>Before leaving I walked down on the beach to take a photo of our hut and discovered my camera is broken. When I take a photo the shutter opens and stays open until I turn the camera off - not good. I sat down and fiddled with the camera (changed film, looked for dirt, and changed batteries) but nothing seemed to fix it. Then after about fifteen minutes it started working again. Hmm...
Hired a local guy to take us up the trail which will cut five kilometers off the road - though at the cost of it being a steeper climb. The trail was steep and our guide was quick. I kept up with him for the first hour then died - I think I would have been ok had I paced myself, but I didn't and I was hurting. Frequent rests, and two and a half painful hours after starting we leveled off near the top of the ridge. The view back were magnificent - as they had been the entire hike, but I'd been to occupied to really appreciate them. Our guide pointed us in the right direction then took off and we wandered through the village. It's a bit bizarre, beautiful old Victorian brick and cut stone houses with porches and fantastic gardens - completely surreal after the surrounding thatched clay huts!
We met amazingly friendly people who were so excited to welcome us to their town and tell us a little about it before continuing on their way. We'd decided to stay in "The Stone House" - the original house that Robert Laws (the Scottish missionary who founded Livingstonia) built just over a hundred years ago. It's a big stone house with a huge porch still furnished with the original, if worn, furniture. After sitting for an hour just to recover we got up and wandered around the village. Checked out the original mission - even climbed the bell tower to get the most incredible satellite photo like views of the lake to the east and the Nyika plateau to the west. Then we wandered back through the town to the old hospital - a large beautiful rambling brick structure with great gardens. Somewhere in this walk my camera broke again and I couldn't get it to work at all.
By this time I could barely stand any longer so we went back to the house and played cards until dinner time. Dinner was basic, but very good - rice, beans, and veggies. As soon as dinner was over we went to bed - I'm sure I was sound asleep before eight!