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!"
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.
I 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.
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).
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!