donations of course.

We were followed around the whole time by young men trying to sell us carvings and paintings, also known as the beach boys. Steve and I were both easy marks (though I'm sure he will claim it, was just me) and we spent a bunch of money on crap we didn't really intend to buy. Oh well. They were slick. They separated us and chatted us up about all manner of things before telling us how they needed money for university even though it is mid April and we were far from any colleges. Then came the sales pitch for the picture or carving and of course the up sell. Sheesh! Hopeful they at least gave some of the money to their mamas before spending the rest on getting high ;) Pot is all over Malawi and they tried to sell me some of that too.

We had the rest of the day at leisure to do whatever activities we wanted. The wind was high though and the water choppy so there were no snorkeling trips or boating expeditions to be had. So we got some local women to wash our dirty clothes and drank some beers at the bar. Carlsberg is actually a local brew here. They have a brewery in Malawi, so beer was just $1 a bottle even at the tourist camp. The camp catered to overland tours. We pretty much had the place to ourselves the first night but they had space for at least 5 or 6 trucks at one time. I'll bet the place is wild during the high season. On our second night we were joined by a shiny new Intrepid/Geckos truck and we looked jealously on.  But as one of my fellow campers pointed out, it won't look so nice after a couple trips across Africa!

That evening we had paid for some locals to to roast a whole pig for us for dinner. It was a little gruesome but incredibly tasty. Steve and I made an early night of it after dinner and got plenty of sleep for an early start off to the capital city Lilongwe the next morning.

1 comment:

  1. You guys are trooper's!! Hang in there, love to you all xo