Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Very Much Delicious: Part 13

Part 13 of my diaries from 1996 about my trip to Malawi and Zambia. And, by the way, the title of these posts was explained in Part 5.

Sometime during the night I had been awakened by the unmistakable sound of vomiting in the bathroom and had been uncharitable enough to think that it served him right. Now, at six O'clock in the morning, I was not quite as amused. I had been intending to take a bath but one look at the congealing mess in the bottom of the tub decided me against the idea. I washed and shaved at the sink as quickly as I could, carefully avoiding breathing as far as possible, and went for a walk.  Peter was already loading things onto the roof of the Land Rover. There seemed to be no-one else around and after half an hour I went back and finished my packing. Barry was doing a fair impression of a corpse and still hadn't moved by the time I was ready to take my bags down for loading and head to the restaurant for breakfast. By the end of breakfast he still hadn't surfaced and I was sent to wake him.
    Our first stop was at a sort of craft market. Here a couple of dozen stalls were laid out selling every type of carving conceivable. There were of course the ubiquitous tables and traditional animal carvings side by side with salt shakers and chess sets. Several people were selling the wooden chairs that are as common as the tables and almost as ingenious in their construction. Carved from two interlocking pieces of wood they are surprisingly comfortable and come in a range of sizes from dolls house to gargantuan. One of the traders wanted to swap two for my jacket. Had I had any way to get them home I would probably have taken him up on the offer.
From the market we carried on along the route that we had originally come from Lilongwe and, after a detour to avoid a washed out road, eventually came to Salima where we were to stay at a house at the Wheelhouse Resort. This turned out to be a large former colonial residence built into the side of the mountain in such a way that some of the walls and floors were formed from the rocks themselves. It was a rambling building on several levels with large spacious rooms that looked as if Stewart Granger or Trevor Howard should be leaning on the cocktail bar in their immaculate Safari suits discussing the season's elephant hunting.
The resort was named for its bar, a circular thatched building raised on stilts looking out across the reed marshes towards the lake. We passed this on our afternoon ramble which led us down through the rushes and to an unusual fish farm. This consisted of a large warehouse like building filled with small tanks and two equally large open air areas filled with big tanks. The operation was set up a few years ago to breed tropical fish from the lake for resale abroad and is now the largest supplier of exotic aquatics in Africa. There are more than two hundred species bred there and supplied to collectors all over the world.
By the time we had been shown around it was almost sunset and we headed back for a few beers in the bar before taking an early dinner and an early night. Tomorrow was to be yet another travelling day and our longest yet taking us all the way to the South Luanda National Park in Zambia. We were to be up for five a.m. to make sure that we could get there at a reasonable hour.

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