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 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.
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.