Hopping on early morning bus through to Blantyre in Malawi, and this was a real mission. First of all, we had to get an early bus (in dark) from a dodgy station in Harare (where even the locals do not feel very comfortable, and we were not even sure from the information given to us that the bus was actually running. We managed to persuade our taxi driver with some money to hang around, while we found out what was going on. Bus was running, but they had managed to double price over night - very difficult to deal with when we only had the amount needed (plus a small amount extra in case of small rise in price) as we were leaving the country and did not want to be saddled with loads of worthless Zim $. After tears from Nancy and much sorting out, including doing a dodgy deal with a spare $20 US in the station itself, we managed to get on the bus!
It was then 600kms plus, taking our total journey to over 5,000kms! Through 4 border controls, hoping that we still had enough US $ to pay for our transit visa through Mozambique's Tete corridor (previously known as the gun corridor durings its long civil war of the 1980s).
The scenery was fantastic during this 12 hour trip, which would you believe made the journey fly by - great massive rock formations in Zim, followed by many many glimpses of village life in Mozambique - again including great scenery, and finally the very lush greenness of entering Malawi just as it got dark. The hassle was more waiting at each border crossing for all luggage (and goods) being searched! And we got our visa ok for the four hours we spent in Mozambique - thank heavens!!
Now holed up in a backpacker mecca called Doogles - a cool place to hang out in a southern Malawi town called Blantyre. Named that way, because it was actually the Scots who colonised this area in the late 1880s (Missionaries of course, but they did help stop the slave trade) Strange to see Mazungus again (local word for foreigners) after time in Zim.
Tomorrow is our first wedding anniversary!!!! Would you believe a whole year has gone by since the big party in Rotorua, and it looks like we will be spending it on an overnight bus trip to northern Lake Malawi!!! Oh dear, but will be making up for it by relaxing for 3-4 days on the Lake!
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