Lilongwe Travel Blog› entry 18 of 36 › view all entries
Staying at Kande Beach Resort for 4 days, this was a welcome break from lots of travelling since Tanzania. Situated on the edge of the freshwater lake, there was plenty of swimming to be done inbetween lazing around in the hammocks tied between palm trees. A tough job, but someone's gotta do it!!
We spent much of our time here in the local village - surrounded by large groups of small children whenever we left the campsite! They were delighted with the "bangles" (a.k.a Hair Bands) that Denise gave them, and were always happy to be given piggy backs along the dusty trails. The people here are noticably friendly - much more than in some of the other countries we have been through. Everyone seems to have a smile on their face and is happy to talk to us when we walk along.
In the local market stalls outside the camp, we saw examples of some fantastic hand carving skills, as the locals spend their time making chairs, tables, bowls and also smaller items such as carved animals and key rings. The speed at which they make these items is amazing - a small group of locals put together several chairs and tables for our group in the few days that we were here, all made to order and all fantastic in their quality and detail. Trousers and T-shirts are the preferred currency here, so our bags will come back much lighter!
Two of the locals offered to braid Denise's hair and, after a couple of hours of tugging and twisting, the result looked (in my humble opinion) absolutely lovely! And, apparently, is much eaisier to maintain whilst we are on the road!
One of the highlights of the trip was an afternoon horseride, starting in a local village and making our way through the bush and forest, a paddy field that was waist-deep in flood water, passing through mud hut villages with happy locals and finally along the beach. We rode the horses back into the campsite, stripped the saddles and changed into our swimming gear, and then took the horses for a swim in the lake - certainly one of the most amazing experiences so far. They took us deep into the lake so that just their heads were above the water, snorting and grunting as we clung onto the backs of the now-slippery animals. Denise's ride, due to her vast experience, was a little "difficult" and had a bit of a taste for the local bushes along the way, whilst Aaron's horse simply followed the one in front!
One of the other more interesting experiences was a dinner of spit-roast pig on an open fire, which included the whole cycle of meeting the animal in the village, watching the slaughter and de-furring, then carrying the "meal" back to camp. The local method here is to go straight for the pig's heart with a sharp knife, meaning a fast and reasonably painless death for the animal. These guys appeared to miss, meaning the exact opposite - the pig was clearly in much distress, squealing and groaning as it fought all the way to the end, for what seemed like an eternity. This was another thought-provoking time for us, and it makes you realise more about how those lovely pork chops end up on our dinner table at home.
The pig took a good 8 hours to roast on the fire, and was accompanied with a rather strong punch that seemed to go down all too well, just as the two bottles of red wine for Denise that evening!!
Whilst on the subject of food, we were also invited to have dinner with the son of the village chief, which consisted of a traditional local meal outside the house. We were then treated to some songs and dancing from a group of local children, and danced with them. One of the small boys in particular loved to be swung between us, and it was nice to see the children relaxing and dancing naturally, rather than it being a staged event for the tourists.
Well, time is ticking, so need to finish this entry and move on. From here, we will travel briefly through Mozambique and onto Zimbabwe.
See you on the next page!!!