It was raining again when we pulled up at the top of the hill above Mango. We had a 10 min walk in the rain ahead of us, and usually we would have been bummed, but being late we were simply focused on getting to our destination and bed. Loaded up, we descended down a small and slippery mud track towards the shore. It was pitch black, but luckily Karen and I had our head-torches and could see the small patch in front of us. We made it to shore and trudged our way along the sandy beach towards the huts. When we arrived we were soon directed to our own chalet and within minutes we were in bed asleep exhausted from long day.Likoma, like its sister island Chizumulu were often disregarded by travellers due to their isolation and the difficulty in arriving and departing. With the Ilala passing by twice weekly in opposite directions and with no other practical transport alternatives, it meant a minimum of a weeks stay assuming you wanted to continue your journey in the one direction without having to return. We had planned to split our time between the two islands barely a few miles apart, and hoped that they would both be as amazing as we had read.We awoke in the morning to get our first proper glimpse of Likoma and Mango. Although rustic and fairly basic, Mango was set on a wide sandy beach in a beautiful isolated cove. Centred around a circular bar and giant mango tree, there was also a grass hut kitchen and handful of grass chalets (slightly bigger huts).We had slow start to the morning and then decided we would spend the rest of the day exploring the island. We had envisaged a splitting our time on the islands, relaxing in the sun and undertaking a few activities such as mountain biking, canoeing and perhaps even scuba diving. We had read that bikes were available for hire at the islands 5 star resort, owned by the same people as Mango so when the manager arrived late in the morning we quizzed him on their availability. He hesitated for a second before claiming that they didn't have any, and then substantiated his claim by commenting that they "really should invest in some". Baffled by the misinformation and a little disappointed, Karen and I settled on a walk and promptly set off to explore. We wandered up the steep hill behind the backpackers and across the centre of the island, which was totally devoid of trees. When we became confused about what direction to head, we asked a local for advice and before we knew it we had a personal tour guide for the rest of the day. We wandered to the main town of Chipyela, which translated means "place of burning", and was so called because they used to burn witches there. Unrelated to the burning, the thing that was immediately struck us about Likoma was that the standard of living was good. Likoma seemed quite well off compared to towns we had seen elsewhere in Malawi. There were large amounts on nice government housing and good new schools, and to us the charity received seemed a little disproportionate to other parts of the country. We popped into the infamous hot coconut bar, where the strange murals of George Bush and 90's Holywood stars adorned the walls, and where the friendly owner enthusiastically welcomed us. We continued on to St Peters Cathedral, the 3rd biggest church in the whole of Africa, bizzarely located on the isolated Island of Likoma. The church was a simply brick building with a corregated tin roof, nothing like the impressive cathedrals of Europe, but it was interesting all the same, and housed a famous wooden cross carved from the tree under which David Livingstones heart was originally buried (if you can follow all that). We were shown around by one of the priests, and questioned about our faith (or lack there of), more out of curiosity rather than preaching. The church was all but empty but had we come a couple of hours earlier we would have surely stumbled across the special sermin in aid of the Archbishop who was in town,a really big deal. We left the church heading for lunch when the other couple staying at Mango rode up behind us. Confused, we asked them where they got the bikes and they told us they had come from the 5 star hotel. Apparently there were several bikes there, and they had simply asked one of the staff whether they could take one. Why the manager had fed us a load of horses*** earlier I don't know, but our first impression of him was that he was a bit of a smug arrogant English twat, and this was only substantiating our thoughts.We continued through town to the local restaurant aptly named "The Hunger Clinic". The food was cheap and tasty, and whilst we ate we watched a c-grade Chinese martial arts film. We finished lunch as the movie finished and the TV was switched to English football, so we settled in for a couple of hours and a couple of drinks. It was getting dark, we had a 40min walk home and we had still yet to shake our "shadow" from this morning. He did come in handy as he showed us a few shortcuts through the bush, and once we arrived back at camp we gave him a small amount of cash for his persistence and hoped he would go away, which he did.There was only the 4 of us staying at Mango, and after tea we all sat around talking and drinking with Lauren and Anthony before retiring to our tent that we had set up in the dark.The following day was far less strenuous, we slept in once again and awoke overlooking the beautiful bay as we had pitched only metres from the water. We chilled around camp for most of the morning and got one of the workers to teach us how to play the local board game of bao. This would keep us occupied for hours over the coming days.In the afternoon we went for another light walk and sat on a rock high on the point overlooking the adjacent fishing village and picturesque bays. We returned to camp and like the day before a freakish swell had picked up creating surf like conditions in the bay. Had it not been a lake, you would not have called the waves big but they were big enough for me to body bash although they did just dump me on the shore. We retired to the hammocks with a cold drink in hand and once again watched the sunset over the beautiful lake. Later that evening, the 6 of us settled in for a few more drinks and played an entertaining game of Pictionary. Kaz and I had not played since a quiet night in on our trip through Ireland, but we hadn't lost our touch and took the title.The following morning the weather was fine but again it was a slow start to the day. By now we had discovered that the managers from the backpackers across at Chizumulu Island were coming to Likoma and if we were lucky we would be able to get a lift across with them the following day, saving us the hassle of the long unpredictable dhow ride.Bearing this mind, today was the only opportunity to go Scuba diving, and thankfully the weather had finally improved. Lauren was the resident divemaster and although she had a prior commitment to help some fisherman rescue their net from the reef, she agreed to take us on a dive immediately afterwards. We made our way to the 5-star resort, and wandered past the 8 or so mountain bikes on our way to collect our dive gear. The smug English t*** ignored us at first, no doubt hoping we had somehow missed them on the way in. We got our gear together and did our pre-dive checks before jumping on the boat and heading out to the net site. Whilst Lauren dived to ridiculous levels to save their net, we sat there listening to the English t*** talk about himself. Our opinion of him changed little of the next 30 mins before he dropped us off at our own dive site and headed to shore, his time was obviously far too valuable (although he had no clients at the resort) and he indicated he would send someone else to fetch us.Our dive site was off a small island, only a few hundred metres from shore. Karen and I had never dived in freshwater and were curious about the experience. We descended quickly, head first along a steep drop off created by a group of massive boulders. It was a spectacular descent, the visibility was good and it quickly got darker as we reached 30m. From there the dive was a gradual climb, along the edge of the boulders and for us it was really impressive to see. There were thousands of colourful cichlids, it was like swimming in a fish tank, and when we spotted a rare mouth brooder gathering her young in her mouth for protection we were really amazed. We continued with our ascent, and by luck encountered a second mouth brooder before we were shown an ancient underwater plaque on which it was apparently scribed in some local language that we were entering a "bad place". Even if we did know the language, the rock plaque was no longer legible.We ascended to the surface to find our new ride waiting for us and after returning to the resort we wandered back the 20mins to Mango. Again we spent the afternoon lazing about, but also waiting for the Chizumulu folk to arrive so we could confirm our plan to leave the following day.As the sun set and dinner was served Simon and Wendy a British couple temporarily managing the lodge at Chizumulu arrived. We were introduced and soon after discussed our plans to head to "Chizi" the following day and as expected they offered us a lift. We got to know them briefly over a couple of drinks before we headed for bed exhausted by the dive (a strange sensation as you never really exert yourself) and aware of the early start the following day.