Richard woke us up this morning as we overheard him saying good morning to his tent partner, Mike. Good thing too as we had slept through our alarm.
With packing done and breakfast eaten (including delicious hard-boiled eggs) we were on our way at 5.30. The first two hours before sunrise were spent getting broken sleep in the truck. The rest of the morning was spent looking out at the passing Tanzanian scenery and having a few stops to use the bush camp toilets.
Between 12 and 1 we stopped for lunch close to the border with Malawi. Before lunch we had the opportunity to exchange some currency with a money changer.
The rate to swap Tanzanian Shilling into Malawi Kwatcha was not great but changing money is something you learn to be philosophical about. The rates quoted at travel agents and on the internet just aren't available on the ground in Africa. Ultimately it's better to exchange to a usable currency than have worthless money burning a hole in your pocket.
Lunch again, simple but super delicious, was enjoyed in a couple of thatched huts off the road to the side of a petrol station. Not the most romantic scenery but perfectly fine especially as the road wasn't busy.
An hour further on and we were at the Tanzania side of the border. Without us even leaving the truck Vernon rounded up the passports and completed the administration for us (we had completed a couple of lists during lunchtime).
The drive through no-man's-land was short and we were soon at the Malawian border. The border formalities were just that: a formality and we returned to the truck to continue on. There was a slight delay as Piet was missing an important piece of paper which hadn't been returned to him so we waited a little while for this before driving off.
Once in Malawi the scenery seemed to change immediately. Gone were the arid red sand plains of Tanzania and in their place lush green vegetation and a much more mountainous vista.
With a time adjustment from crossing the border of gaining an hour we arrived at camp at just after 2. Our campsite was on the edge of Lake Malawi which dominates the country of Malawi.
We found a good spot to pitch our tent on the sandy beach of the lake before chilling in the shade with a drink from the bar watching the ongoing game of volleyball.
Bitting and bobbing and generally enjoying being out of the confines of the truck the afternoon soon turned to evening and dinnertime. Food was a South African speciality of Bobotie, curried mince with an egg topping. After dinner we enjoyed a few beers with Keith, Barbara, Mike and Vernon.
Breakfast was served at 8 with a view to leaving at 8.30. Unfortunately our body clocks were out of kilter and we were used to getting up earlier. Consequently we were all up and about well before breakfast. Fantastic to wake up on the beach!