Stage 57 – Kasungu to Lilongwe

I need some tests – let’s leave it at that. So I ride into Lilongwe with Tallis, and cab over to The Partners in Hope Clinic.

The drive to the capital is heartbreakingly beautiful. Leaving at dawn every day is one of the gifts of this tour. The sunrises, cool and quiet streets, fresh eyed people slowly beginning their day, birds singing, washed greens… and in this case mist painting everything with soft light.

She appeared out of the mist and clean light like a mythical apparition… a queen on her way to wed. I wasn’t fast enough, but Steph Thornton captured her for us. These bicycle taxis are ubiquitous here in Malawi, even serving as a carriage for a bride.

Every ride in Malawi has been stellar. I’m sorry to miss this last full day of cycling here. Malawi will always be soft in my memory…

Photo credit Martin Arrell; Photo credit 2018 Tour D’Afrique

First ATMs, because the day after tomorrow’s rest, we cross the border, and I need USD (which I’ve spent like a drunken sailor) for visas. My cabbie is very patient as he takes me around to at least four banks to find an ATM that takes one of my half dozen cards. Some countries are like that – Cambodia was.

The rest of the day is exactly as any day of tests anywhere. The Congolese doctor however takes time to listen, and he hears. Rare. The staff are efficient and, as I have at clinics in Singapore and Shanghai, I feel well cared for. This idea that medicine is substandard outside of the West is demonstrably wrong. A caring doctor who takes the time and listens is gold no matter where you are, and some of the best doctors I’ve ever encountered have been in third world countries.

By the time I get back to camp I’m done in. I still have to pitch my tent and organize my camp. Dinner isn’t included the day before Rest day so I have to figure that out too. Many are going out on the town, but I’m not up to it. Luckily Mbuya Camp is a charming laid back home for two nights. The campsite itself is a soft grassy bed, under overhanging mature trees. Dinner is communal style, homemade and delicious. Tomorrow I Rest.

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