Lilongwe the capital of Malawi wasn't up to much, built around a golf course it's main attraction, so I was going to head south and catch up with some americans I meet before in Lusaka, but keeping with my forever spontaneous and randomly changing itinerary, I got to the bus station couldn't make any sense of the chaos and after bumping into a couple of others from the hostel was easily talked into going north to the lake with them. Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi was a top spot, tropical paradise on a lake in the middle of Africa. Anyway it was straight to the 'wherearewe' resort (good name and I really don't know where it was) for its 6 birthday, and to get there took a combination of the Ilala ferry (lake malawi's lifeline and only transport for many isolated settlements) and speedboat which was as ever packed to the limit with speakers food, drink and 30 odd people. Spent the rest of the week back in Nkhata Bay at Mayoka Village a real travelers hang out where its easy to get stuck, many had been there weeks.
With a few people from Mayoka I went up to the northern mountains and plains of the Nyika Plateau for the trek to Livingstonia. To get there we had a fun flight in a private 6 seater light aircraft after chance meeting of the pilot's, a right result. The trekking was easy but the rain and damp conditions were grim. Nice scenery though and we finished at Livingstonia which has a lot of history behind it, set up by missionaries in the late 1800's and it doesn't feel it has moved on a day passed that. To get away was harder than we thought with no public transport or road, just a very rough and steep dirt track, and the only vehicle going down the ambulance (of course a 4x4) so we jumped on and out of there, luckily not an emergency call just a supply run to Mzuzu.