Daily Archives: April 17, 2019

31 March: Kasungu to Lilongwe

Today we have 130 k to ride with approx. 890 meters of climbing and 860 metres of descent.

I am having some trouble with asthma which is unusual for me so I have doubled the preventer. I also have had gastro since last night. When I woke up I felt ok but after breakfast I vomited and had another bout of gastro, so into the truck for me.

IMG_7743

Leaving Kasungu

Went through a couple of towns and they have street cleaners sweeping the paths, wearing masks. We also passed a road crew fixing pot holes with no equipment, but one hand pick which one guy was chipping away with, while 8 others looked on. I guess they take it in turns.

As well as no big equipment to fix the roads I also haven’t seen any farm equipment, including no tractors. There are lots of oxen pulling carts and in the streets, and hoes in the fields. Plus bikes piled high and woman walking with wood, buckets and material on their heads.

IMG_7744.jpg

Coming into Lilongwe, capital of Malawi

Wolfgang from Germany is in the truck with me, he fell a week or so ago and has a badly infected knee. It’s Wolfgang’s first TDA ride but he has done numerous other self-supported rides. Wolfgang is retired and spends 3 months each year on a self-supported ride, and 3 months working on a farm, and the other six months’ home with his wife.

At the lunch stop we had the normal cluster of children watching. A couple of girls aged about 9 had babies on their back, one of the babies about 12-15 months old had dreadlocks.

Coming into Lilongwe it gets busier and busier, and in contrast to what we have seen so far there is a lot of wealth around.

I wanted to get a room at camp as I was not wanting to be in a tent for a rest day, especially with gastro, however the only option left is a room with just a bed and no toilet, and looks like it will be very hot as no fan, so the tent it is.

I hadn’t eaten lunch and by 2:30 was getting quite hungry, so we went to the camp restaurant. To order anything you first have to go to the main office, order and then take the voucher to the restaurant. The service is very slow. There were limited options and I decided to have a burger which came eventually.

After lunch I had a sleep and didn’t get up until 7pm. At this stage it was almost too late for Brett to get dinner as they had nearly shut. I could still feel the burger sitting in my stomach so decided not to eat anything.

At the bar I didn’t feel like beer or wine, so thought I would try a Malawi gin but the bar had no tonic and I didn’t feel like lemonade, so I stuck to water.

I didn’t realize that I had put my tent by the road as I couldn’t see outside the fence, so I couldn’t get too sleep as there was lots of noise of traffic and people going by.

I am hot, sticky, tired, feeling grumpy, and homesick, and wondering exactly why is was that I wanted to do this!

Some info on Malawi: the population in Malawi is 18.6 million with 40% of the population 15 or younger. Teenage pregnancy rate is 29%. 50.7% of the population live below the poverty line, with 25% living in extreme poverty.

56627499_2036217856682792_2015811190634053632_n

View on the road

56872499_698624377221247_2443457051322482688_n

View on the road

IMG_7746

On the outskirts of Lilongwe

Categories: Tour d'Afrique | 4 Comments

30 March: Luviri to Kasungu

Today was a shorter day with 108 km to ride with 500 metres to climb up, and 900 down. The directions were basically turn right out of camp then turn left at 105 km and then stop at 108km. Much easier than the pages of notes with the Pub and Odyssey rides.

There were children around by 5:15am already, quietly watching us pack up.

It is much cooler this morning and I am wearing arm warmers. It is nice to have a shorter day after yesterday. I was at lunch at 61 km by 930am, into camp at 1130 am. Today lots of children demanding money.

IMG_7741.jpg

 Roadside kids

The view is pretty much the same as the day before but a lot less up hill. The uphill is not steep and is followed by good descents.

We are camped in the grounds of the Kasungu Hotel and there are rooms available. The hotel was opened by the then Prime Minister in 1973 and it looks like this was the last time it had any money spent on it. However, the rooms are clean with a shower (cold of course) and a toilet.

I had a nap but then had to get up and run to the toilet a few times, hopefully a passing bout not a nasty bug. All seemed to have settled down by tea time, so I went over for dinner. Vegetarian meatless balls that were very nice with broccoli, carrot, cauliflower and beans which were extremely over cooked, with rice, and tomatoes and capsicum salad.

Once we got back to the room I couldn’t sleep, it was really hot even with a fan going in the corner. I ended up opening all the windows as there was netting, despite letting the noise in from outside.

I then started imaging that I could feel bugs biting me, then started worrying about bed bugs and of course stated itching! As well I have developed an asthma cough, so have upped the preventer to twice a day.

In the end I got out my sleeping bag and pillow and slept on top of the bed.

IMG_7738

On the road to Kasungu

Categories: Tour d'Afrique | Leave a comment