Day 82, rest day, Lilongwe, Korean Garden Lodge
We had to check out by 10am. We were moving to the camp for the night so that we would be easier to pack up and start riding the next day. So after another big breakfast Bob and I shoulders our bags and walked back to the camp site. I then spent most of the morning and early afternoon updating my blog and relaxing with a book – a rest day that was actually a rest day.
That night half a dozen of us went to eat at an expensive hotel just down the road from the camp. There were only half a dozen of us so we didn’t induce the Sportsman’s Arms Syndrome. But we came close. We were the only people in the restaurant. It was very well appointed: nice furniture, nice table settings, nicely decorated. It looked great. We all ordered and then began to wait. Two plates arrived and people started to eat – no use waiting. When they were finished two more arrived and then when they were finished the last two. We have been in places where you have to wait for your dinner because the restaurant only has four plates and they can’t serve you until they get them back from their current users and wash them – usually means you get a warm plate though. But this was a fancy place. Hmmm. Perhaps the cook could only work on two meals at a time. The orders got a bit scrambled as well. Bridget ordered a well-done pepper steak and it came rare. Back it went. Vince ordered a rare T-bone and got a well done one. He ate it. Lyndsay ordered pasta with pesto. John Faulkner who was also with us said he had ordered pasta with pesto the night before (we were there on John’s recommendation) but had been served pasta bolognaise instead. When Lyndsay’s pasta arrived it was pasta bolognaise. At least they were consistent. And it was pasta. John himself was the first served and was finished before some of us had been served. The waitress very properly then asked him if he would like desert. ‘Yes,’ he said. Can I have the crème caramel (a rare treat to see on a menu). ‘ Sorry we have no crème caramel tonight.’ ‘OK, can I have the apple tart then?’ “Sorry we have no apple tart tonight.’ ‘Can I have the chocolate cake then?’ ‘Sorry, we have no chocolate cake tonight.’ There were no other deserts on the menu. But John politely thanked the waitress for asking if he would like any desert. But he was still better off than I was. I had ordered the same thing as John and still hadn’t received it.
One of the reasons we went to this restaurant was because they said they accepted Visa. This was good. We would be crossing the border into Zambia the next day and we had all almost run out of Malawian cash. We were counting on using plastic. But you guessed it. The credit card machine wasn’t working so we had to scramble to come up with cash – in the end a mixture of Kwacha and $US. A simple meal for the only 6 people in the restaurant had taken two and a half hours.