6 December 2010
Another day at the mechanics and they are trying to put all the pieces together. It is raining since we got up and we had to go to the Immigration Office to extend the visas. In no mood to walk the few kilometres in the rain and hitch-hiked from the moment we left the camp and within a minute got a lift with a very friendly Sudanese who is trying to do business here in Malawi. Super friendly and I have been always told that the Sudanese are the friendliest people in the universe and if he is the average, I can whole-heartedly agree. Arina's mother would have not been happy as she always told her that real ladies don't ride motor-bikes nor hitch-hike. It was the first for her. Off course I am not a lady, so I have no concerns to kill my image. At the Immigration Office, a painless process of exactly 5 minutes saw us out of the door again.
The chicken IS gone, so we know now what was on Arina's plate. Will the vehicle be finished tomorrow??
7 December 2010
The gearbox is in but as we start the vehicle, a squealing sound from the engine, make me realise something else is wrong. Thought just the fan belt but even after warming up, it continues. Bearing on the fan belt tensioner is busy seizing so switch off and out with the tools again.
Fortunately one of the neighbouring spare shops has the right size bearing. Exactly at 5pm I am driving out of there. Arina very happy to see the vehicle off course. Had the first time for one week her cooking and it must be the best meal I have had since the start of the trip as I had no lunch. Set the car alarm after dinner - guess what? Something is not quite right as it indicates that does not want to set. It is dark, I am tired and in no mood to crawl around in the mud on a full stomach to find the problem. Tomorrow's problems…
Arina spoke to a girl who we have seen here a few times at the camp site. She is going out with a guy from Malawi. They are planning to get married and she has applied for a visa quite some time ago for him but with strict immigration regulations, it is taking a long and painful time. Both of them are rather brave as he is never been down to Lake Malawi even (100km away) and here he is going to The US of A! Sure it will be a culture shock of note. Reminds me of the Swiss lady who met a Masai from Kenya, fell in love with him at first sight and neither could speak English to communicate but eventually she sold her business back home and lived with him in his mud and cow dung hut in the middle of the African bush. If anyone is interested in her story, book is called The White Masai.
We can't wait to get going tomorrow. Thanks to all the messages and supporting emails from everyone. It is as if we are all travelling together. We will be heading to Nyika Plateau where the landscape is described as Yorkshire (England) where they have some roan antelope and some other wild creatures. Plan is to stay there for 2 nights and then on to Tanzania pass Lake Tanganyika and onto Rwanda. I am sure we will have no internet connection from now on for about 5 - 7 days.