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Weeks 71 & 72: Two weeks in paradise

After selling my motorbike I headed straight to my current favorite place, Cape Maclear in Malawi. I’m staying in a great lodge called Malambe Camp (, it is owned by a very friendly English woman and has some of the most friendly staff I have ever stayed with. I first visited this lodge around five months ago before I headed into Tanzania and stayed for around ten days, this time I have already been here two weeks and am thinking about staying here until my birthday on the 6th December. I would recommend this place to anyone who is visiting Cape Maclear.

I arrived here on the Monday of week 71 with two Canadian guys, one of which had been working in the camp in Lilongwe where I was spending most of my days. We hung around together for a few days before they had to leave, but as they left I met a really great group of people. Two German guys and one Australian who are riding bicycles from Cape Town to Nairobi ( These guys are so upbeat and positive that you have a great time just by them being around, I wish we could have traveled together for a while. We hung out together for a week before they left, heading north around the Lake towards Tanzania. A few days after their arrival we were joined by a group of three Israeli girls, we all spent most of our time together, going snorkeling in Otter Point (a really beautiful spot) and visiting the island in Cape Maclear.

Africa Trip

The German guys left at the start of week 72 so I spent most of my time chilling out on the beach with the Israeli girls. This week also brought the first rains of the wet season, the storms have been really beautiful and I have taken what I hope will turn out to be great videos. Unfortunately the first storm also killed my laptop. I left the laptop in the bar of Malambe thinking it was the safest place, unfortunately there was a hole in the roof and my laptop got quite wet. After a couple of days in some dry rice I tried to turn the laptop on and it is broken. I’ve taken out the hard drive so I hope I can get my data back when I arrive in South Africa… if I can force myself to leave Cape Maclear. Since then I have spent my days swimming in the lake, resting in the shade, feeding the Fish Eagles and taking a kayak out to Otter point, Perfection!

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Week 70: Selling the Transalp

This week I finally sold the Transalp, after a month on sitting around in Lilongwe, going crazy from the boredom. I got a call on Tuesday from a guy who had seen my advert on Lilongwe chat, he came to see the bike and then a couple of days later he called back to say he would take it. He paid by bank transfer, which means I don’t have to take the risk of carrying £2000 cash around Africa. Then on Sunday, once the money had been in my account a few days, I took the bike around to his house to show him how all the bits fit onto the bike and where all the controls are.

It felt strange to hand over the keys, when I was in Zanzibar for 4 months, I didn’t use the bike and I didn’t miss it. Then I got on it again to ride to Malawi and as soon as I set off it felt good to be back on the bike. But it gave me the impression that I wouldn’t miss the bike once it was gone, well on Sunday I learnt that I would miss it, handing over the keys is a totally different thing to just not riding for a while. Plus I now have to carry all my stuff around in a huge backpack, its not very heavy but it is huge and awkward to carry. I may have to dump some stuff.

Europe Trip

It seems like the bike sold at the right time because this week most of my friends who live in the compound have left. Ian returned to Belgium and my Pakistani friends have moved out. That and the fact that I started to see through QB’s friendly exterior to his less than trustworthy self. But there were some really nice things that happened this week too, firstly I met up with a German couple I originally met in Greece while waiting for a ferry to Italy, my trip inspired them to make their own trip through Africa by motorbike. I also met up with Belgian Tony, we originally met in Morocco and travelled together to Mali, he was heading north to Nairobi to fly home. So I am happy to say that Sunday was not only the end of my 70th week, but was my last day in Lilongwe. I can now finally get back to my favourite place, Cape Maclear, to clear my head.

Africa Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Weeks 68 & 69: Site update, Drama and Jupiter’s Travellers

Some of you may have noticed that the website has been updated, this is what I was doing during week 68. That and starting to work on my Africa Travel Story content, the site still needs a few finishing touches and the content will take quite some time. At the same time as doing this I have been trying to get the bike sold, I have one local guy who is interested but wont have to money for a couple of weeks and a guy who is looking into the duty costs before he makes an offer. I also had an offer from an Australian guy who offered half of my asking price, but this wasn’t nearly enough, but I have met a local guy who buys and sells vehicles for a living who said he will help to too, so fingers crossed.

