The shortest possible route

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Nkhata Bay / Malawi
A ball is round, water is wet, Google shows you the shortest possible route.

To be honest we were quite happy with the fact that traveling through Malawi proved to be so boring and problemless. Finally we could catch our breath, the last time we could travel stressless had been quite a while after all. We cruised along the Malawi lake towards Tanzania in the north slowly. Stopping here and there in one of the many lakeside towns. We usually shared the escorts resorts we spent our nights with in with on or two guests at the most. So there were hardly any people we could start a fight with, so it remained utterly boring. Luckily enough Lucía came up with the idea to visit a place called Livingstonia. A little bit land-inward from the lake. I programmed our GPS-system (google maps), and as always it calculated the shortest possible route. Besides I checked the relevant information in iOverlander, a kind of digital travel bible for nutcases like us that tour around the world in a car.


M1 north of Akoyo / Malawi
You’re better off asking these fellows for directions than Google Maps.

I didn’t share the information warning from iOverlander with Lucía for the time being, because she loves a surprise. I was very excited while we were driving to the turn-off. But once we were halfway I had visions of my hell ride through Guinea Conakry again. The goat trail we were on was of the same average quality and so narrow that turning around wasn’t an option anymore. Forced to do so, we soldiered our way up. Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic and all in all it were only about ten kilometers to the top. Once we arrived I asked myself why we came to this village in the first place. There really wasn’t anything to see or do. On top of that the only coffeeshop in town where we wanted to sip a cup was closed. Nevertheless we visited the church and were even allowed to climb the church tower. Although they wouldn’t let me ring the church bell, it was a small comfort nonetheless. Moreover we saw from the tower that on the other side of the village there was a nice and wide tarmac road leading back down.


D30 east of Chiweta / Malawi
On our way down at least we drove on a decent road.

So we left town via that route, of which all of a sudden Google remembered it was there. Once again we trusted the search giant. And once more it proved that the shortest possible route that Google had calculated led us through the countryside over small roads that were far from boring. Completely against expectations we reached Karonga that night, our last stop in Malawi. While we were eating in an establishment in the ‘centre’ it started raining so hard that even Noah would’ve been scared. A cloudburst without equal. At some point we wanted to return to our small hotel, and stubborn as we I am I let Google navigate our way back once more. This time the shortest possible route passed through a street flooded with about twenty centimeters of water. Because of this the several meters deep potholes were hidden from my already impaired view of the outside world. So after all thanks to Google our trip had some excitement after all. Not so strange really, since Google knows what we want better than we do ourselves.

Leave a Reply