We’d settled in, had a relaxing night at the waterfront, returned to the lodge and woken up to a great breakfast of cheese and crackers. I hadn’t been sleeping too well during our trip up, the stress of travel and the heat putting my body on an interesting cycle – I’d been heading to bed around 22:30-23:00hrs and waking up between 05:00 and 05:30. It was the first night I’d been able to really sleep in and enjoy the beauty of this small African port town. We’d also gone out yesterday, dancing and enjoying the local port culture, so I hadn’t gotten in until after 1am, a bit of a tough day considering we’d been in the sun and on transport for ¾ of it. Yawning and stumbling my way to the picnic table, I sat down leisurely cut up my food and started conversing with fellow volunteers as others woke up form their restful respite.

I separated myself a little bit – after all I was on vacation. After being PCVL of the week and then being in Mansa for another week working to help a fellow volunteer complete a Malaria study in a village quite a distance from my own I’d been around people, working hard, and problem solving/talking, and turned on for three weeks. I needed the break, and Lake Tanganyika was the perfect fit. After breakfast I grabbed my solar panel, phone (camera) and water and headed back down to our hangout spot – the waterfront bar. I’d seen some of my fellow health volunteers (meaning from my intake) the night before and we’d had a chance to chat that morning as well. We caught up and one of my friends – Marcus who is posted outside of Mbala had picked up some Cikanda – (the C is pronounced CH). Cikanda is delicious – it’s a paste made of ground African wild Orchid root, mixed with a peanut butter paste and baked – perfect with a dash of hot chili pepper. I’d had some of his, and I was on a mission to get some later that day. Nibbling away, we made it to the waterfront, settled in, dropped our gear and spent a restful morning sipping cool drinks and enjoying the sun and water.

Waterfront Bar and Grill:
Waterfront Bar and Grill

The Waterfront Bar and Grill was owned by a man who had originally wanted to use the structure for intensive fish farming, but had later decided it was best to convert it into a bar and grill, use the fish pond as a swimming pool (there’s a wee problem with crocodiles) and go into the hospitality business.

My Goal Zero Solar Panel and the view out across the lake:
My Goal Zero Solar Panel and the view out across the lake

As you can see in the photo we had a little pair of speakers (I also had my rockout speakers, but I’d left them in my bag so I borrowed a fellow volunteers. After a restful morning, and a light swim, I packed up my gear and headed over to the lodge, dropped everything I didn’t need and then started on the way over into town. I described the local market a little in my last post – shanty style shacks with goods hung and stacked inside of them positioned on the side of the hill. They sold bread, Citenge, and little nick nacks and small goods as well as some clothing and outfits.

The local waterfront market:
Local waterfront Market

They also sold fresh fish from the day’s catch. Available either first thing in the morning or in the afternoon. We continued on, and came to Cornerbar a little grill located just off the waterfront, before you reach the main street (Mpulungu is a one road town) We had a decent lunch of sausage, chips (french fries) and veg, and then continued on into town. I managed to grab my own personal loaf of Cikanda, and continued to explore the central part of Mpulungu town.

Some of the waterfront buildings on the way into Mpulungu town:
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I made my way back down to the waterfront and camped out, set to enjoy the rest of the day in peaceful relaxation and with a cozy swim. The next day promised to be quite exciting, we were headed out to Kalambo Falls – As a teaser here’s a photo from the walk up to the road:

A few chickens roosting on a log as we walk to find transport out to Kalambo:
A couple of chickens enjoying their morning roost