Saturday, 21 November 2009

Kande beach and the incident with the wall


We arrived at Kande Beach Camp late afternoon and set up camp for the next three nights. Like Chitumba, the camp was on the shores of Lake Malawi. It had an open bar with hammocks placed throughout the camp all with stunning views across the lake.

After pitching my tent I decided to go for a barefoot jog along the beach. The section of beach where the camp stood was beautifully kept but further along, the beach was left to nature. This was where the locals congregated. Here women were scrubbing clothes in the water whilst naked young boys and girls swam or played on the beach. Manure was a regular sight where cattle had been brought down to the lakes edge to drink. Everyone was pleased to see me and the young children ran up and clung onto me or ran just in front of me making running rather awkward. A 20 minute jog was all I could muster in the heat so it was back to camp to help prepare the chilli bin party.

A large cooler bin was filled to the brim with the infamous African Trails cocktail: fruit, fruit juice and No 1 – a rather potent Malawi cane spirit. From here, the evening spiraled steadily into a state of drunken debauchery. It began with Circle of Death – a lethal drinking game that I first came across whilst travelling in Peru – and ended with most of the team skinny dipping in the lake. Tim turned the fourth king and was made to down a drink stood on the bar top in nothing other than a plastic bag (not a pretty sight given his rotund stature). We then joined forces with a group from Acacia tours who’d raided the local clothing market of charity clothing and were in full dress up. (Jaz who’d been with us for the first three weeks of our tour had switched to an Acacia tour so we’d got to know his group pretty well). We ended up having a fair few drinks at the bar and dancing around like idiots to the sound of Bon Jovi’s Crossroads album.

I had a great time but I was also missing Mike like crazy so my heart wasn’t quite in it. I’d tried to call him in Nepal after hearing how ill he was and my phone had died. I was gutted as it had been the first time I’d spoken to him in over a month and my phone was now playing silly buggers and not switching on at all. Jolie saw me looking a bit down and gave me a big hug which was just what I needed.

I managed to get back into the swing of things but when the night got to the point where Jon was wearing Camela’s bra on his head, Jolie was trying to pull people’s boardies down and Carmela had shoved shot glasses down her top so she had Madonna type pointy tits, I felt it was time to make my excuses and head back to the tent. Fortunately, I managed to escape the compulsory skinny dipping enforced by Jolie and also missed the incident where Jon, emerging from the water butt naked and thinking that Griff and Gaz were giving chase to steal his clothes, ran headfirst into a wall. He managed to graze his head and shoulder quite badly and ended up in the fetal position on the sand being helped out by Griff, Gaz and Nat who were all butt naked. That would have been a Kodak moment!

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