Oh, the Views!

Community Highlights Long Term Travel Oh, the Views!


The southern half of Malawi is like a peninsula of land, extending deep into Mozambique. Think Florida, surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic. A mining company is even building a railroad from Mozambique, through Malawi, back to Mozambique, in order to have more direct access from the inland portion of the country to shipping ports. There are no stops within Malawi. On the western edge of Malawi, the Neno district gains in elevation from the Shire River in the east, until reaching a high ridge in the west. Along this road sits a road, with views stretching far back over Malawi, and further beyond into Mozambique. To whom this road belongs, I'm not sure. Maps may show it criss-crossing its way back and forth over the official border. Locally, it is a buffer zone, separating the two countries that, physically, transition seamlessly from one to the other. There are no fences. No border patrol. At points, villages appear to be split in half. At points on the road, earth slopes downward on either side, into both countries, providing unobstructed views. Fighting the sun to stare deep into Mozambique, there is nothing but hills of green and brown, with sporadic plumes of smoke from various small fires. Below, in Malawi, lies the ever growing Neno district, the view extending to the Great Rift Valley beyond.


We have driven this road a couple of times since being in Malawi, but it has not been clear until yesterday. Wow. Unfortunately it was a work related trip, and I did not want to ask to stop because it could delay the efforts of locating a past patient. Luckily, when we did stop, I was able to capture a couple of pictures looking into Mozambique. Technically I was a metre or two into the country. One of the men we were with informed me I could likely travel up to 50km into the country without having to worry about authorities. I was forced to try and get a shot looking into Malawi from the car, something I try not to do.


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Since I last wrote, we have started building. Boy does it feel good to actually be constructing something skyward, instead of digging into the ground. We spent three of the last four days on the jobsite overseeing the work. Yesterday I decided I needed to get in on the fun and helped with laying part of the foundation wall. To me, it's really enjoyable getting my hands dirty. It also helps to pass the time a bit quicker. One of the coolest things on site is the red dirt trench walls, which have been splattered with concrete. Maybe it is just the closest thing to Crimson and Grey I've seen in awhile.

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Last weekend, was one of a couple farewells as both Steve and Alex finished their time working with PIH. Friday night was Steve's last in Neno. We decided to start a game of Settlers around 1am, which finally gave me my first win, and called it a night around 3. Another crazy Neno night. Saturday was moving day for me, as I took Steve's room, putting Marco and I in the same house. Sunday we went on a hike to a spot locally known as Pride Rock. If you've read my posts in the past and seen any of the sunset pictures, it is the prominent rock feature in many, possibly all, of them. It included a river forging and hiring a local guide to help us navigate the bush wacking that was needed to reach the top. It was the best local view I had seen, until our drive yesterday. I mounted my camera in a free so that we could attempt to take jumping pictures on the edge of a cliff. Alex took off to Lisungwi Monday morning, and this weekend is beginning a month long adventure. After bussing to Joburg, he is riding a motorcycle south, around the cape, and up into Namibia before returning to Joburg. I'm excited to hear about it when he returns to Neno at the end of it to pick up some belongings he left behind.

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This featured blog entry was written by tylerwein from the blog Backpacks Are For Travel, Not School.
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By tylerwein

Posted Fri, Sep 12, 2014 | Malawi | Comments