09.08.2009 - 17.08.2009
It was pure bliss, and perhaps even more so as it was accidental. No electricity, no phone reception, and pretty much no tourists. Just a few other enlightened souls, 4 large dogs, and some friendly locals in a wonderfully picturesque setting where a waterfall joins a remote section of Lake Malawi.
I hadn't planned to come to the Zulunkhuni Lodge in Ruarwe at all, but then I hadn't planned to spend a week in Nkhata Bay either. I'd rocked up with the intention of getting the weekly boat to the islands in Lake Malawi, to discover that it had left the previous evening. Probably I should have checked such things at ferry timings beforehand, but planning was never my strong point. So i spent a pleasant few days doing not allot at Butterfly, a community project and hostel, waiting for the next ferry before being talked into leaving a day early on the same ferry in the opposite direction. Hmmmm. But it just seemed the right thing to do, and so I did.
Every now and again, I just need to turn off from the world, and Ruarwe is definitely a good place for it. Occasional outside excitement was offered by a tornado spotted on the lake (the first real one I have ever seen), a 2metre-plus long Forest cobra in a tree, the suppressed yelps of an Irishman trying not to scream as he jumped of a balcony and assorted games of scrabble. Other than that, it was just pure unadulterated freedom.
Happy hour at the lodge, relaxing on the beach at night under a gloriously starry sky; woodcarvings around Ruarwe; heading out to the Ilala on a rowing boat (I always started singing the Hawaii 5-0 theme in my head whenever I was in one or a dugout canoe) and bottom, disembarking back in Nkhata Bay