Sunday, November 8, 2009


Mt. Mulanje was spectacular and shredded the skin off my feet (note to self: no hiking in homemade socks!). More details (and photos, I hope!) to come.

The 6-day hike itself was miraculously uneventful (great weather, good food, excellent company, no injuries), and because nothing in Africa is ever easy, the drive home included:

-- a dead battery when we returned to Richard's truck
-- a region-wide diesel shortage that resulted in our buying fuel on the black market and later siphoning from the spare tank using garden hose and a 5-liter jug
-- a clogged fuel filter that Richard changed (in 10 minutes!) on the shoulder of the highway between Blantyre and Lilongwe
-- being buzzed off the road twice by the four-Hummer entourage of (we believe) President Dr. Bingu of Malawi (we passed them back when they stopped to pee beside the road)
-- a driving rainstorm that began just as I started my shift behind the wheel
-- a drunk guard at the border who required a little, uh, convincing to open the gate
-- eleven (count 'em: ELEVEN!) police checkpoints

Normally I'd be put out by the so-called hassles, but I welcomed any reason to extend the trip by a few more minutes, even if it meant standing by the truck watching diesel drip into a jug while rainstorm-hatched termites swirled into the dusk air.

It was that good.

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