I was sad to leave Cape Maclear and the wonderful people at Malambe camp, but I got up early and managed to get a free lift to Monkey Bay. Then I took the local minibus to Mangochi, which broke down several times on the way into town, from there I took another minibus to Zomba.
I had met an American guy in Lilongwe who was running a charity which brings second hand bicycles from the US to Malawi. He had offered me a place to stay if I came to Zomba, but unfortunately he had left town that week. He was a great guy though, so he contacted his expat friends and found me a place to stay, so when I arrived in Zomba I was picked up by Mike, another American guy who works in Zomba for a research company. I stayed with Mike for two nights, on the Tuesday I climbed up onto the Zomba Plateau to do some hiking. The journey up onto the plateau was a two hour hike in itself so I just wandered around a little while admiring the views and stopped to read next to the reservoir before hiking back down to Mikes place.
From Mangochi I headed to Blantyre and stayed with a CouchSurfing host who was also called Mike, although this guy was from Brazil and works for a mining company called Vale. I stayed with him for another two nights in his awesome house (provided by Vale) while I applied for my visa for Mozambique, which is only $45 from an embassy but is $86 if you get it on the border. Both him and his housemate have spent time in Mozambique, so they gave me some great advice on places to visit. On the second evening we went out with some other Brazilian expats for some drinks and food. The next morning Mike dropped me at the bus station and I started the 7 hour journey over the border to Tete in Mozambique.
Again I stayed with a CouchSurfing host who also was from Brazil and worked for Vale, she was really nice and we went out for a few meals together before I had to leave on the bus to Maputo. This journey was awful. When I went to get a ticket they explained that they had no seats left, but had other tickets for stools in the walkway. The bus left at 4am and took 25 hours to arrive in Maputo, all this with no backrest. The bus was hot and with 12 people extra on board it was noisy, there was also a guy on board who was the second driver, each time we stopped he would push the passengers around and shout at them, then the bus would start to drive away before the passengers were back on board.
I arrived in Maputo at 5am on Monday morning and was picked up by another CouchSurfing host, again he is Brazilian and works for Vale. I went to his flat and slept most of the afternoon, but now we are getting into week 76 so I will tell you more about this in my next post.