I have my porridge and then role out of Salima town. It seems like a nice town, blooming flowers in the trees along the road and a lot of bicycles.
It is sunday morning and most people are well dressed. Some allready swinging there hips in church and some on there way. It is around eight and allready hot. Today I will go up to Lilongwe, 100 km, to the capital. It is upphills for more then half the way. The later part will be easier. I see a big overrun snake on the way,
over a meter long and I am told by a local it is a black mamba.
The first upphills in the first hours are dreadful. It is probably around 35 degrees, no wind in between the hills and the sun is just baking me. The back of my shirt with a gap between my skin and the black fabric creates an oven. The front is sticking tightly from sweat. The hills are long and I stand up on first gear all the way in them.
I start to worry if I will make the whole distance in one day, when I reach the end of this hill and see the grey and heavy clouds ahead. The wind is cool and damp.
I stop and have a small brunch, two drink shakes and 4 bags of popcorn. Great! Feels better!
Soon I continue and a couple of hours later it seems like the actual rain is about to fall. So I stop for some fried potatoes and seek cover. I do it with perfect timing. You could think I am a sailor or something, being to tell when it will rain like this.
It is raining like crazy for a half hour before it clears again. At the potatoe stand I talk to a guy about life in Malawi. He wants to be a driver. Not a bus driver, the police wants too much money from them in the road blocks. He is 22 and has two kids. He is working with buying and selling gasoline on the black market. A pretty drunk rasta truck driver walks up to me. He offers me a drink from his liqour bottle. I decline and tell him I have seen too many trucks wrecked on this road, maybe he should not drink. He is just as happy and he and some friends jump in there big truck. I am not surprised I see so many wrecked trucks on this road.
You also see traces of hard workers along the road. People sell, wooden sticks for firewood, charcoal and hand hammered granite rocks.
The villages here near the capital are dirty and uggly of muddy land between the tarmac road and the small shops.
I am tired. People here are not making it easier. Here in the hills they are not smiling. People dont look me in the eyes and wave as they call Muzungo. They look angry, and they glare at my bicycle and bags. A bit scarry. I would not sleep in theese villages. Kids are thesame, or they call muzungo but more with a rough scream demanding, give a me my money! I dont like it.
As I come up to the top of the hills it feels better.
Still there are a few uphills and in one I get stopped by this guy.
He recognised me from Facebook and offers me a beer. He is from Round Table of course. The club I am in. We chat and take a picture before he drives off but we meet again in the evening when I get to the city.
So eventually I enter the very outstretched Lilongwe.
It has apperently been planed by some dictator with great ideas and the city is scattered over vast stretches of land. I acctually think I am leaving civilisation a couple of times since it is so green between the houses. Anyway I have a flat tyre and I get in touch with Roland, the tabler. He picks me up with the car. And he is giving me shelter in his home, but first he introduces me to his friends over a few beers. O how nice to be around people to talk to for a bit. I stay with Rolands family another day. I also manage to draw a small architecture project for a client back home the next day, on my lap top. We have a good lunch in a very european glossy magasin style restaurant
and a great Indian supper at the families favourite place. I am so stuffed.
Now I will sleep good and go early to the busstation. I am leaving Malawi. But this is a country I would like to see more of. It is said to be really nice in the south which I totally missed and they apparently have some crazy boatride over the lake.
Malawis three best:
+Small delicious bananas
+Super shake yoghurt and popcorn lunch
+Beautiful landscape with lake and mountains
-Overcrowded government schools up to 50 students and one teacher
-Enoying kids, screaming "Give a me money"