Woke up early and was at the bus station at 7:30. There were two busses I was interested in. The first left at eight and would take me to Monkey Bay via Salima along the lake. The second option was supposed to leave at 8:30 and would take me the much longer route via Liwonde. Both busses are supposed to take about the same amount of time as the lake road is in pretty bad shape. The 8:30 bus finally showed at 11:20 and departed an hour later. I'd pretty much forgotten what "real" African busses were like - there were three people for each seat. Luckily by the time the bus showed up I was so annoyed I held my place in line and physically prevented (most) people from cutting in front of me so I had a seat.
It was a long and boring trip. The only remarkable bit was the depressing sight of a dead man. We drove by a guy on the side of the road with a huge puddle of blood around his head. There was a group of people standing around him, but no one looked sad or even angry, they just looked interested. I'll never (I hope) get used to the low value that life has here.
I was expecting it to take five or six hours - it took over eleven! So instead of getting to Monkey Bay at one or two as I'd planed I got here at ten thirty - too late to try and continue to Cape Maclear. I did battle with the touts (boys) and found a passable hotel (well I've stayed in worse) mostly on my own. Exhausted, sore, and stiff I went to bed without diner.