31.03.2013 - 31.03.2013
On Sunday Sameer, Kristina, and Lawrence (the person who runs the organization I'm working with) took a day trip out to Mulanje. Mulanje is about a 1 hour drive from Blantyre and probably most well known for being the town right next to Mulanje Mountain, Africa's highest peak south of Kilimanjaro.
There are lots of tea plantations in a nearby district called Thyolo. The tea plantations are pretty much all British / foreign owned because a long time also the Malawians who owned the land signed a contract saying they would give up the land. The Malawians didn't know what the contract said.
Mulanje Mountain and tea plantations
This large new hotel where we had lunch. They were very very slow.
Some people on a bicycle taxi. Pretty much you hop on the back and you pay the rider to take you somewhere.
We hiked about 40 minutes to Likhubula River waterfall and “Old People’s Pool”. Apparently its a pool of water where you can see the spirits of old people. Also, the pool is supposedly 60 meters deep at some point.
View along the way
The waterfall and old people's pool
I bought this hand carved wood Malawian cedar box for 1900 MWK / $5 CAD from a market near the trail. It makes me happy but feel guilty (mostly guilty) at the same time that it was so inexpensive. And I was probably getting the foreigner's price too.
- It was 100 MWK / 0.27 CAD per person to enter the mountain reserve
- It cost 100 MWK / 0.27 CAD for someone to guard our car while we hiked
- A guide for about half the day cost 2500 MWK / 6.76 CAD
- Apparently street vending is illegal and people are only supposed to sell things in the markets where they pay the city a small fee every day. However street vendors are literally everywhere
- Official taxis are supposed to have license plates with red words (these cost a lot more money) and are only supposed to stop in designated places...but pretty much anyone who owns a car is willing to be a taxi
- Apparently people like to cook with lots of oil because it means you're more well off. In less wealthy areas people don't cook with as much oil
- For woman it is more favourable to be larger, especially when you're married because it means your husband is providing for you well