19/04/01, restday in Lilongwe

April 1st. I can’t believe it’s already april 1st. Only 6 weeks till the end of the tour. In 7 weeks I’ll be back at work again. Time flies when you’re having fun…

Looking at the map it’s pretty amazing as well. We’re in Lilongwe, capital of Malawi. We’ve come a long way since Cairo, but we still have a long way to go too though. When you zoom out of the map until you also see Australia, you can see that we have more or less the equivalent of the Australian west coast remaining, some 4500 kilometers, the distance from Darwin to Perth. So I think that justifies another rest day 🙂
It was a nice and easy day today. I had two banana pancakes and 4 cups of tea for breakfast. After breakfast Lucy and me rode our bikes to a pin on google maps of which we hoped it would be a bike shop. Vietnam has learned me that a pin on google maps saying bike shop doesn’t mean that there is actually a bike shop there. But in this case there was! We found a guy, running a bike shop from a steel sea container. Despite this he was very knowledgeable and was able to get me some additional inner tubes, as I only have patched ones left. It’s just great to see this kind of local entrepreneurship!
After the bike shop I went off to have lunch and after that I made my way to the Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary, which turned out to not live up to my expectations 🙂 The LWS saves animals with the aim of returning them to the wild, but the crocodiles, the python, the serval and most of the monkeys will never be released to the wild again because they’ve become domesticated. And they used to have lions, but they died 🙂 My guide just made me laugh. It was actually pretty funny. The highlight was the trail through the bush along the river, which I could walk without the guide. However halfway through the track there was a big spiderweb with a big spider in it blocking the track, so I returned 🙂
After the wildlife center I went to have a look at the Capital Hill, but it was not very interesting. So that was my day at Lilongwe. The city is not a very vibrant one. It was first recognized as a trading town under British colonial rule at the beginning of the 50s and it only became Malawi’s capital city in 1975, quite a while after the country got it’s independence in 1964. With over 90% of the people living in rural areas there are not much residential areas in the city center. It’s mainly malls, small offices, government buildings, some gated villas. A bit like Zoetermeer, but then in Malawi…

Despite, it was a good day though. I didn’t feel the urge to only sleep, so that must be a good sign! Tomorrow we ride into Zambia!

We’re at the dot! Not to bad 🙂

Still a long way to go though!

Visiting the sea container bike shop 🙂

Walking along the Lilongwe river…

Great tree!

Many butterflies

And monkeys!

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