|So in Monkey Bay we stayed at a place called Venice Beach. It was right on the lake and we were the only ones there. This meant that we stayed in a self contained little cottage with our own toilet and shower and two bedrooms. We had our own private beach complete with hammocks and hanging wicker chairs, and a private chef! The first night we had fish and chips, and every meal he cooked was really good. The prices were higher than hoped though and it often felt he was making them up as he went along! He was new working there and it was a bit trial and error. He also doubled up as barman but should really stick to cooking! He made some "cocktails" which ended up being a whiskey and sprite and a vodka and sprite! :-)
On the tuesday (the second day there) we walked back to the town to find out about the ferry which travels up and down the lake as we had heard it was back running. We also bought food to self cater but it turned out we couldn't so we were totally reliant on the Chef who's name was Happy! And he was!
On Wednesday Eddie one of the men working there took us out on his boat for snorkeling and a fish BBQ. It was excellent. The views were so good and there were plenty of fish to see. I did feel a bit sea sick at one point on the boat though because the wind made the lake quite choppy! He then took the boat past some fish eagles to feed them (again keep an eye out for Charlotte's photos)!
Thursday was a chill out day reading on the beach - I am finally working on my tan!
On Friday the manager Ismael took us to Cape Mclear which I really enjoyed. It was a bit more touristy with more going on. Monkey bay was very little and just had local shops and stalls selling random stuff. Cape Mclear was very neat and tidy with more lodges, more places to eat and a really cool craft market. The people weren't as hassling as in Zambia and there stuff was a much better quality. We all found lots of stuff we liked and bought and then had a good lunch in Gecko Lounge.
The landscape is incredible. Its very hilly, much greener, the lake is huge and very clear creating amazing views next to the beautifully coloured skies! The photos just don't do it justice!
We left Monkey Bay on Saturday morning on the Ilala ferry to get to Nhkata bay. The ferry stops at different bays along the way. We waited for 5 hrs at the first stop which was only a few hrs into the journey! We were on the top deck which was first class so was mainly tourists. It was quite pleasant, good food and good views. Much better than traveling by road anyway! We slept in our sleeping bag on the deck under the stars. We've all been amazed by the starry skies and have seen lots of shooting stars which is cool!! The next day it stopped and Lokoma Island so we got off for a few hours for lunch and to visit the big Cathedral. In total we were on the ferry for 36hrs but 12 of those were spent waiting at different ports. It's maddness when it does stop though. The people climb all over each other to get on and off and pile their big bags of grain into rowing boats to take to shore! We arrived at Nhkata Bay around 8:30pm and had a short walk to Big Blue Star where we are now staying.
I will blog before we move on to tell you how Nhkata bay has been.
As always, hope you're all OK and keep sending messages!!
Lots of love,