A day in Baltimore

We spent the day at the Baltimore Inner Harbour. I am told that the V&A Waterfront is partly based on the Baltimore Inner Harbour, and you can really see the influence; the below picture could be the V&A. There are loads of pubs and restaurants, as well as waterfront activities, such as boat trips and tours.

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Baltimore Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour is popular with both locals and tourists – many people use the area for jogging. Although since it was over 30 deg, they were a bit too keen for me! It was far more leisurely to spend the afternoon sitting outside enjoying a light meal and a couple of beers, which of course we did. We ate a a great outdoors pub called J Paul. They have been going for 21 years, and the food was really great.

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Enjoying a drink at J Pauls

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Like all big cities, they had a Hard Rock cafe, and a Barns and Noble – in this case housed in an old power station.

Boating on Chesapeake

Today, we went boating with Carlos and Cathy on Chesapeake Bay. We didn’t make it out onto the bay, but we were on one of the rivers leading into it. Cathy is Patty’s sister, and Carlos her husband.

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Carlos’ Boat

They have a (small) 40+ foot cruiser,  which was really fantastic. After sailing down the river for about an hour, we found a quiet cove in which to anchor, and we spent the afternoon swimming and tanning on the boat. The water was really warm – about 25 deg C. It was a very civilised way to spend the day.

What I loved about the area is how unspoiled it is – hardly any development, and no litter at all. I have also been told that property price is $3m+, so I had better start saving.

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Life is tough…

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Isabelle in her lifejacket – I think that Eccles would have jumped over the side ages ago!

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Two years ago, we visited a Decoy Duck Museum on the bay, here are the real ducks!

The day was finished off having dinner in a little town called Chesapeake City, drinking red wine and eating Maryland Crab Cakes, which are just the best. The crab cakes are basically what we would call fish cakes in Cape Town, but make with garlic and cream, served with garlic mashed potatoes, which were especially effective at keeping the vampires at bay!

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The River

Lake Malawi

I had the whole of Sunday free, so Andrew – the president of Lilongwe Toastmasters club – kindly took me to see Lake Malawi, since as I was told, "you haven’t been to Malawi until you have been to the lake!"

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So Sunday morning saw us bright and early off to the lake. Although the drive was only about an hour or so, you really start to feel that you are in rural Africa. We passed several road-side villages, with countless goats wondering across the road, and all manner of produce being sold on the side of the road – from live chickens to tobacco and vegetables.

When we arrived at the lake, I literally had my breath taken away. It is like standing on the shore of an ocean. The lake is staggeringly huge. What is even more remarkable is that the photos that I took are across the width of the lake, and you still cannot see the far shore! I even found a sign warning about dangerous rip-tides, which gives you an idea of the scale. If you ever have the opportunity, it is well worth the visit.

Cds 2008 02 24 08 57 19 OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP X450 D535Z C370ZI would have loved to spend a few days at the lake, it is very tranquil (and also very hot – it was too hot to walk barefoot on the sand). But alas, I had to get back to Lilongwe in time for my flight back home.

Malawi markets

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The quality of the fresh fruit and vegetables in the Malawi markets was great, but the market is what I can only describe as an African scene. You could buy freshly cooked mielies, which had been “braaied” on the open coals (corn is the staple food of Malawi, you can see it growing everywhere).

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Everybody wanted my business (especially since I was then only white person in the market), but they were friendly about it, which is more that I can say for Mauritius. Everybody in the market had something to do – there was a person there whose job was simply to shell the peas!

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Shelling peas

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