28 March: Chitimba Beach to Mzuzu

Today there is 135 km to ride, with 1800 metres of climbing 800 metres down.  Most of the climbing is a steep climb from 13 km to 25 km so I decided to be kind to myself and take the truck to lunch and ride the 70 km from there.

Even though Lake Malawi is very pretty I am pleased to be getting back up in the higher altitude where it won’t be as humid.

Half way up the hill we saw a troupe of baboons, apparently they sit on this corner as it’s quite wide and the people in the trucks throw them sandwiches and bananas.

After helping getting lunch ready, I left the lunch spot about 10:30. It was actually quite nice setting off knowing you had only 70 km to ride and about 800 metres to climb.

There are lots of tobacco plants and lots of drying sheds along the way, lots of bananas trees as well. The land is quite hilly and very green and reminds me a bit of Columbia. The locals are friendly and only a couple of children demanded “their money”.

There is a bit of a head wind and some of the climbs seem to take a long time and I am pleased I am only riding 70 km today.

Coming into Mzuzu is a bit overwhelming, it’s a really busy town with bikes, motor bikes, cars, and locals everywhere. There is no shoulder in places and the trucks just blast their horns for the locals to jump out of the way, no rights of cyclists apply. There is a huge market for about 5 km on the left hand side with mounds of fruit and clothes and the occasional carcass (no refrigerator involved). It’s midafternoon and very hot, and a reasonable hill so it seems to take a long time to get past.

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Street markets coming into Mzuzu

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Street markets.coming into Mzuzu

I got lost going through a roundabout, but realised after a couple of kms and double back. When I came back to the roundabout I saw a couple of riders who had turned the right way ahead so I followed them and 5 min later I was in camp.

Managed to get a room which was old but clean and had a shower (cold and the shower head kept falling off, so really it was like a cold hose). I forgot to put conditioner in my hair and ended up with frizz, which thankfully brushed out ok once it was dry.

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At Mzuzu Lodge

The WIFI is by voucher so I got 2 vouchers of 500 MB so that we could send photos and blog updates. The WIFI at the beach was so weak I could only send messenger messages.

Dinner was vegetarian sausages with tomato paste, mashed potato, and peas with gravy which was very nice.

After a couple of sleepless nights, it’s nice to have cooler weather and I am tucked up in bed by 7pm. In the room next to us is a man is having very loud phone calls where he is shouting into the phone. The first call I thought he was arguing but then after the next couple of calls I realised this was just him talking. Not sure if it was a bad connection or whether he was a bit deaf. It wasn’t reasonable to go and ask him at 7pm at night to be quiet as people were trying to sleep. Thankfully about 7:30 he must have made his calls for the day and I didn’t hear him again the rest of the night.

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Along the lake edge before the climb up the escarpment

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