My day started early leaving Nkata Bay at first light so I could cross the border into Tanzania by midday and then get to Mbeya for my over night stop . The ride out of the bay was a little sad , I really had enjoyed my time on the lake , but felt the need to experience something new.
The countryside as you go north is really beautiful and becomes less populated as you ride towards the border , the mountain passes dramatic in beauty , exciting riding , with the lake my trusted companion on my right . Sometimes at my side , other times in the distance just flirting with her deep blue waters.
The countryside got greener , the lake a deeper blue as I rode up to Mzuzu to re fuel and have some breakfast , winding roads up and up we went , stopping now and again to admire the beauty.
The Mzuzu coffee is local to the area , rich and smooth it delights your palate , I wish we had it back home . Mzuzu is uniquely Malawi both in flavour and the décor. The service is slick , the samosas light , crispy and dense with filling . Made my day this stop did.
Back on the road heading for Tanzania the mountains and the lake continue , children wave and the people of Malawi look up from their labour stained shirts to smile and champion me on , with me forever looking right to catch a glimpse of the lake . We have ridden hundreds of kilometres together enjoying each others company , her reassurance I was on the right path , her refreshing waters cleansing my weary body at every stop , she would wash the days sweat , tension and challenges away with her fresh deep waters leaving me feeling new . I knew it would be hard to say our farewells , she seems to hold the spirit of Malawi in her waters and leaving her was leaving the wonderful people of Malawi behind , but with each passing hour our end was getting closer.
Down out of the mountains we rode back to lake shore and so then she started her graceful departure , as I looked right she ebbed and flowed from sight and by the time I got to my last fuel stop , she had gone , left me with the beauty of her and her people in my minds eye and my heart.
Thank you Malawi for welcoming this stranger , for asking his name , for being so warm and kind , for letting your waters renew me , showing me all your world , life and labour , your beauty and hardship from behind my visor and while I walked your streets , Until we meet again .