13-May-2018 -- My first time in Malawi and a chance to visit a couple of points during my 6 week stay that would take me around much of the central and southern part of the country while looking at an agricultural development project.
The first Sunday we decided to drive down from Lilongwe to Lake Malawi at Salima and stay over night - as Monday was to be a national holiday. My partner in this venture was John and he took little persuading to have a little extra drive around the countryside to visit a point.
We left Lilongwe and drove along the M1 before turning north on dirt roads towards the point. As is usual the roads became increasingly narrow but we had a good 4X4 and driver, so no worries. In about an hour we were able to stop less around 100 metres from the point and John and I set off across a groundnut field towards the point. John soon realised that there this might involve some bushwacking and decided to turn back. I carried on - and reached the point in a few minutes. As described 13 years and 6 months ago, it is in another groundnut field close to a small stream which was still flowing. I took the photos and returned to the car only to find that my trousers were nearly black from blackjack (Bidens pilosa). It took quite a while to pick all the little barbed black seeds out of my trousers before setting off for Salima.
What we should have done next is take the main road back to Lilongwe but we decided to take a more direct route following the GPS and local guidance. This turned out to be a bit of an epic and took 3-4 hours instead of 2. The "road" gradually dwindled to about the width of the car and the "pièce de résistance" was dropping down from the escarpment of the rift valley from 3500 ft to the lake at 1500 ft via a very stony track that probably does not see too many cars. Had we got stuck halfway down we might still be there. All's well that ends well - as someone once said and we arrived at the lake and I bought John a beer.