Paradise – the Chinteche Strip

A ride with the Germans

I took a minibus, planning to travel on to Nkhata Bay, a place everbody
raves about. However, due to the fuel problem the whole country was having,
the minibus ran out of petrol in some small town, and could not get more
as the gas station there had none left either. It was really a hole in
the middle of nowhere, this little town.

I waited with all the other people for a few hours. Then I saw a 4WD pulling
up at the supermarket across the street and two white men getting out.
I got my pack and walked over. They came out the store and before I could
say a word, the bearded one said: “You are stuck and you need a ride”.

Culture lessons

They turned out to be German doctors, both over 40 years of age. One of
them had been working in Malawi over the past 7 years and was about to
return to Germany, and the other was a friend visiting from Germany. It
was very interesting to hear all the stories the first one had about Malawi
and its health issues. For example all the theories and fables about AIDS
(get it on with a virgin and you’ll get rid of your HIV!), the witchdoctors,
and other cultural stuff.

For example he pointed out to me the nets that local people suspended
between trees to catch flies, which they stomp and crush and then bake
cakes of. And we stopped at a rubber plantation and he showed me and his
friend the rubber that ran from the cut in the tree, and made us smell
the hardened piece of rubber in the container, YUCK!!

I thought it was also pretty ironic and sad that a country that produces
rubber itself, has such huge problems with sexually transferred diseases.

Chinteche Strip

The Germans were on their way to the Chinteche Strip, not far before Nkhata
Bay. Of course I didn’t really have a choice so I went there with them.
It turned out to be idyllic.

The dorm room + view on Lake Malawi

I opted for the (cheapest) dorm room which was still pretty expensive,
but that didn’t matter for just one night. All the other places in Malawi
had turned out to be much cheaper than I had expected. And I turned out
to be the only one in the dorm room anyway. The bed was amazing.

The Germans took a private room each.

A masked weaver weaving its nest

I had a short swim but soon got a bit paranoid, thinking there might be
crocodiles.

In the evening the Germans insisted on buying me a good dinner. The lodge
was run by white people who’d been born in Zambia or Malawi, I can’t remember.
The dinner was great, with a big fish. We also played a game with wooden
blocks with the owners.

The bearded German got a bit obnoxious when he had had a lot to drink,
so I called it a night and went to sleep. The woman who runs the place
had warned me that the sunrises were spectacular, so I set my alarm and
got up about 5 the next morning. She was right, it was spectacular. Fishermen
were coming home after a night’s fishing in their ittle wooden boats.
The sky and clouds turned all the colours you can imagine. It was so peaceful
and quiet…

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