On Boxing day, I travelled to Nkhatabay for my cousin’s wedding, and the experience was nothing but intriguing. Let’s rewind to the 26th and how the whole trip starts.
I was up by 5:15 am, the alarm did me a good job. I still hadn’t packed by that time and knew I had to gamble the time. The local was to leave at 8 am sharp, and my travel from home to the bus station had been estimated it to be an hour long, so gambling was important. I had been advised to be at the station by 6:30 am if I wanted to find myself a good window seat. But that didn’t happen, not at all, because 6:30 was the time I was getting out of the house. See, time gambling.
I ended up at the bus station at 7:30am, just mere 30 minutes before it had left. I did not find a good seat, I ended up on a seat close to the isle which meant having no peace of mind, literally. At 8am, the Matours bus shut the doors and we got on the road.
The whole trip was going to be 8hrs long, which meant spending the whole day in the bus with chickens, diaper scents etc. Such heaven! Apart from Eu, I really had no problem with the travel to Nkhatabay, other than other delays elongated the travel with an hour, but it was alright.
And then I got to Matete roadblock and my cousin and I completely forgot to drop off. We ended up dropping of 10 minutes later, in a bushy place. But hey, the adventure spirit in me was pleased.
Regardless of that, the scenery was beautiful. Such a picturesque setting, one that would fit perfectly on a postcard. A beautiful mountain filled with trees and chirping birds, I fell in love instantly.
The walk back took us 30 minutes, just three people with luggage on their back, walking slowly while enjoying the breeze from the lake (the lake is 15 minutes walk from the M5). It was adventurous, but also tiring. But we were surviving on adrenaline and excitement.
We got to where you were supposed to take a shortcut to the house, but like the stupid 3 musketeers that we are, we decided to get our luggage stored by one of the houses so we could quickly go see the lake and so and so a our feet. As much as the idea was not bad, it was where we decided to go that was stupid.
We went to KACHERE KASTLE. The issue is, Kachere Kastle is a 10 minute drive from where we were to the stage, and at least 20 minutes walk from the stage to the lodge. We couldn’t get to the Kastle using their gate because of restrictions they have, so we bypassed using the villager’s routes and found ourselves in and marvelling at the beautiful piece of architecture.
And our feet were soaked in the lake, my cousins were able to swim for a while (boys and just swimming in their boxers, envy). Well, they did until we were told about crocodiles and their adventures after 6pm.
At 6:30 pm, we were on our way back to the trading center. 6:50 pm and we were there and was eating some street fries and pork. We got home late, later than we were expected.
Getting home also meant something special to me, it was the first time I was meeting some of my dad’s relatives and that was sentimental. More about this will be said later.
On the 27th, it was the big day. My cousin was getting married, the excitement was too high and me and cousin were let behind to sort our own transport for being late to get ready. But tho taught me something;
Sientas are the most reliable taxis in Nkhatabay, what’s funny and scary is the sitting plan. The shortgun carries 2 freaking people, while the 2 back seats carry 4 people. Depending on the demand, 2 more people will stand right by the door, their bodies outside while they hold the handles so tight do dear life. Scary but funny too.
But we made it to the officiation. My first Jehovah’s Witness wedding to attend. The longest officiation too. And the church was tiny, with too many people in it, and I was drenching with my own sweat.
But it wasn’t the officiation was intriguing to me, it was the reception. There were parts I loved so much. Like I was told that they do not allow people to throw around money as they dance but rather prefer them to put money I envelopes. What I did not like were the too many speeches that were done, from family to friends, and colleagues and the chief, I was there screaming in my head saying “STOPPPPP!”
But hey, my cousin looked so pretty. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures because of my dead phone at the time.
Secondly, the family member introductions. I laughed each time one would really ask if I was my dad’s child considering our different skin tones. Others were shocked I existed because they thought my existence was a myth lol.
At 4pm, it was time for me and Chigo (my cousin) to head back to Blantyre. And this was the start of a Bad Trip.
The wedding was in Dwambazi, 20 minutes to reach Matete, and 30 minutes away from Dwangwa. We had to get to Dwangwa in order to board the night compost bus which mostly gets there by 7pm. The first bus came at 7:15pm, and we scrambled to board, but we did. Yet again, I found a shitty seat, one that was close to the isle. But my neighbor was fun, a woman in her 40s with so much stories to tell. Even those about her husband that should’ve never left her mouth, lol.
The driver was bad, very bad. He was speeding, he had no regard for bumps that at most, I started fearing for the bus and the shocks dropping. We stopped by Chingeni for a passenger to drop off and guess what, the bus never started. We ended up stuck there for an hour while they repaired it.
An hour later, we were back on the road. The time was 2:20am. After 30 minutes of travel, we stopped again for someone to drop and the bus broke down yet again. This time for about 40 minutes. At this point, I was done. I was tired, I wanted my bed and some tea and food.
There was no longer speed after the second breakdown. It was filthy slow, it was cold, my body felt worn out.
We finally got to Blantyre at 5:30am, after 10 hours of travel. I got home somewhere close to 6:30 am, to a hot bath and breakfast by my mum.
What I dislike the most was how I completely forgot to take pictures, sorry for that. Other than that, Nkhatabay was amazing, with crazy stories but amazing.