Waited half an hour for a truck. Long, beautiful ride. The number of people in the back of the truck ranged from 17 to 22 - definitely in Africa. The first view of lake was stunning - it looks like an ocean.
Was in Cape Maclear by eleven, but then had a long, hot walk. Went past two funerals - lots of beautiful singing. Had a little trouble with people wanting to guide me - but managed ok. Finally find "The Gap" the camp that Emma and Jeff had recommended. There were no singles available and I didn't feel like camping so I splurged the $1.50 for a double for myself.
Relaxed, had a cold (and expensive) drink, then had a wander around. The crafts stalls here are very hard sale for Malawi, and not very willing to reduce the price with bargaining. Plus blatant lies - I had a boy swearing he'd been to Europe and right outside London seen a Chiefs Chair for sale for 1,800 pounds sterling. When I tried to explain that was ludicrous he kept on digging deeper (backgammon sets in the U.S. are at least $350), and got very annoying - don't think I'll be buying much here.
Went to the recommended (by Emma and Jeff again) dive club, The Scuba Shack. There is no one here right now so the dive center will do pretty much whatever I want. Arranged for a dive at two o'clock, and went for some lunch (especially needed since I skipped diner last night). The dive was good, more fish than I expected, like aquarium fish - bright colors, but small. The scenery was unreal - huge boulders and spires coming out of the haze (visibility is just over 30 feet), and some swim-throughs. After the dive, talk about doing the Medic-First Aid and Rescue Diver course, but it depends on if another person wants to do it. Make an arrangement to do a wreck dive (which also happens to be deep - just over 100 feet) tomorrow morning.
Watch a fantastic sunset behind an island (Thumbl Island West). Hang out in the bar the rest of the night with Peter (the manager of the Scuba Shack), Craig and Chris (the dive masters), Michael (the manager of the Gap's bar), his girlfriend Fiona, another Peter (dive instructor), and Patrick (the local bartender). Drink too much given that I'm supposed to do a deep dive tomorrow morning so talk to Chris about doing it later, or perhaps a shallower dive.
Before going to bed I need to fill up my water bottle so I walk through the village under the full moon to the water pump - it was absolutely surreal and took me back to my first couple weeks in western Africa - specifically walking back from a bar alone late at night in Kan Kan. Except then I was very nervous and this is just beautiful - and somehow very pure.