|Sunday morning breakfast at the lodge and not a single monkey in sight-apparently there is also “monkey church” as well on Sunday mornings in the Mangochi District. We then checked-out of the lodge and began our travel day to Lilongwe- the capital of Malawi, and about a 5-hour drive on winding roads through mountains and valleys-the landscape was breathtaking and is something you wouldn’t normally associate as being the geography of Africa, but it is DEFINITELY here in Malawi.
On our route we stopped at a filling station on the Malawi/Mozambique border in search of diesel fuel. To this point, I hadn’t mentioned how desperate the fuel shortage is here in Malawi- in even large cities, we saw lines (or ques) of cars stretching for ½ mile, just waiting at the station for hours in hopes that a fuel truck was coming. Francis, our guide was always concerned about the availability of fuel throughout our trip and had to call on his connections throughout Malawi to get fuel at our next stop. At this particular border station, he instructed us to get out of the van and wait for him as he drove across the Mozambique border and out of sight. All of the fuel that comes into Malawi, comes only through Mozambique and is then dispersed from Blantyre outward throughout Malawi as far as the fuel trucks can go before exhausting their supply. In this case, if Francis had found fuel with 4 white people aboard, the Mozambique station attendant would have charged him 3-4 times the price- Africa politics strikes again. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later, Francis returned with a full tank of fuel to retrieve us and finish the journey to Lilongwe.
We arrived at the AOG guesthouse, unpacked, and met our Lilongwe missionary connections, Steve & Kathy Bowler, for dinner at the Country Lodge, to discuss our agenda for the next 2 days. The Country Lodge didn’t serve biscuits & gravy or grits & hash browns, but rather a variety of Indian and Chinese food-it was unexpected, but good, save for the now customary 2 hour wait for the food. Back to the guesthouse to watch a movie (the TV had no reception) and then to bed.