OK, so I’m still confident that Birgit and Leah’s (or maybe just Leah’s at this point since she still sounds excited about it) guest blog about the 7 days in Tanzania will still happen… But we just haven’t connected at the right times on rest days to get the blog going together… So now, you get the blog about the last days since I last blogged in Mbeya about Zanzibar!
TANZANIA! omg, the 115km of Tanzania I got to cycle (lol) were definitely some of the prettiest! The race was the first 60k to lunch and though I’m not racing anymore, having given back my timing chip, I pushed hard for once and was rewarded getting to lunch quickly! I rode a lot of it with one of our newer riders, Michel, from Holland. Sorry Birgit and Leah! 😉
We got rained on before lunch, which actually wasn’t too bad… it was a nicer cooler day anyways and just contributed to the awesomeness of the day… At 115k we hit the border and things had started to heat up. Still had 45k more to go and it was a little bit terrible in the heat and sun and moisture that Malawi brought us. Things across the border actually changed significantly… The kids got yelly, the terrain got flat and wet, and the first town wasn’t for 45k, where camp was, in Karonga, which was on the shores of Lake Malawi. It was a pretty nice camp and a weirdish little city… 42000 people, and despite Malawi being the poorest of the countries we’ve been to, there was at least 5 western style supermarkets and 6 or 7 large banks to exchange money at. What?!
The ride the next day was pretty wet, got poured on twice, and then it just got ridiculously hot and muggy, so I waited around lunch for Leah and Birgit and eventually decided to take the lunch truck into camp, and our rest day at Chitimba Beach! VERY nice place, so fun to be on the water, and I even went in, my fears of Bilharzia being set aside by the waves at the time in the lake… Didn’t seem like the right weather for parasite carrying snails to latch on to me.. Also fun at the Chitimba beach camp was a potluck ‘dinner’ of snacky food, cuz the kitchen closed ridiculously at 7pm and didn’t serve dinner food, only lunches… Then the next day we did a big pig roast which was delicious but lacking in quantity for all us hungry cyclists, I feel. And no sides. lol.
From Chitimba beach, it was 4 riding days into Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. The first night was to Mzuzu, which was a reasonably sized town with the biggest supermarket yet. There was a large climb to start the day, 600m or so? Was pretty, and only rained lightly all day. Mzuzu was nice though, I made a couple trips to the supermarket and had some great ice cream! 😀 Mmmmm.
The next day I ran the last 13k to camp and avoided the rain, even though I’d’ve liked it, I think! It was a hot run! But feels good. My mentality about the tour is changing yet again. My ironman is in 5 months basically, so I’ve started to panic a bit and am using every day as a training day now, running, riding, or resting. Eventually hopefully combining some days of riding and running too… Swim will have to wait! We camped in a soccer field that was inundated with children all day, so loud, so many eyes watching us… Still don’t like it! Felt like Ethiopia, just without the security guards we’d usually have there!
The next day was 108 km, and I gave it a pretty solid push the whole day, finishing in just under 4 hours and skipping lunch along the way.. Which I guess I did kind of regret around 80km.. haha. It was nice to push it though and be passing people! I like the training feeling and feeling strong… Still want to enjoy Africa, but I think I’m over a lot of it now, I dunno. I’ll stop when there’s something to stop at. 🙂 I think the last rider got into camp at about 12:30pm, so it was just a ridiculous day where everyone felt like they were on a rest day. Everyone’s getting so strong now, they can push well when they want to!
Next day was 130k into Lilongwe. Which is where I am now! Interesting place for sure, lots of political stuff going on right now, I think there’s elections soon, and each party has their colours.. Sadly our flagging tape is the colour of The People’s Party… And got removed fairly quickly (with some warning from locals: “THIS IS MALAWI!” lol… people here seem friendly enough though, and the city was full of supermarkets again… Sadly still no sour enerjelly babies though, which I’ve been hunting for since Addis! UGH, I want some sour candy!
Last night we had a going away dinner at a place called Don Brioni’s Bistro… Mateo is sadly leaving us, after being there with us all the way from the start… Was a nice night and meal though! And we have 3 new riders joining here! Young David’s mom, Jennilea’s boyfriend, and Claudia’s boyfriend! Exciting dynamic shift!
Didn’t do a whole lot here.. Ate, shopped (new sandals, yay!), and relaxed. Ran today with Leah too, much fun! Two more phone calls really raised my spirits as well! 😀 Getting excited about home activities for sure!!!
Tomorrow we enter Zambia. Malawi is over just like that! 5 riding days takes us to Lusaka, and then 3 more to Victoria Falls where we have 3 whole rest days to do exciting things like bungy jumping and white water rafting! Our biggest day yet is on day 2, 176km. I plan to cycle it hardish as a training ride! Tomorrow I’m going to run again. 😉
I’m sure there’s lots I’m missing about these days, I gotta start taking notes along the way again!
Miss you all! Here’s pictures, everyone’s favourite part! 😀 See you from Lusaka!