Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Inland beach bumming
I am now in Malawi, the train in Tanzania was utterly problem free (unfortunately?). Malawi is a nice place, pretty similar to Uganda really. It's very green like Uganda with subsistence crops everywhere, everyone speaks at least basic English like in Uganda, and most importantly people are unbelievably friendly like in Uganda. Had I only been to these two places I'd probably generalize that Africa is just like this, but it's not always the case. Kenya was surprisingly devoid of subsistence farming, and Tanzanians neither spoke much English or were overly interested in me. Not that it's a bad place, but it just didn't have the same welcoming feeling.
Malawi so far is an interesting place. It's really undeveloped, no Internet cafes or even cell phone reception outside of reasonable sized towns- at least in the north where I am so far. On the other hand there are amazing backpackers campsites everywhere, much nicer and more common than in most of East Africa. This is cool because they are fun and full of other travelers to meet, but for whatever reason the people running them seem to invariably be unhelpful, uninterested and borderline hostile. I don't know whether they're used to whiny overland-truck tourists or racist South Africans or something, but they just kind of treat you like you don't matter, whereas everywhere else people treat you like a potential long lost cousin or something. I'm having a blast, I've been traveling for the last few days with a couple Kiwis and camping every night.
Things are good, I'm working my way down the Lake Malawi coastline. Lake Malawi is big, clean, and very beautiful. It's warm like bathwater with beautiful beaches, so it would be hard not to be having a great time.