• AndyAsh

And They’re Off! (Sort of)

Our last Breakfast in Area 14

The last couple of days we have been almost camping at home. Cooking on a Trangia, our bed went a couple of days ago, and with it - the cooker.

So, our last breakfast in Area 14, on camp chairs, and cooked on a Trangia; a quiet affair with mixed emotions. Our home in ’14 has been the longest we have ever lived together in one house since we’ve been a couple. The house has been a good place for us, and we’ve enjoyed living there. Our landlord, Augustine has been good as gold, and helpful when we’ve needed him.

We spent a few moments soaking up the early morning sun, the birdsong and enjoyed the trees, as they are just starting to come out of their winter baldness.

Not quite enough caffeine yet!

Early morning, I set off to say goodbye to a few friends, and as I cycled along towards the Bingu Stadium, on quiet roads, the only traffic was big dumper trucks delivering gravel and sand to the numerous building sites. When I first came to Malawi about 10 or so years ago, I remember this stretch of road with its two rivers and papyrus either side. It was a broken, hilly, and dusty old road. It is now two carriageways and buildings are growing like weeds all along the roadside. Indeed the same thing is happening all over the city. Lilongwe used to be a big village; it won’t be long before it becomes something else altogether.

It struck me that I will only be away a few short months, but when I return, some of the familiar views from my saddle will no longer be there. That is the price of progress.

I arrived home to chaos, as Annette gradually crept with the mop towards the front door. I decided I needed to take control…and made a nice cup of tea!

The not so Grand Depart

After a cup of tea, we loaded up the bikes and cycled away, waved off by a few friends. Cranking up two heavily loaded bikes, removed any sentimentality to leaving our home, as we struggled to stay upright.

A few kilometres later, we parked the bikes up at a friend’s house where we planned to stay the night in order to get an early start in the morning.

So the journey starts. I'm glad we’ve had a wee warm up today…tomorrow promises to be brutal!

Spot the forced smile

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