Slept in until nearly eight - definitely enough sleep considering we were in bed before eight last night! Surprisingly I didn't feel sore. I worked with my camera and determined that the problem is with my wide angle (22-55 mm) lens - with the zoom lens everything works perfectly. I'm bummed my regular lens isn't working, but at least I can take some photos. Wandered around the Stone House looking at the flowers and views. Had a breakfast of fried things that were half way between pancakes and biscuits - good. After breakfast we started walking. We decided to follow the road for the hike down. That made the walk two or three miles longer, but kept it to a reasonable grade - much nicer on my knees.
About forty minutes into the walk we branched off to go visit Manchewe falls. A short hike brought us to the top of a huge waterfall. Continuing along the trail gave us glimpses back at that water fall and of another even higher waterfall. Several hundred yards down the path we ended up in a clearing on the edge of the escarpment with breathtaking views back towards the waterfalls and down a canyon to the distant Lake Malawi. Both falls look to be some three or four hundred feet of free falling water - very impressive.
After taking pictures (grrr - I really would have liked my wide angle lens here) and sitting admiring the view (ok, and resting) we headed back up the path to the first spot at the top of the first falls. I wanted to scramble down a bit to get to the actual drop off - I always need to look over the edge. Back at the viewpoint the three other people that stayed at the Stone House last night were already down where I wanted to go. Amy was a little concerned with the climb and they'd already left their packs at the top. So she left her pack with theirs. Shortly after we climbed down the other group left and we continued looking around and taking pictures. About ten minutes later we climbed back up and... no bag! We saw the other group and they said her bag was there when they left so in the five or so minutes between us someone took her bag. There was nothing of any real value in the bag, mostly just dirty clothes, toiletries, and her sleeping bag - but also some small things like her alarm clock, Swiss Army knife, and sunglasses case. We hiked back up the road to where there was a group of locals selling fruit and passed on word that we were offering a $40 reward if the bag was brought to us at our place in Chitimba. We stopped back at the main falls view point, at the permaculture camp, and at a tea house further down to make the same offer. I could tell the reward was a probably a bit high because people would go rushing off as soon as they understood what we were offering.
We continued down the road doing our best to ignore the loss and to appreciate the views - which were spectacular. We figured that there was at least a chance that the bag would be waiting for us when we got to the camp. The walk kept going and going. About half way down it was amazing to look back and see how far we'd come - the ridge where Livingstonia sits was a long way up and back! Then to look down and see how far we had to go, it was a long hike! At the bottom we turned at the main lake road and somehow made it back to camp - nearly twenty kilometers later (though my feet felt like it was more). Unfortunately the pack wasn't there. Talking to Gisa (the camp owner) there's never been anything returned even though rewards have been offered in the past - so it looks like the stuff is gone. We reminded ourselves of how lucky we were - there really was nothing of importance in the bag - no passport, money, or camera - all things that would usually have been there. The biggest losses were the two decks of cards and the guide book - but we can talk to each other for entertainment and we weren't all that thrilled with the guide book anyway.
Had a few beers, then went and had a very much needed shower. Had dinner in the lounge and spent the evening talking with Gisa. We had a few more drinks then tried to figure out our route to Mzuzu tomorrow. We mentioned to Gisa that we were going to go up to the road and start looking for a ride at six. She said that if we were still there at eight she could probably get us a lift. She had arranged a ride in to Mzuzu with an overland truck. The idea of a couple more hours sleep and a quick, comfortable ride to town sounded good to us so we had a few more drinks waiting for the driver to show up. It turned out there'd be no problem with us catching a ride as the truck was going to be virtually empty.