One Last Lake Day


This blog entry about the events of Sunday, April 25, 2004 was originally posted on April 29, 2004.

DAY 190: It was up in the air whether or not I’d leave Nkhata Bay that Monday.  What was also in the air was water because overnight and all morning, it poured like there was another lake hidden in the clouds, spilling over and down to earth.

Over the course of the morning storm, Anel, Maia and I eventually decided to stay one last day in the lakeside village, which turned out to be a good thing because the storm cleared out by afternoon, giving us one last time to enjoy the lake.  In the interim, I brought my iBook over to Maia’s private chalet (picture above) where she had her laptop, and we hooked up ours and Anel’s camera to burn CDs in our makeshift computer lab. 

We burned a CD for Davie of all of our pictures of the bike tour the day before, and in return he had us over for a home-cooked lunch that he and Martha prepared.  While dining on the typical Malawian meal of vegetables and cassava nshima (as opposed to the usual maize meal nshima), I befriended Peter, a Tanzanian from Mbeya who gave me contacts of his friend’s tour agency up north.  Whether I climb Kilimanjaro with his guy or the guy that Frank and Francesca recommended I didn’t know yet, but it was great to get another hook-up.

After a liquor run for our last night celebration later on, I took my last swim and snorkel out on Lake Malawi.  Laying out, totally relaxed on the floating platform as the sun set, I knew I’d miss Mayoka Village and Nkhata Bay, but I knew I had to move on to make up time.  I knew that one day I’d have to come back and see the other parts of Malawi, including Likoma Island on the Mozambique side of the lake, an island so beautiful, travel magazines have labeled it one of the top five honeymoon destinations in the world.

MY LAST SUPPER IN MALAWI couldn’t have been more fitting, as Monday night was Mayoka Village’s night of their traditional Malawian buffet, which included rich and savory dishes including beef curry, rices, mpilu in peanut sauce, okra stew and mashed pumpkin.

“They must mean ‘traditional’ for big occasions,” Maia pointed out.  True, most Malawians normally ate what we had for lunch that day; Davie told us meat isn’t a regular part of the diet if you are on a budget like he is.

Speaking of the Chimango Tour operator, Davie and company came over to the village for the last celebration of the latest group of Mayoka guests that had become friends in just a few days.  Martha, Wiseboy, Benson, Benji, Kennedy and other locals joined the Anel, Ed, Maaike, Maia, Jonathan, Taro, Mari, Frank, Francesca and the other mzungas in the festivities as it was a big farewell — which as some of you may know, translates to a big night of drinking, and in this particular case, drinking shotsGary the owner, back from his weekend in Lilongwe, returned just in time to continue his reputation as a party boy binge drinker, and rang the bar bell for free rounds of shots.  His free shots of whiskey were actually the tamer ones of the night; harder ones included shots of Power’s No. 1, a Malawian liquor that literally smelled like rubbing alcohol so cheap it was simply labeled “dry spirit.”  The hardest of the shots was a concoction of Davie’s, which included brandy, Malawi gin, Power’s No. 1, Fanta orange and (the kicker) a lot of hot chili sauce.  Perhaps he was victim to his own poison because he, along with Martha, were amongst the first to just pass out in a chair.

I managed not to pass out like the Chimango crew and partied through my last night at Mayoka Village with everyone in attendance, taking photo after photo after photo (all of which are found here for those attendees who asked for them:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8).  In a night of “lasts,” it was also a night of “firsts;” it was the first time Maaike got so drunk she had to be carried to her room by someone, namely me and Taro.

“SO ARE YOU GLAD YOU STAYED an extra day?” I asked Maia the next morning.

“Yeah,” she said with a smile.

Anel couldn’t remember most of what had transpired, but she figured she had a pretty good time too.

Next entry: Racing The Sun To Tanzania

Previous entry: More Than Just A Lake

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Comments for “One Last Lake Day”

  • The second picture link didn’t work. :( Markyt - can you help?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  10:25 PM

  • NOELLE - Pic all fixed, please let me know if others aren’t working thanks!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  12:06 AM

  • Sounds like my kinda party! (but wait, that’s like every week for me?)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  12:15 AM

  • welcome back son..
    photo #3 doesn’t she looks like sandra bullock?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  12:35 AM

  • Markyt - you rock!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  08:15 PM

  • Erik you stud. Partying with ladies hanging all over you. Good thing you occassionally show us a pic with you not drunk… Nights like this will make people think you’re always cross-eyed and grinning!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/29  at  10:16 PM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Racing The Sun To Tanzania

Previous entry:
More Than Just A Lake


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