Life on the Lake, Cape Maclear … 01 October to 6 October

Cape Maclear was the next lure on the Lake, and it was time to pull ourselves away from Makuze where we had yet again become really attached to all that it offered. The weather gods helped though, with howling wind and rain overnight, and overcast skies making the leaving that much easier.  Khulu’s solar panel went walkabout during the course of the night too, so the signs were there that we had overstayed our welcome.

A bit of necessary grocery shopping en route at Salima (at Chipiku), and some roadside shopping at Toys R Us provided distraction (we are warming up for two 7 year old birthdays!).  Please note that “grocery shopping” is just a convenient term – it’s often just 2 items that get ticked off the list and in most cases it’s long life milk, and a loaf of bread (only white … and NOT long life). Fresh goods are generally crisis managed from the roadside stalls – Sharl is a master tomato cost negotiator. She does the sums in her head, while I nod or frown …

With two 7 year old birthdays coming up ... how lucky are we to find a Toys R us on our way to Cape maclear

With two 7 year old birthdays coming up … how lucky are we to find a Toys R us on our way to Cape maclear

So much to choose from at Toys R Us

So much to choose from at Toys R Us

With Kayak Africa our target in Cape Maclear, we found ourselves efficiently booked into the owner’s home for 2 nights, and booked onto Domwe Island for a further two, depending on the weather. It’s a fascinating lakeside village, particularly for us as we love our beach spots back home, and we love our little beach villages.  This kind of felt like a developer had got hold of the Lake and designed a themed cultural village along its shores, especially for the tourists.  The truth of course, is that Cape Maclear is actually Chembe Village, the locals do live there, and are fully integrated into the seriously commercial business of “selling” Lake Malawi and all it offers.  In our now 70-something day sojourn, we have driven through so many simple little villages and taken photos, and noted the daily grind of selling something to see the family through the day.  Now we were holidaying in the midst of it. Another new perspective on life, another extraordinary experience.

I'm not exactly sure what James was trying to buy - Beers?

I’m not exactly sure what James was trying to buy – Beers?

 

The Village and the Lake ...

The Village and the Lake …

 

Street food ...

Street food …

 

The Bradt guide said Thomases would be good, and it must have been.  Two days in a row for M and D.

The Bradt guide said Thomases would be good, and it must have been. Two days in a row for M and D.

 

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Cape Maclear/ Chembe Village: thank you for the teaching us Bowa, Jackson, and for the handcrafted board we will take home, thank you for the friendships under the massive Baobab, thank you for leading us to the title of the book “Beware of Falling Mangoes” … (we all read it in preparation for this trip and I always wondered at the title!). It was a noisy night of falling mangoes at the Fat Monkeys campsite.

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Cape Maclear was about making friends, Bowa boards, bartering and the Baobab

Cape Maclear was about making friends, Bowa boards, bartering and the Baobab

I wondered where we would encounter our first falling mango?

I wondered where we would encounter our first falling mango?

eaches and water activities make Cape Maclear a favorite for long weekends and holidays

eaches and water activities make Cape Maclear a favorite for long weekends and holidays

Jen and Jules opted for the bright lights rather than the island life, and headed down the main street headed for Blantyre.

Jen and Jules opted for the bright lights rather than the island life, and headed down the main street headed for Blantyre.

 

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