Welcome to the Common Sense and Whiskey Companion:
Here are some photos from Common Sense and Whiskey, chapter 14, Malawi. We took this trip in December, 2006.
You can buy professional prints of some of these photos in the Malawi Gallery.
You can buy Common Sense and Whiskey on Amazon.com, or by clicking here.
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Or, go back to Chapter 13: Borneo, or on to Chapter 15: The Southern Caucasus
"Up there, that’s area 49. National Bank. Bank of the Nation.” The tallest building in Malawi is the central bank. Lilongwe.
"Oh, I dunno, just carrying a steel beam down the street. You?" The central outdoor market in Lilongwe.
Zanga Phee, the Herbalist of the century, on the drive out to Monkey Bay. Driving by Zanga Phee's place, Everlasting made this point: At the regular hospital they had nothing. They got aspirin. But they had aspirin at home! So they’d go to a traditional healer to at least get something.
Traffic on the road to Monkey Bay, Malawi.
Everlasting pointed out what must have been centuries-old baobab trees, at the rule of thumb of one meter of thickness per hundred years.
A couple more photos of the drive up through rural Malawi.
Accommodation at Club Makokola near Monkey Bay, Malawi.
The Ilala on the left, and the Mtendere, Monkey Bay, Malawi.
Welcome aboard the Ilala.
The Ilala was scheduled to set sail at 10:00. About 11:00 the Carlsbergs and Cokes arrived and blocked up the entryway as they loaded them in. Worth the wait. It was a late start with hot beers, and the big white coolers behind the bar never quite got them cold.
A family of five, man, boys and a baby daughter, two of the sons in black suits and white shirts, their best clothes, were here just to stand along the dock and watch the commotion, and wave goodbye.
Home sweet home - the Ilala's owner's cabin.
And the view from our suite.
We sat up top in the first class lounge on rattan seats near the Karonga Bar, where they made an attempt to keep the beer cold. Compare upstairs...
... with the second class passenger deck below.
Here's the little shop below decks.
Lady on shore at the first stop, Chipoka.
Get Dirty for God. Go Lay a Brick with Team Mission. Thirty or forty kids wearing missionary T-shirts with those slogans came aboard to tour the Ilala at the first stop, Chipoka, from about 3:00 to 4:30. A boy drew a crowd on the dock putting on a show with two bobble head monkeys on a little table.
If you ever sail the MV Ilala, choose the rattan seats to port, just above the gangplank, for live theatre immediately below you at port calls. The same seats are great when the port of call doesn’t have a big enough dock for the Ilala to tie up. In that case an incredibly colorful, and incredibly crowded scrum scrambles onto and out of the tenders dispatched to shore. Just below you.
Loading and unloading passengers and freight at the ports of call where the Ilala can't dock.
Shuttling over and back to Ngoo, Mozambique.
How it looked from the catbird seat while at sea.
Malawi lake flies swarmed to form clouds over the lake. Frightening. Locals told apocryphal stories of fishermen suffocating in their canoes after being caught in those swarms.
They say people eat them. They swoop baskets through the swarms to catch them, then eat them fried and pressed into cakes.
Canoe on Lake Malawi approaching Cobue village, Mozambique.