Last weekend I came to Mabuya Lodge to use the internet and met some really cool people, the first were two guys, one from New Zealand (Richard) and the other from Israel (Jonathan). They met in South Africa and decided to travel together in a land rover, unfortunately they rolled it in northern Malawi and are now backpacking. At around the same time I met another group which was actually made up of two groups. One was an English girl called Gemma and a South African guy (Bryn), they are driving to South Africa from Doncaster in the UK, raising money for charity ( They had teamed up with a group of five Americans who are also driving two cars down through Africa for charity (

The ten of us had a great few days together while they were waiting for one of the cars to be repaired, then they left for Zambia. After that I had a few days of feeling fed up, the weather turned cold (19 degrees) and the days were dark and cloudy. The fact that I had been having a good time with this group and then went back to the tedious day to day of waiting to sell the bike, didn’t do my morale much good. I guess that comes with spending my time in a lodge where people are always coming and going, while I stay behind trying to sell the bike.

There was a lot of drama going on in week 69, firstly one group I met, had been together for seven years and split up in Ethiopia, the guy wanted the girl to fly home so he could travel alone, but they are still travelling together. Meanwhile, back in my compound, one of my neighbours is planning to go back to Europe to make some cash and his local girlfriend told him that the relationship is over. She then went on to steal his passport and force him to go to the police with her, apparently if you live with someone in Malawi for six months you are officially married, when this didn’t work she said she was pregnant.

Then week 69 ended with the arrival of Danielle Murdoch (, another Jupiter’s Traveller who rode from Australia, she is now travelling with a guy called Mike who has also been travelling in Africa for around two years.

Europe Trip

I have been thinking through my options and still have not been able to make a decision yet. Basically I have found out that I have to get my India visa from the UK, I initially thought about doing it through the post, but I am also considering flying to the UK for a few weeks to sort out the India stuff, then fly to India from there, this would mean I could potentially be home for my Birthday, Xmas and New year. I don’t really want to come back to the UK, so my other options are to settle down in either Zanzibar or South Africa while I send my passport to the UK, get the visa, then get the passport sent back to me. I am also pretty tired of Lilongwe, so I might try to advertise the bike in South Africa and drive down there to sell it if there is enough interest.

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Week 67: Waiting in Lilongwe

This week has been quite uneventful, I have spent time hanging around the compound, socialising with my neighbours. I have had a few people come to view the bike, but have nothing of substance to report there. So instead of just having a very short post this week, I will tell you about some of the things that have been happening in the compound where I live.

The compound is quite close to the centre of Lilongwe, it takes about 20 minutes to walk into town, but I only go into town to get cash from the bank or visit the supermarket. We regularly have no water, I am told this is common at this time of year (Summer/Dry Season), so I either have a shower when there is some water pressure, or get a bucket of water from the lodge and bucket wash. My house is in a small section of the compound which it shares with the lodge, there are 10 houses and 8 of them are full. There is Cuthbert (Qb), he is the son of the owner of the compound, Ian and Jane, a Belgian guy and his Malawian girlfriend, Ali and Hussein, two Pakistani guys who are working here in Malawi and three women living in three of the other houses.

On one of my first nights living in my new house, I was sat in the yard talking with Ian, Jane, Qb, Ali and Hussein, when one of the women came and sat very close to me, started rubbing her breasts and doing something which I can only describe as an attempted sexy dance. This woman is quite large, when I say this I don’t mean fat, I mean large, she is tall and is not slim. Everyone found it quite entertaining, but when I rejected her advances this woman threw a glass on the floor and went inside her house.

Most nights we gather in the yard around sunset for a couple of hours, then go into Ian and Jane’s place to listen to music or watch a film on my laptop. It is really nice, but I am starting to get tired of waiting for my bike to sell. I really want to get out of Lilongwe soon.

Africa Blog Posts, Blog Posts

Week 66: Moving in

This week I decided to move into a self contained flat (two rooms, bathroom and bedroom). This will save me around 7000 kwacha ($23) a month, compared to the dorm room I was staying in before. I’ve spent most of the week hanging around with my new neighbours, Cuthbert, Ian, Jane and a couple of others.

I am still trying to sell the bike as soon as I can, it is currently advertised on the Lilongwe Chat google chat group, but I will try to ask a few more people who may be able to help me too.

Lilongwe is actually quite a nice place, there are supermarkets so I can get cheese and pork, which I had been craving while I was in Zanzibar. I now know that there is a more expensive lodge, across the road from my lodge, which has internet access which I case use for free, in 5 minute blocks. So I might be on-line a little more often this week.